Revelation: The Revelation of Jesus Christ
“The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place…
… Blessed is the one who reads aloud 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.”
Revelation is the last book of the Bible but it is by no means the least. Some Christians unfortunately make the mistake of ignoring it because they have been told it is too complicated to read or understand. Others fixate upon tiny details and speculate wildly about what they might mean, and miss the big encouragements right in front of them.
It is easy to forget that like much of the rest of the New Testament, Revelation is a letter; a letter written by the Apostle John as an encouragement to real Christians in real churches in real places.
As we journey through Revelation together over the next two terms, I trust we will find it less complicated than we feared, and fuller of rich encouragements to keep following Jesus than we expected. Indeed John promises that all who take to heart the words of this book will be blessed.
Revelation is perhaps the closest thing you will find in the Bible to a picture book. Much of the book from chapter 4 onwards focuses on the vision of heaven that Jesus gives to John and the language is full of vivid symbolism. As we tune in to the way John uses these evocative images and word pictures, Jesus reveals to us more about the world we live in now, and lifts the lid on the world to come.
As John records for our benefit this awesome vision given to him by the Lord Jesus we are reminded that trouble and suffering, persecution and hardship are part of the Christian Life. But more than that, we are reassured that God is sovereign, Jesus is King and Jesus will be victorious over Satan.