It's the end of the world as we know it...

On Monday, June 15, our reading turns to the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation has been a source of debate for hundreds of years. Today, there are scholars who read this book, this letter from John, and fiercely debate its meaning and purpose. Because these scholars contest the meaning, it causes interesting reactions from Christians. There are some believers who chose to run from this book and want nothing to do with it. They are so confused by the debate that they decide to skip it altogether. There are other believers who decide Revelation is the key to understanding the future, and ultimately, the return of Jesus. They decide to skip the rest of the Bible and plant themselves here - in an effort to discern the hidden meanings, dates and signs. I don't believe either of these approaches is the best for us. I believe we must read Revelation as a part of God's Holy Word, and work to not read our own theology into it. Let's allow God's Word to speak to us rather than trying to speak our words into it.

Some orienting data-
Author: John, who has been exiled to the island of Patmos
Date: some scholars date this letter before AD70, but the majority of scholars believe it to be written around AD95
Recipients: a group of churches in the Roman province of Asia (modern day western Turkey)
Emphasis: an encouragement to those who currently suffer for their belief in and faith in Jesus Christ; a picture of our world moving towards God's plan - His Kingdom fully come; the end as a restoration of the beginning (Genesis 1-3)
Key Themes:
  • The Trinity - God, Three in One
  • God Almighty - God will ultimately bring all things under His ways.
  • Our Holy God - God is holy, perfect and complete.
  • Our Coming King - Jesus will return to bring full redemption and take His place as King of all kings.
  • Our Righteous Judge - God will judge and will grant to humanity what we have chosen.

May you and I open Revelation with wonder and awe. May we allow it to shape us rather than us working to shape it. May we walk away with a new vision of who God is and who we are in Christ. And may we live differently today, here and now because of God's Spirit within us.

1 comment:

  1. Cool, I'm excited. Faith Murphy just read through the book in the Message version. She said that really helped. I'm going to try that.