Many, many people, Christians and non-
Christians alike, say they find the Book of the
Revelation “uncomfortable.” They find much of the
imagery disturbing and are put off by the concept of
God’s judgment on the world. Yet, millions of people
when asked to identify their favorite book to movie
project, answer, “The Lord of the Rings.”
Interestingly, many of the images in that film are
also quite frightening, but that does not seem to
put people off. Indeed much of the message of both
Revelation and Tolkien’s books are the same:
an on-going war between the forces of good and evil.
In both cases, too, evil is ultimately defeated,
destroyed while the forces of good prevail.
The difference of course is that The Lord of the
Rings is fiction and will never come true, while the
disturbing thought for some about Revelation is that
it just might.
You might ask, “Why study Revelation?” Within the
words of this last book of the Bible, there is a
promise of blessing to those that listen, read, and
study it. “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the
words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who
hear it and take to heart what is written in it,
because the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3)
The trend among churches for quite some time has
been to ignore the more challenging or controversial
parts of the Scripture, and Revelation is often
neglected as a result. We are so easily intimidated
with this book. We’re frightened by all the symbols,
imagery, warfare, not to mention a sevenheaded
dragon that tries to eat a baby.
(What is that all about?) No question about it, the
Book of Revelation can be a complex book. And yet it
is an amazing book, a book of mystery, wonder,
excitement, drama, and horror. There are several
reasons to look at Revelation. One is because it
gives us a stepby-step account of all the events
that have happened, that are happening, and that are
going to happen. (Revelation 1:19) Another reason is
because it has significant relevance to the whole
counsel of God, and that is why God included it in
the first place.
God has given us not only the beginning of things in Genesis, but
also the end of things in regard to how He closes the age. There is,
however, another reason to study Revelation. There are commands
there. Tucked within the writings and vision of John, there are
commandments. What do they say?
Why are they there? Do they apply only to John, or do they command
all of us?
Starting in February and taking us all the way to Easter, we’re
going to take a closer look at the commands of Revelation. Why do
they matter in today’s culture? Do they apply to me and my life? And
how can I fulfill the Revelation mandate?