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Raphael of Urbino, April 6, 1520 and Revelation 14:13

July 9th, 2006

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Blessed indeed, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them”

(Revelation 14:13)

Raphael of Urbino was a famous painter. Like his predecessor, Michaelangelo, who was commissioned under Pope Julius. Raphael worked under Pope Leo X. He died on April 6, 1520. It is said, that before he died, it was “entirely possible that he may have seen the whole series of his works installed in the Sistine Chapel” (Raphael’s Cartoons in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen and the Tapestries for the Sistine Chapel, John Shearman (Phaidon Press: London, 1972) p. 3).

For Raphael, religion meant the Roman Catholic Church; while his art meant his contribution to Christ and his church. Raphael is gone. His works remain though, and, if Revelation 14:13 be applied, Raphael’s works will follow him into eternity. For good or ill, whatever a man does while on earth, those works will mirror him throughout eternity.

For those of the early church, spoken of in Revelation 14:1-5, “their deeds follow them” (14:13). For those of us who now live in the 21st century, we have heard it said from the holy scriptures–“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).

Your future has not yet been fully told! Won’t you labor for the Master today? For, you see, this application really is not about Raphael—it’s about us.

-Robert M. Housby

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