God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 28 - Revelation 1-5: God will Set All Things Right in the End so Endure Until Then

Today’s Reading: Revelation 1-5

The Message

English Standard Version

We've read 65 books! Only one to go which will last four days!

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Don't focus on the numbers or the visions. Focus on the message.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God's message through John to Asian churches:
Glory to Christ, eternal Priest! No one will escape His Return.
While on Patmos, Jesus compelled me to write what I saw and heard in a vision.
To persistent Ephesus: return to Me. Listen!
To libeled Smyrna: never give up. Listen!
To bold Pergamum: remove saboteurs. Listen!
To impressive Thyatira: change and receive a reward. Listen!
To dead Sardis: stop napping. Listen!
To steadfast Philadelphia: keep going. Listen!
To lukewarm Laodicea: buy from Me. Listen!
I saw the Throne-room of Heaven where every living thing praised God. The resurrected Lamb opened God's Scroll.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

The purpose of the Revelation is to tell Christians that God will set all things right in the end.

Welcome to the playground of most conspiracy theories and off-the-wall theologies known to Christianity. We cannot blame them, since the Revelation (not RevelationS—pet peeve alert) does have quite a lot of imagery which seems ripe for picking and using in whatever idea you have cooking. Yet they—and Christians in general—focus on the wrong part of the book. The Revelation is not a book of encoded messages for readers thousands of years in the future. The Revelation is a letter to Christians to let them know their current persecution will last only so long before God sets it right. John uses imagery, visions, and other circuitous routes to bypass his Roman guards. To spend time on the numbers, the images, and John's commentary divorced from the overall message misses John's purpose. They had meaning to the original audience (24 = 12 Apostles + 12 tribes of Israel, many illusions coming from the the Prophets, etc.), which we will discuss a sampling, but the meanings are meant to help them realize that Caesar is not God. He will not win in the end and God will bring him to his knees:
Riding the clouds, [Jesus] will be seen by every eye,
   those who mocked and killed him will see him,
People from all nations and all times
   will tear their clothes in lament.
   Oh, Yes. (1:7, The Message)
Governments and other individuals/groups that grow in power and (self) importance eventually rival God. The message of the Revelation stays the same for us, though we should not look for a play-by-play description of what will happen in the near future. Some of the broad patterns repeat but the specific images are not the same.

The seven churches suffered different issues and were successful at varying degrees.

We should take heart that these groups had some things right, some things wrong, and Jesus wanted them to get better. No matter how bad we think of ourselves, God can still use us if we are willing to submit to Him.

Jesus has a level of Holiness all His own.

John wept when he realized no one was pure enough to open the Seals. Yet John was wrong—there was One worthy to open the Seals—Jesus! The amazing animals which had amazing power sang praise to the weak, resurrected Lamb. Only Jesus is worthy of our honor, praise, and glory!

Remember the vision of Jesus at the Throne of Heaven.

In the next few days we will read how the enemy mimics God in order to supplant Him.

How do you need to see that God is going to set all things right in the end?

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