Revelation Day 1 - TAKE IT TO HEART

Revelation 1:1-8 

What do you see when you look at Revelation?

Some people see a codebook hiding God’s calendar for the future. Others see a confusing, sometimes terrifying, mess. C.S. Lewis once said people make the mistake of either obsessing over or ignoring the devil. The same is true of Revelation.

The obsessed glue bits of Revelation together with other bits of the Bible to predict the future. They’ll confidently tell you the Rapture, the Antichrist, and the Second Coming of Jesus are right around the corner. And they’ll tell you again next year when their calculations are proved wrong.

The uninterested just do their best to avoid Revelation. They’ll tolerate some of chapters 2 and 3 about the seven churches that received the original book. They’ll nod along at a funeral to the bits from chapter 21 that promise “no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (21:4). But the rest seems pointless, maybe even dangerous.

So which is it?

Can we understand Revelation? Is it good news or bad news? Is it about Christ or the antichrist? Does it tell us about the past, the present, or the future? Should it make us afraid or fill us with hope?

I’m convinced the Book of Revelation is good news because Revelation is about Jesus Christ, and Jesus is STILL good news! We’ll spend 12 weeks this summer exploring Revelation’s 22 chapters. We’re starting in chapter one with our opening question: what do you see when you look at Revelation?

The Christian apologist, G. K. Chesterton, once said, "Though St John the Evangelist (Revelation's author) saw many strange monsters in his vision he saw no creature so wild as one of his own commentators.” People have used Revelation in some weird ways, but don't be afraid of it! John tells us in 1:3, "Blessed are those who hear [this prophecy] and take to heart what is written in it." Revelation is meant to be used and used for good because it's about Jesus.

What is your initial view of Revelation? Do you tend more to obsess over it or ignore it?

Jesus, you chose to reveal yourself through this strange book. With your help, I'm not afraid to study it! Help me to understand and take to heart what is written. Amen.

Posted in