Revelation 1-3: The Introduction

What does Revelation say to believers today?

What does Revelation say to believers today?

Before we move on to the more visionary/symbolic/prophetic aspects of John’s Revelation, we need to recap what we have learned so far.  I think that many misconceptions run rampant because scholars lose sight of the objective of this great book.  It’s easy to become so fascinated by the who’s, what’s and where’s of the sundry characters that follow that we forget God‘s purpose for revealing these things.  I submit that God’s purpose is primarily to give us a spiritual heads up that great tribulations will occur but believers must remain focused on who they are and who the serve.  In short, Christians must hold on to their faith in the face of  the awesome, desperate times. Those who are able, will receive their eternal rewards.  I’m reminded, once again, of Paul’s favorite passage from Habakkuk:

And the Lord answered me:

“Write the vision;

make it plain on tablets,

so he may run who reads it.

For still the vision awaits its appointed time;

it hastens to the end—it will not lie.

If it seems slow, wait for it;

it will surely come; it will not delay.

“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,

but the righteous shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:2-4, ESV, emphasis added)

First, we must remember that Jesus Christ appears to John and it is He who is informing him of these things.  He delivers a Trinitarian imbued message to John.  This cannot be overly emphasized.  Faith in Jesus and adherence to the essentials of the faith are commanded of the seven churches mentioned and therefore to the Church as a whole.  That means us as well.   I believe that things will be so difficult for the Church in times that lay ahead that maintaining our faiths will necessitate an open participation by God in the lives of the faithful.  This is the second lesson. God’s not dead.  Spiritual gifts are still alive and are intended to grow the Kingdom and strengthen the faithful.  They must be utilized in the these perilous times.

Thirdly, there are and there will be those who attempt and some who will succeed at leading would-be believers astray with false teaching.  We must be vigilant in focusing our eyes on the True Christ and what His Word truly teaches. No one will ever know things perfectly in this life, but the essentials of the faith such as the Trinitarian existence of God, His Holy Word, salvation by grace through Jesus’ Passion, Jesus being the only Way to salvation are tantamount to the success of every believer.

Fourthly, believers must act out our faith.  It’s not enough to be act like Christians.  We must be Christians.  Christ tells us to be faithful in our works as well as our faith.  The troubling times ahead are no time to become isolated in our churches and pulpits. The words of the prophet are that the righteous shall live by his faith.  I submit that one’s faith must direct one’s life.

"Hear, O Israel..."  The Shema directs all believers to remain in the Word and to internalize it to such an extent that it directs the totality one's life.

“Hear, O Israel…” The Shema directs all believers to remain in the Word and to internalize it to such an extent that it directs the totality one’s life.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.(Deuteronomy 6:4-9, ESV)

That my friends, is how we shall survive the trying times ahead, through faith and the power of the Holy Spirit active in our lives as we remain in prayer and in the Word and as we live our faiths to our utmost. I’m not saying that I am where I need to be yet.  But I don’t know anyone who is.  We can all do better.  In fact, we all must do better.  In the name of our Father and His son Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit we will live, survive and thrive though all the adversities that lay ahead.  Rest assured, they will come and we must keep the faith.  As we will see, that’s the truth of John’s Revelation.

Stay Faithful my friends,

Christopher

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