It is a shame that the book of Revelation is either ignored or study in a hyper-literal way. Christians look to either be scared of it or obsessed with attempting to “decode” it. I consider we really should just heed the admonition at the starting of the book by reading it aloud, hearing it, and maintaining the items that are written in it. Revelation blessed its original audience and it can continue to bless the church now if we will heed its encouraging and timeless message.
When reading Revelation, we really should notice the similarities with other books in the Bible that use comparable kinds of pictures, symbols, and metaphors to convey their messages books like Daniel and Ezekiel. Apocalyptic literature pulls back the cosmic curtain and enables us to see what is going on behind the veil. As humans, we naturally see wars, famine, death, and persecution, but apocalyptic literature enables us to see that there are in fact spiritual forces at perform, each evil and very good. Apocalyptic literature is meant to give hope to God’s folks in the midst of horrible circumstances.
It assists to have an understanding of the symbolism like understanding that a beast represents a globe empire or a horn on that beast represents a king or ruler. Nevertheless, even if you do not have an understanding of the precise symbols, you can nevertheless grasp the significant image of the book. And with books like Revelation, the significant image is the most crucial portion. If you get bogged down in any of the fine particulars, you will most likely miss the entire point.
The key point of this book is that the Lord is in charge of the globe, is operating to bring about his will on the earth, and will in the end be victorious more than all the forces of evil. And simply because these items are correct, God’s folks really should be faithful and not afraid.
The Seven Churches
A lot of of us have almost certainly spent a lot of time reading and considering about the precise messages Jesus offers to the seven churches in Asia. We have a tendency to like these messages simply because they look sensible and not dependent on the rest of the book. Nevertheless, there is a great deal about these messages that a reader may miss by not finishing Revelation.
For instance, in the messages to the seven churches, Jesus regularly describes the future blessings and inheritance of these who stay faithful and loyal to him. This inheritance is hinted at all all through the book, and then in the wonderfully climactic scene, the inheritance is revealed and received.
Jesus promises these who conquer, items like this:
- They will not be hurt by the second death
- They will acquire the hidden manna, and a white stone
- They will acquire authority to rule with Jesus more than the nations
- They will be clothed with white garments
- They will have an crucial location in the temple of God in the New Jerusalem
- They will sit with Jesus on his throne
These promises to the faithful, that they will reside and reign with Jesus, run like a thread all through the book. A single of the dominant themes of the book is this, if you are faithful to King Jesus, you will be 1 day be glorified and will reign with him. The Lamb is praised, “You had been slain, and by your blood you ransomed folks for God from every single tribe and language and folks and nation, and you have created them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
So, when you study the messages to the churches in Asia, be confident to note the descriptions of Jesus, the warnings to these in rebellion, and the promises to the faithful. All of these suggestions and pictures are expounded upon all through the rest of the book.
Beasts and Babylons
Sadly, Christians have spent the final two,000 years arguing about how the book of Revelation really should be interpreted, “Which kings do these ten horns represent?” Or, “Who is the beast or the harlot?” Undoubtedly, I think John had precise cities, empires, kings, and folks in thoughts when he employed apocalyptic language to figuratively describe them in this book. These kingdoms and rulers existed in his day and his audience would no doubt have understood to whom he was referring.
Nevertheless, the book of Revelation is not linear. It is not written to be followed like a chronological timeline of events. Revelation is cyclical. It describes cycles of evil empires and nations increasing up, and when their wickedness is comprehensive, possessing the wrath of God poured out on them.
If the prophets and apostles had wanted to just say particularly, “Such and such nation will fall,” they could have mentioned that. Nevertheless, they gave us one thing far much more beneficial. These apocalyptic books aid us to have an understanding of that at any provided moment, there is far much more going on in the globe than meets the eye. There is a spiritual war in between very good and evil waging in the globe. Numerous beasts and Babylons have risen up (and will continue to rise up), but when their wickedness is comprehensive, Jesus brings judgment upon them.
In the midst of wars and conflict upon the earth, God’s folks are continually reminded about the 1 “who is, who was, and who is to come.”
The Good Wedding Day
There is certainly no superior way for our Bibles to close than with this terrific climactic scene at the finish of Revelation. Our Bibles started with the forces of darkness major humanity astray and the globe coming beneath a terrific curse, but our Bibles finish with that curse getting totally undone.
The final couple of chapters of Revelation are all about the final destruction of all evil, wickedness, and even death itself. God’s rescue strategy, that he carried about in Jesus, will lastly be comprehensive when heaven and earth are joined collectively. The final moments of John’s vision are like a wedding, the location of God and the location of man reunited, reconciled, brought collectively in great harmony.
That is the story of the Bible, if you haven’t picked up on it in the posts prior to this 1, Jesus is rescuing us so that when the city of God comes down out of heaven and is joined like a bride to the earth, we will have access to the tree of life and will reside forever in the presence of God. This is the “new heavens and new earth” that the prophets and apostles promised. In that location and time, “death shall be no much more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor discomfort any longer, for the former items have passed away.”
Mainly because we think these items, we say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
I like you and God loves you,