Saturday, August 27, 2016

How Should I Read The Book of Revelation?

Revelation, Chapter 1

Verses 9-11 John's Vision of Christ

I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

The book of Revelation is one of the harder books in the New Testament to interpret. So it is important to start with what we know. The book is written in a certain historical context, which will be really important to keep in mind. The letter and its visions were recorded by the apostle John, who is often thought of as "the disciple who Jesus loved. As the text says, John was exiled on the island of Patmos due to his testimony for Jesus Christ." Patmos is small, Greek island, situated off the west coast of Turkey, next to the continent of Asia.

John's purpose is to strengthen and encourage believers throughout the area, specifically he writes to the seven churches throughout Asia Minor. These seven churches represent specific Christian communities located in key strategic areas. As we will see through his affirmation and rebuke for each church, we will probably be able it to our own churches. As we continue to await Jesus' return and are still being persecuted today, this book continues to have relevance for us today.

As we read through the book of Revelation, I encourage you to think about your thoughts and feelings regarding Jesus' return. There is always a lot of attention given to it, and there has often been lots of diverse options on how this might happen. As we read through this book, think about are you ready for Jesus return? Jesus did not know, at least when he was on the earth, the date or time the Father had appointed for His return. One thing is for sure though, Jesus taught clearly that He would return to judge the living and the dead. And his judgment would be based on whether one has believed in Him as the true Son of God, or rejected and refused His testimony. Our belief in these basic tenets of our faith should compel us to reach as many unbelievers as possible before his return. If we don't believe in these tenets I guess it wouldn't really matter what we do.

Question for the day? If Jesus were to return today, what would you say to him? This might help us to understand how aligned we are with the Great Commission he gave to us.

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