During our Sunday morning worship and teaching, we are studying the book of Revelation.
If there is one book in the New Testament that Christians tend to shy away from, it is the book of Revelation. The main reason for this is because it seems so hard to understand. Yet, it is the only book in the Bible that specifically promises a blessing to those who read it and take it to heart. Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” If God promises a special blessing to those who take the time to understand its message, surely that should motivate us to study it carefully and understand all that God has revealed in this wonderful book.
The book of Revelation has a human author (the apostle John) and a divine author (God). It begins with these words: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John” (Revelation 1:1). It unveils for us, perhaps more than any other book of the Bible, who the Lord Jesus Christ is, in terms of his divine splendor and glory. It is also a book that tells us what will happen in the future (“what must soon take place”).
The reason God shows us the future is so that we can be comforted, encouraged, and strengthened in the present. God doesn’t show us the future to merely satisfy our intellectual curiosity. He shows us the future so we can fear God and depend on him more wholeheartedly. He shows us the future so that we can make sense out of our present sufferings, and so that we can find hope in the present turbulent times.
The book of Revelation actually contains an urgent message that believers need to hear and take to heart, and that the world needs to hear and take to heart. We live in a world where there is so much hopelessness, darkness, and despair. But God has given us a light, his holy Word, to show the way and bring us hope, and the book of Revelation is the final book in his Word that brings it all together.