MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #8604

The Suffering and Safety of the Redeemed

A Sermon on the Symbolism of Revelation



Sermon Description

Symbolism is a regular part of life. Symbolism and pictures are used in language every day in order to help people better understand what they are trying to say. In this sermon titled “The Suffering and the Safety of the Redeemed,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones helps the listener better understand symbolism and the general themes of Revelation. This type of poetic language is everywhere in the book of Revelation, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand. Many of the symbols in this book are repeated, and Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that this is a type of parallelism. He sees the book as divided into two main divisions with various subsections. The first division is about the struggle of Christ and the church against unbelievers, while the second is regarding the struggle of Christ and the church against the devil. The battle between God and Satan, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is the ultimate battle, and this battle is most clearly represented through Scripture in Revelation. The purpose of this book is to unfold the glory of the Lord’s triumph. Through its symbolism, this book serves as a beautiful reminder to the believer of the joys to come at the end of time, but also a solemn warning to those who do not believe in Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon is divided into 7 sections with parallelism and repetition. The 7 sections can be grouped into 2 big divisions - chapters 1-11 and chapters 12-22.
  2. Chapters 1-3 show Jesus among the churches. The 7 churches represent the whole state of the Christian church.
  3. Chapters 4-5 show the throne room of God and Jesus as the Lamb who is worthy to open the scroll. Jesus is in control of history.
  4. The opening of the seals in chapters 6-7 show what happens to Christians throughout history:
    • The white horse represents the spread of the Gospel.
    • The red horse represents persecution and martyrdom of Christians.
    • The black horse represents poverty and economic hardship for Christians.
    • The pale horse represents death through wars and violence.
    • The souls under the altar cry out "How long?" representing the suffering of Christians.
    • The 6th seal shows judgment on the persecutors of Christians.
  5. Chapter 7 shows that God will seal and protect his people before final judgment comes. The 144,000 represent the complete number of Christians from all ages.
  6. The book of Revelation shows the struggle between Christ and the church against evil powers, especially in chapters 12-22. But it also shows the final triumph of Christ and his people.
  7. The book of Revelation speaks to Christians of all ages because all ages have experienced suffering and persecution. It is a spiritual book that helps us live day to day.

Great Biblical Doctrines

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.