For much of your second year I have been studying and teaching the book of Revelation to both college students and adults. Two separate Bible studies. I have been teaching Bible Studies with groups for over 40 years but until now I had never studied this last book of the Bible. Read it, yes. Alluded to it, yes. Preached funeral messages from it, yes. But really studied it, no.
Here are a few of my takeaways and then I will tell you the main point that The Revelation is trying to communicate – which will be very relevant to you as you grow toward and grow in faith.
- I was surprised more by what was NOT in it than by what was in it. For instance, you do not find words like rapture or antichrist in the book.
- The wrath of God’s judgement is going to be horrific – I do not want to be on earth to experience it.
- The Lord gives chance after chance after chance for people to repent and turn from their sin and turn to Him. He does not want anyone to experience eternal torment.
- And yet God is fair and just and righteous in His dealings with those who choose life apart from Him. He allows them to experience the known consequences of their choices.
- The unholy trinity of the dragon, the beast of the sea and the beast of the earth (aka: Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet) are evil posers who hate the people of God and use unbelievers for their cruel purposes and do everything they can to mock the True Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit.
- Eternal life in heaven with God is going to be beyond belief in the BEST possible kind of way.
The Main Point
The Revelation was written not so much to give its readers an eschatological timeline but to encourage them to hold fast to Jesus until He returns no matter when that is or how long it takes or what they have to deal with along the way.
And that’s what I want to encourage you to do. Hold fast. I have no doubt that your journey through this life will be full of fun and blessing and happy surprises but there will also be grief. Hold fast! There will be difficulties. Hold fast! There will be troubling circumstances along the way. Hold fast! There will be dark nights of the soul. Hold fast.
Hold fast knowing that the best is yet to come because the point and promise of Revelation is that Jesus WILL come again and transform this world that is infected and infested with sin into a world that unimaginably beautiful and abounding with overwhelming joy.
So hold fast!
And never forget that you are very loved,