Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What is the book of Revelation about?

When observing the book of Revelation, one needs to understand that although this book is often shrouded in mystery, its main purpose is to bring encouragement to its First Century readers. The Christians at this time were dealing with great persecution and the book of Revelation exhorts them to “be faithful unto death” so they will “overcome”.

There are a lot of visions and symbols in the book of Revelation. At times these symbols can be quite confusing. Understand that most of the visions happened in the past. Remember that in the introduction of the book (Revelation 1:1) it reads,
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John”.
One would assume then, that the visions given through the opening of each one of the seals would be something that was going to happen relatively soon to the time of the writing. Remember, seven churches in the region of Asia Minor are receiving this letter. 

These 7 churches are corrected and then encouraged to stay faithful during what is about to happen. The readers at that time would be able to identify what these visions were of and then make adequate preparations to “overcome”. These visions were for them, not for us today. Although the encouragement to faithfulness stays the same.

The book of Revelation is about staying faithful. It is a book that shows that Christians will overcome. 
“God’s bondservants might know that in spite of tribulation at the hands of the kings of the earth, they will overcome if they remain faithful to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus unto death, because of the blood of the Lamb” (Walker 215)
By Cliff Sabroe
 “From God’s Mind to Man’s Pen”. “Understanding Apocalyptic Literature” by Wesley Walker. West Visalia Church of Christ Lectures 
Image from Christian Worldview Institute Website