The book of Revelation promises a special blessing to those who read it.
“God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.” – Revelation 1:3 (NLT)
Revelation is a picture of Christ reigning and of Satan defeated. So it’s not a surprise Satan doesn’t want us to read it! Use the following guide to prepare for Sunday. Onward!
Monday’s Passage to Read: Read the first three chapters of Revelation. Take note of the differences in tone and content with the letters to the seven churches. Some churches are praised by Jesus. Others are rebuked. On Sunday, we’ll take a closer look at the Philadelphia Church. Jesus had nothing but good things to say about them. They were not the perfect church, but they endured.
Tuesday’s Devotional Thought: John has been exiled to Patmos because of his faith in Jesus. He’s an elderly man at this point. While there, he’s forced to work hard labor, probably in the mines and quarries. But Jesus communicates to him through an angel and gives him an incredible sense of hope.
There are four visions John receives. These visions make up the structure of Revelation.
- First vision on Patmos (1:9-3:22)
- Second vision in heaven (4:1-16:21)
- Third vision in the desert (17:1-21:8)
- Fourth vision on a mountain (21:9-22:21)
In the first vision, John is on Patmos. God tells John to write to seven churches, and Jesus communicates through an angel. The second vision represents a transition from Patmos to heaven. There is a thematic shift with this new vision—from an analysis of churches to the future of nations. John is summoned to the throne room of heaven, and the text changes from earth’s time to heaven’s time. The third vision in the desert describes God’s triumph in the world. God is sovereign, and the earth now begins to feel it. There is judgment for the wicked and a reward for the righteous. In the third vision, Jesus receives the praise of nations. Satan is bound. God issues a final judgment, and a new heaven and new earth come to pass. In the fourth vision on a mountain, seven new things are introduced: new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem, new world order, new temple, new light, and new paradise.
The overarching purpose of Revelation is to provide an answer to this question: How is God going to make everything right? Through these visions, God’s people learn that justice will occur. The King of kings will remedy all wrongs. The second coming of Christ is real. The book of Revelation ends with clear assurances for all God’s people.
“He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon! Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” – Revelation 22:20 (NLT)
Jesus is coming soon! We must be ready, living righteously, and working for the gospel. Christ controls history. He is Lord over history. He will bring history to its proper conclusion. Jesus’ love is unchanging, ongoing, and perfect. The love that compelled Him to the cross is the same love He has for you. God’s love never diminishes, fades, or lessens over time.
Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom;
humility precedes honor.
So much is jammed into those last three words. Humility precedes honor. You cannot be honorable without also being humble. Pursuing honor apart from humility will not lead to wisdom. How can we learn to be honorable and humble? Only the fear of God will teach us.
Thursday’s Prayer through Scripture: Read Revelation 1:8. Pray through this verse by focusing on some keywords: Alpha, Omega, beginning, end, and Almighty. As you pray, how do these traits about Jesus reassure you?
Friday’s Bible Project Video: Watch this video on the first half of Revelation. What type of literature is this letter? Why is this genre important?