Letters…emails…texts—communication means a lot when it's initiated by someone who cares about us. We can easily discard and disregard junk mail and spam that fill our mailboxes and inboxes. But to receive word from someone we know and who knows us…those are the messages we give priority to!
Jesus had something to say to seven of the churches in the first century. He had important things to tell them and told John to record His message. By studying these seven letters, we learn more about the Author of these letters—Jesus. We get to know His character, His heart for us, and how we can fulfill His purpose for His church here and now.
Last Sunday, we ended our study looking at John exiled on the island of Patmos. One Sunday, many years ago, he was in the Spirit, when he heard a voice behind him—a voice like a trumpet!
This past Sunday, we read of how he turned and looked and saw…well, you’ll just have to listen to the message to find out!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits…
The benefits of Jesus are glorious and numerous. Just pause and consider the multitude of blessings He freely gives.
He loved us and washed us clean from our sins! This would be enough to cause us to bow down in overwhelmed gratitude for all of eternity…but there’s more! He also made us kings and priests! This isn’t some poetic metaphor—it’s another great benefit of His (see Revelation 1:6).
When Jesus returns to redeem His purchased possession and loose the seals of the title deed to the earth…when He returns and His Kingdom finally comes to earth—the redeemed will reign together with Him as kings and priests in His Millennial Kingdom!
It’s so important to remember all that Jesus has done and promised as we live in the “mean” time—this time between His resurrection and His second coming. These benefits helped John see his suffering and imprisonment as an opportunity to bring glory to God. These benefits brought comfort to Job after enduring heartache and loss. In their suffering, God brought comfort with a revelation of Himself. And He can and will do the same for us as we persevere and endure in the midst of suffering until His return.
When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
This past Sunday, we continued our study of the book of Revelation. The more we study this book, the more we see aspects of the nature and character of Jesus that we might be familiar with.
Just consider the way Jesus is described in Revelation 1:5. He is…
The word that is translated to ’witness’ is ‘martus’, where we get the word ‘martyr’. But this word doesn’t just mean dying for your faith. It means living out your faith in such an unstoppable way that even death is not a deterrent.
That’s just what Jesus did—not even death could stop Him. Because Jesus conquered death, He is the firstborn from the dead. And since Jesus has victory over sin and death, He is King of all. And He is coming soon to rule and to reign here on earth!
Listen to our study from Sunday and start to see Jesus reveled—as He truly is.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ…”
When you think of the word “apocalypse”, what comes to mind? Images of fire and brimstone? Pictures of war and the end of time? Thoughts of chaos and destruction? Or maybe the book of Revelation?
Apocalypse is how the book of Revelation begins. The word ‘revelation’ translated is where we get the word ‘apocalypse’, which simply means “to reveal”.
So what’s being revealed in this book? Jesus Christ! But not Jesus meek and mild as we may have seen in the Gospels. This is Jesus glorified. And Jesus glorified looks…well…different than we are used to (see Revelation 1:12-16).
Revealing Jesus is one of the many benefits of studying God’s word. As we behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus, the Holy Spirit transforms us into the image of Jesus. It begins with seeing Jesus. And as we look for Him and to Him, He is revealed to us—in all of His glory.
One day, we will see Him face to face. Jesus tells us that this particular day will come unexpectedly and the events described in Revelation will happen shortly, swiftly, and suddenly. The time is near. We are closer now than we’ve ever been before! Are you ready to see Him?
In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul writes to pastor Timothy, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching, and to teaching.” We can understand the importance of preaching and we can appreciate the value of teaching, but sometimes we neglect the importance and value of publicly reading God’s word out loud.
Think about it…for many people over the centuries, the public reading of God’s word may have been their only interaction with scripture. We know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). This promise is especially relevant as we study the book of Revelation.
Why? Because we receive another promise in Revelation 1:3! There is a special blessing for those who read, for those who hear, and for those who obey what is written. All three of theses blessings are accessible to each and everyone of us—and hopefully we will all experience these blessings as we all read, hear, and obey God’s word.
Listen to our study of Revelation 1:1-3 and be blessed by hearing God’s word.
“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
In Matthew 24, Jesus says three times that no one knows when the time of His return—not even Him! So He encourages His followers to watch and be ready. Those who do will be blessed.
But what if you aren’t watching or aren’t ready? You might think that the events in Revelation are far off in the future.
Are you sure about that? Are you sure you want to live this brief life before you see the Lord with spiritual laziness?
Revelation is only irrelevant if you deceive yourself into thinking that Jesus is delaying His coming. But we are closer to Christ’s return today than we were yesterday. Be ready! Be watching! And tell the people you love and care about how to be ready too. The King is coming!
“He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”
From Genesis to Revelation…from eternity past to eternity future. That’s quite a leap from the beginning of summer (when we finished our Genesis study) to now (as we begin our study of Revelation). But there are some benefits to studying these two books back to back.
Genesis is the book of beginnings…and questions. Revelation is the book of completion…and culmination.
Genesis begins in paradise, but when paradise is lost, the question arises…will paradise be restored? Revelation answers that questions, but not before outlining the world’s time of tribulation—the transition to a new paradise. It’s a specific time called the Day of the Lord…and 19 other names throughout the Old and New Testaments.
Since the Bible speaks of this time frequently and the warning attached to it has great urgency, we’re left asking, “What does any of this have to do with me?”
Revelation is relevant! Not only are we duty-bound to study, understand, and appreciate the gravity of the content contained in this book, the events described in this book are way closer than you might realize. Listen to Sunday’s study as we considered the relevance of Revelation for today.
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3).
In Mark 13, Jesus says something interesting—“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” It’s interesting because there came a time when God the Father had to fill in Jesus about the end of time.
Think about it…God needed to communicate a message to Jesus—and then the glorified Jesus in all of His awe and majesty delivered the same message to His servant John, who in turn is now delivering the same message to us…so that we could read and hear and heed and be blessed.
Did you know that you will be blessed for reading the book of Revelation? And for hearing the book of Revelation being read? And for keeping the things which are written in it?
God wants to bless you through this book! More than that, God wants you to know His plan for this planet. Even more than that—He wants you to be aware of His hope for the people of this planet, for the time is near. We are nearer now than ever for His imminent return—are you ready? He is extending hope to you today—will you accept His invitation of grace? The time is near. God’s word says if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
You can do that right now! Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as Lord. And then, Revelation won't be the end, but the beginning of eternity!
The book of Revelation is an exciting book! It's essentially the recorded communication from God the Father to Jesus concerning the end of time. Which is why it can also be a confusing book—beasts and battles, seals and saints. Just what in the world is going on!!
On Sunday, we began our study of this great book with an introduction and overview. And we found that this book is quite orderly. In fact, the entire book is outlined in Revelation 1:19—“Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this." This may sound simplistic, but it is very significant for a number of reasons.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends