The book of Revelation, with all its symbolism can be a confusing and intimidating book to read and study. As Christians we tend to over-simplify it by saying things like, “Jesus wins, that’s all that matters.” We then prefer to focus on easier to understand books of the Bible while avoiding this book. However, Revelation is God’s Word given to us and just like the other 65 books of the Bible, it is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness that [we] may be competent and equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Fewer people study the Bible these days. We often default to a quick, feel good verse that fits our fast paced life. To know and experience God though, we are required to dig in and put effort into learning His Word. Revelation challenges us to slow down, study and take seriously what God is saying to us through His Word. If our generation does not study the Bible, what will become of the generation after us?
Revelation gives visible imagery to invisible realities. And the invisible reality is “the great dragon…that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world…” (Revelation 12:9) is working to threaten, deceive and seduce us away from the King. We must be discerning of His schemes as we fight to be faithful to our reigning King in the midst of all of life’s tribulations
Revelation was not written to an individual, but “to the seven churches that are in Asia” (Revelation 1:4). Jesus gave this word to them that together they may be strengthened and remain faithful to the King amidst suffering. They were not to fight their battles alone, and neither are we. Together we are the bride of Christ, together we worship, together we are strengthened, and together we hope in the final return of Christ and the consummation of His kingdom saying, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).
Some read Revelation as a book that removes the church from tribulation. However, the writer John describes himself as “your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus…” (Revelation 1:9). We show the world that within tribulation, there exists a kingdom. And from that kingdom we boldly call out, “let the one who is thirsty, come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” (Revelation 22:17). For the day will come when our King will return, and the time for inviting will be no more.