The Book of Revelation
It’s always just a little scary going into Revelation. It’s confusing and kind of dark. Like I sometimes do in a novel, I often want to skip the book and go straight to the happy ending. As long as everything turns out okay, then why do we need to know the details, right?
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The book of Revelation causes controversy because it’s so full of symbolism. That makes it difficult to interpret which is why there are so many interpretations out there. This disagreement shouldn’t cause us to skip the book, though. No, instead we should read it with an open mind and try our best to garner what God wants us to know from this book.
The details actually guide us in living our lives, so we don’t want to miss them. To find our truly happy ending, we need to pay attention. But don’t worry. In Christ, even our suffering is blessed.
Let’s get started…
Overview of Revelation
The book of Revelation, written around A.D. 95, tells what John had seen in a vision about God’s message and about what Jesus Christ had said and done.
There are 3 main parts to the message:
*Evil forces are at work in the world, and believers may suffer and die
*Jesus is Lord, and He will defeat all those who oppose God
*God has wonderful rewards in store for those who remain faithful to Him
The reason I mentioned earlier that it’s scary at first to dive into Revelation is because it talks so much about judgment. However, Revelation actually holds a powerful message of encouragement and hope. Jesus will triumph over evil.
Revelation provides encouragement and hope to early Christians who had to live and die for their faith. In the book, they learned that in spite of the cruel power of the Roman Empire, Christ would win the final victory. This encouraged them to be faithful.
Today, we can still take comfort in the message that when we are faithful, no matter what our struggles, the Lamb of God will win the final victory.
A Quick Breakdown of the Book of Revelation
*A Prophecy from John (Ch. 1, Vs. 1-8)
*A Vision of the Living Lord (Ch. 1, Vs. 9-20)
*Letters to the Seven Churches (Ch. 2, Vs. 1 – Ch. 3, Vs. 22)
*A Vision of Worship in Heaven (Ch. 4, Vs. 1-11)
*A Scroll with Seven Seas (Ch. 5, Vs. 1 – Ch. 6, Vs. 17)
*Worship in Front of God’s Throne (Ch. 7, Vs. 1-17)
*Seven Trumpets (Ch. 8, Vs. 1 – Ch. 11, Vs. 19)
*A Dragon and Two Beasts (Ch. 12, Vs. 1 – Ch. 13, Vs. 18)
*Visions of God’s Judgment and Protection (Ch. 14, Vs. 1 – Ch. 15, Vs. 8)
*Seven Bowls of God’s Anger (Ch. 16, Vs. 1-21)
*God’s Enemies are Defeated (Ch. 17, Vs. 1 – Ch. 20, Vs. 10)
*The Final Judgment (Ch. 20, Vs. 11-15)
*A New Heaven and a New Earth (Ch. 21, Vs. 1-8)
*New Jerusalem (Ch. 21, Vs. 9 – Ch. 22, Vs. 5)
*Christ Will Soon Return (Ch. 22, Vs. 6-21)
In Revelation, the first three chapters refer to the present day and the days leading up to it. Chapters 4 to the end refer to what will happen in the future.
As mentioned earlier, judgment seems to be the initial takeaway. Remember, though, the encouragement throughout. We can’t get bogged down in judgment. Instead, we need to remember that remaining faithful is key. Just as those early Christians remained faithful in their hardest times, we also need to do this. It can be hard, can’t it?
In Revelation, we find the summation of what happens to the world. The Bible begins in paradise and ends in paradise. In the pages in between, we read much of the pain and suffering of the world.
I see this as a parallel (and I know this may be a ‘way out there’ thought) to our own individual lives. Revelation shows us the ‘end’ of our earthly lives. We begin in paradise, innocent as a child. And those faithful to Christ end in paradise, pure and joyful in Him. In between those times, we encounter pain and suffering.
Revelation shows us the fall of the world and then the end of the story of time. The best news of all is that Jesus heals all the pain and suffering and creates a new world for those who are faithful to Him, a new creation similar to the paradise at the beginning.
How wonderful to know that we are loved so deeply that Christ heals our pain and wants to live with us in His new world forever. I am overcome with gratitude and humility at the very idea.
Please take time to read through Revelation with open spiritual eyes and mind. Yes, see the message as it’s written about the fallen world, but look further and see how that relates to you. While we might not have thought so, Revelation is relevant today, in each specific moment. And the hope in Christ remains true and right.
Christ will win the victory. Amen!
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If you have questions about this lesson or have information about the Book of Revelation, please share in the comments below.
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