The Book of Revelation is a complex but inspiring book. Steph Nickel motivates us to dig into it and get excited about what we learn.
The Book of Revelation
Today, let’s take a quick look at the book of Revelation.
Yes, I know this is a book review blog, not a Bible study—and that’s exactly how I want to approach the last book of the Bible today.
We are to diligently study God’s Word. Second Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
Sometimes “rightly handling the word of truth” means digging into a single chapter, a single verse, even a single word that, when studied, gives a whole new understanding of the passage.
An Overview is Important
Even though this is the case—and this kind of study shouldn’t be overlooked or neglected—there is a time to read more quickly, to get an overview of an entire book of the Bible. And when we consider it as literature, that gives a whole new depth to our study.
Some people are fascinated by the book of Revelation. They read and study it as well as an extensive list of extra-biblical resources.
But, to be honest, I have, for the most part, steered clear of this type of study. There are many people who believe they understand how the end of the world will unfold. Yet, there are several who have made bold claims that have failed to come about. I have never felt I could “rightly handle” this crucial, yet perplexing, Bible book. So … I’ve avoided it.
Is The Book of Revelation Like Fantasy?
My desire to read it once again was fueled by a passage John MacArthur shared in his Bible study on the book of Philippians. I read the passage slowly and thoughtfully, amazed by the wonder of the scene unfolding in my mind.
So, today I’d like to consider Revelation as if it were what we in the 21st century would consider fantasy. The only thing is … it’s 100 percent true!
John did his best to describe what he saw in his vision, but as any of us who have read the book know, he had a difficult time putting what he’d seen into words his readers could understand.
Today is a day to set aside what we know—or think we know—about the last book of the Bible. At least, let’s try to see the descriptions of heaven and the heavenly beings with the awe and wonder they should evoke.
First, let’s remember that John was in exile on the Island of Patmos. His had been a hard life, but he was committed to serving his Lord and Saviour to the end.
(Do you think he ever imagined his words would reach down through the centuries and affect countless generations?)
The Wonder of the Book of Revelation!
The wonder begins in Revelation 1:12-15.
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire,his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
It’s no surprise John responded as he did. Verse 17 says, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.”
And that’s just a few verses in the first chapter. Talk about hooking the reader!
To further whet our appetite, let’s skip ahead to the last chapter.
The Believer’s Home
Revelation 22:1-5 gives us a glorious image of the home that awaits all believers in Jesus Christ.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
From chapter 1 through chapter 22, Revelation is filled with mind-blowing scenes. Descriptions of creatures that, for many, would seem more the inhabitants of nightmares than of heaven. Events that would cause us to cower in fear if it weren’t for saving faith and confidence in a good and righteous God. Descriptions that cause our ideas of who Jesus is to expand to new proportions.
I’ve come to realize that I can never plumb the depths of all there is to learn from God’s Word. With that in mind, I look forward to marveling in the scene unfolding before me as I read through Revelation. I will leave the possible interpretations of the imagery for another time. And that’s okay!
So, how about you? Are you eager to read, or reread, the book of Revelation and see the wonders of heaven unfold before you? I know I am.
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio.
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