Wow. Just wow. It is hard to believe that months of study have reached their conclusion! When I’m honest, it is also hard to believe that we actually worked our way through a book of the Bible that has always intimidated me. It’s difficult to even collect my thoughts, to find some concise take-aways from all we have learned.
But one thing has been a happy discovery… there is really nothing “new” in the final book of the Bible. Our God is true and trustworthy and He has been sharing the very same things about Himself and His plans for His creation since the very beginning of the Bible – and ALL the way through it!!! As we have studied Revelation I have experienced light-bulb moments, “oh my! this is exactly what God revealed to Daniel… or to Ezekiel… or to Isaiah… or to Zechariah… and to Paul… and to John.” I have to sit back and smile when I realize that I am no different (in some ways) from Jesus’ own disciples. Some times I just don’t get it. And He has to show me again… and again… and again.
Despite me being a slow learner, there is greater importance to these truths being continuous through God’s Word. Our God is eternally unchanging, ever faithful and true. The consistency speaks to the enduring purity and validity of His Word! His truth is a firm foundation on which we can confidently stand! These words are true and trustworthy because the One who spoke them is by His very nature TRUTH itself.
As I think about the very first statement, “the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” I am drawn to Philippians 3:10: “That I may know HIM and the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings.” Revelation was given by God that we may know JESUS – that we may place our full faith and trust in Him – that we may obey His words and experience true eternal life!
So, who is this One we have come to know with greater depth this year?
Revelation has given me an ever expanding view of the One and only, eternally unchanging Triune God – that I may know HIM as the truly supreme and holy One – that I will not become too casual, that I will respond to who God is with all of my being, accept His offer of salvation and become His joyfully humble servant, always desiring to bring Him glory and honor.
This book is intense. It does not pull punches or sugar coat truth. Revelation has shown me the horrors of hell and the complete and unavoidable, utter devastation of the judgment of God against sin – that I may know HIM as the Righteous Judge – that I will understand just how deeply my sin offends holy God, that I may know what Christ endured in my place so that I will never face the true justice against my sin – that I might have a growing sense of urgency to reach those who do not know Him or who have not yet responded to His offer of salvation.
Even in its most severe moments, Revelation has been a story of the boundless mercy of God – again and again – ever reaching, ever seeking to make Himself known to each and every person – that I may know HIM as the One who displays incomprehensible sacrificial Love, the One who loves us enough to go to such lengths to restore a relationship He didn’t break, to buy back the ones He created, to redeem us with the cost of His own life’s blood – that I might be so deeply touched by that love that it transforms me – that I might extend that same mercy to others.
In Revelation, we have seen the power of Jesus’ resurrection – the same power that created and sustains the earth and sky and everything in them – that same power raised Jesus, conquering death – that same power will breathe new life into every dead body, speak a new heaven and earth into existence, restore the purity and beauty of the original creation. I have been given this glimpse that I might know HIM as the One who triumphs, the One who can use that same power to reach into lives that are broken and hopeless, seemingly beyond repair, and breathe new, redeeming life into them.
To tackle the hold-out places in my heart, Revelation has given me a long, hard look at the lure of earthly beauty, possessions, and accomplishments – and shown me that they inevitably fail, fade, and self-destruct – that I might see the incredible alternative – to choose Christ instead – that I might know HIM as the One who claims me as His bride, the One who will welcome me to trade the heavy, bulky armor I need now to fight off the enemy’s attacks for purest linen white, the brilliance of His presence, the security of His embrace, and the lavish provisions of my adoring Bridegroom.
And Revelation sends me a post card to help me look with longing toward the place Jesus is preparing for me! – that I might know HIM as the One who longs to welcome me Home – to be with Him forever, to behold His glory, to bask in His provisions, to be made new – in the purest form of the person He made me to be – just like Him, reflecting the fullness of the Father’s glory!
This book reveals and expands my view of the One and only holy, righteous, loving, merciful, triumphant Triune God – who is also intensely personal – that I might know HIM as the One who comes close, touches a shoulder, speaks to John in a voice that is loud as trumpets but strangely tender and familiar and says, “do not be afraid, it is I” – that I may know Him as the One who comes close enough to lift my chin, wipe tears from my face, and turn my eyes toward Home!
The Revelation of Jesus Christ was given to me that I may know HIM – that I may be awed by His Person, steadied by His truth, and wrapped in His love!
Read more here! – REVELATION – yes! do not be afraid… read on and trust Him to reveal Himself to you!