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 Why Study the Book of Revelation? (Part 44 of Series)

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PostSubject: Why Study the Book of Revelation? (Part 44 of Series)   Why Study the Book of Revelation? (Part 44 of Series) EmptyMon May 29, 2017 3:16 pm

Why Study the Book of Revelation? (Part 44 of Series)

I think this is a good place to pause and reflect on why a Christian should study the book of Revelation. Many Christians have apprehensions in taking up such a study, often due to fear. “The book speaks a lot on bloodshed and death, so why should we study it?”—they say. This is also true of some of their other favorite books of the Bible, including Joshua, the first 5 books of the Bible, the book of Samuel, Chronicles, and Kings; not to mention Jeremiah, parts of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and even Job. Are we really supposed to be afraid of reading and studying huge sections of God’s Word? God’s Word is Truth, and Jesus said that the Truth will set you free. Truth includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. Truth is not always lovely and sometimes Truth hurts. We are to never shun Truth or close our ears and hearts to Truth because we are afraid of it hurting us. In the end Truth always sets us free even though occasionally it might hurt for a moment. Truth also opens our eyes to God more. God is Truth. Truth leads us to Him.

Many argue that Revelation is a decrypted book that we are not supposed to understand. My first response to that is why write anything that we are not supposed to understand? We have been studying Revelation up to now and have, as much as possible, let the Bible interpret itself. The Bible told us what the lampstand represents, for example. We inferred from passages of Revelation and the rest of the Bible that the 24 Elders represent a combination of the saved from the Old Testament (12 tribes of Israel) and the saved from the Day of Grace period (that is, the Church), which was jump started by the 12 Apostles of the New Testament. Our conclusion was based a lot on the words that the 24 elders speak, what they are wearing, and the role they play. Often the context of the immediate passage gives enough details to aid the reader into a sound interpretation of Revelation, but we also have the help of the other books of the Bible which speak of the same time period. We also have the aid of the Holy Spirit, as the Bible tells us that He guides us into the correct interpretation (John 16:13). We also have James 1:5, which advises any who lacks wisdom to simply pray and ask for it, and it will be given. So I would suggest to the Reader that before you take part in any study of the Bible (not just Revelation) to pray that the Holy Spirit would help guide your understanding into Truth to reach its full truth. Moreover, we saw that Daniel was told to close up and seal his prophecy until the end times. Use of the word “until” means that his book was not intended to be sealed forever. John however was told to not seal the prophecy he was given (which is basically an addendum to Daniel’s prophecy) because the time is near. God Himself intends for Revelation (along with now the book of Daniel) to be fully decrypted and understood in these last days.

There are those who dismiss the book of Revelation, professing that it is not relevant to today. Those who argue this are really revealing that they do not understand the book of Revelation at all because it is profoundly relevant to today. Chapters 2 and 3 are about Church history prophesied beforehand. Those chapters prophetically outline the personality of the Church in each progression of its stages of history in the precise order that history unfolds. That means that it is referring to us today up to the Rapture. Within those chapters, Jesus mentions what the believer must do in this lifetime in order to receive eternal rewards or be judged for our disobedience for disobeying His directives. If we skip the book of Revelation, we would be skipping Jesus’ commands and warnings that He gives specifically to us Christians who live in this present Day of Grace period. Moreover, Revelation 21-22 illuminates the Kingdom of Heaven. It warns us today that if we live a certain way that we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven—it cannot get more relevant than that. It says that our eternal status and quality of life is predicated on what we do today in this lifetime. So end times eschatology is very much tied to today. If we don’t know the prescription of how we should be living today simply because we refused to study the book of Revelation, it could have adverse consequences to our eternal status.

And finally, an accurate understanding of the book of Revelation and all of prophecy in general will correct misinterpretations that many Christians have succumb to from a crude, cursory reading of Scripture dealing with prophesy. What I am precisely referring to is that many Christians misinterpret Kingdom of Heaven scriptures as saying that a person is saved by works and that a Christian can lose his or her salvation because a person’s works determines their salvation. We will be explaining what the Kingdom of Heaven really means in great detail much later on. Many Kingdom of Heaven verses appear to be saying that salvation is determined by our works, but if we study them in great detail and compare Scriptures, we will see that the Bible does not teach that. I should affirm here that the Bible teaches that a person is saved by faith alone in the finished work of Jesus through the Cross and His Resurrection, and not by any effort that we have done, for salvation is a free gift to be received by faith alone, otherwise, a disbelief rejects the free gift of salvation and thus leads to an eternity in Hell, unsaved. A Christian, however, will be judged for his or her good works, bad works, or lack of works, which will have eternal consequences.

What I’d like to do now is to more or less list the reasons in bullet form of why one should study the book of Revelation. And here, I give much credit to Dr. David Jeremiah as much of my source of information:

• Revelation is a Messianic book. It explains the other side of Jesus Christ our Lord. To skip this book is to overlook the aspect of Jesus who is vengeful and wrathful against His enemies. We ought to not solely focus on the “Day of Grace” Jesus because that same Jesus is the “Day of Wrath” Jesus. That’s like a child knowing his or her parent only when they get home from work, but not knowing them at all as their role as a police officer when they leave home to go to work.
• The Bible is 1/5 prophecy. 1/3 of the 1/5 is about the Second Coming of Jesus. So to skip Revelation (along with its like-topic passages from other books) is to discard a huge section of the Bible that we all say we love. This reminds me of a quote I made. I have over 50 pages of quotes that I came up with, mostly spiritual. This one is just facetious and not serious. Please don’t take this seriously, though it does hold a lot of truth: “We have to tear out many pages to have the Baptist’s rendition of the Bible.”
• There are 660 general prophesies in the Bible; 333 of them are about Jesus; 109 were fulfilled at Jesus’ first coming; 224 are yet to be fulfilled at His Second Coming. This is interesting in that the first coming prophesies included things such as Jesus’ coming down from Heaven, the virgin birth, Jesus coming as King, Jesus coming from eternity, Jesus coming as Priest, Jesus coming as Redeemer, the city in which Jesus would be born, Jesus on the Cross, Jesus resurrecting, etc. Many love the first coming prophesies. And today, we understand the importance of them all. The Jews rejected the first coming prophesies when the Messiah finally did come. It is interesting that many Christians today reject studying the Second Coming prophesies because they are either too afraid of them or think that they are too encrypted and the Jews rejected the First Coming prophesies for nearly the same reasons. It should be noted that the First Coming prophesies of Jesus were encrypted until the time for them all to be revealed. When they were revealed by the Apostles, the Jews still rejected them. There are more prophesies in the Bible regarding the Second Coming than the first (more than doubled). Whenever any writer writes more on one topic than others, that is a clue that the writer wants the reader to focus even more on the bigger subject. In this case, God is the writer. He chose to write more than double regarding the Second Coming of Jesus than the First, so that should tell us readers that He does not want us to overlook the topic of the Second Coming.
• There are 7,959 verses in the Bible. 330 of them are about the 2nd Coming of Jesus. My math is not that good, but I think that means that 4 percent of the entire Bible is about the 2nd Coming of Jesus. We as Christians should want to study the entire 100 percent.
• One out of every 25 verses of the Bible is about the 2nd Coming of Jesus.
• Next to faith, the 2nd Coming of Jesus is the most discussed subject in the New Testament.
• For every 1st Coming mention, the 2nd Coming is mentioned 8 times.
• For each atonement verse, there are 2 verses regarding the 2nd Coming of Jesus.
• Jesus Himself mentioned the 2nd Coming 21 times.
• We are told in the New Testament to be ready for the Second Coming over 50 times.
• Revelation is the only book of the Bible that promises a blessing if we read it (Revelation 1:3) and a blessing if we keep its words (Revelation 22:7).
• According to James, the end times should inspire us to stand firm. James 5:7-8 reads, “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
• According to Paul, Peter, and Jude, we ought to encourage others using prophecy. 1 Thessalonians 4:18 says, “Therefore encourage each other with these words.” What are those words? Please review the passage—it is regarding the 2nd Coming of the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” This verse begins with “therefore.” It is important here to see what “therefore” is there for. Again, Paul is referring to the 2nd Coming of Jesus, and he says that in light of this information, we ought to encourage each other and build each other up. Peter encourages his readers using the 2nd Coming of Jesus. He says in 2 Peter 3:13, “But in keeping with His promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new Earth, the home of righteousness.” He goes on to say that this should encourage us to live holy lives, as he says in the next verse, “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.” Jude not only encourages his readers using the 2nd Coming of Jesus, but he also says that it should make us go out and evangelize to others about the salvation that comes from Jesus. He says in verses 21-23, “Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”

I want to emphasize the last statement of the previous bullet. The 2nd Coming of Jesus should motivate Christians to evangelize to the unsaved. Christians do not evangelize because we do not care about other’s eternal destination. Moreover, it seems to me that our lack of knowledge of the end times and our lack of concern for the topic demotivates us from warning others about the wrath to come. We are too focused on this lifetime to be concerned about the next. But the wrath to come does not only affect those alive during the Tribulation period; it affects all throughout all generations of history. At the end of the Tribulation period, God is going to raise up all of the dead who died apart from Jesus and will throw them all into the lake of fire for an eternity. That really should motivate us all to want to throw the lifeline out to as many who do not know Jesus as we possibly can. Do you think that God will not judge us for ignoring our neighbor/friend/coworker, who does not know Christ, those who we are around daily and yet never mention Jesus to them? Many will reject Jesus regardless of our efforts. But some in that bunch could have soft hearts to get saved. They would be eternally grateful to us and we will receive a great reward in our day of judgment. Not only that, but even if they were to reject our efforts to our face, we would have planted a seed in their hearts for perhaps someone else to water and nurture; and, at a later time they could still possibly get saved. So until Christians have more concern regarding the end times, we will not be that motivated in what happens to our unsaved neighbors in the next lifetime.

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