I hope you’ve been able to join us as Pastor Joe has been teaching through the book of Revelation here on Sunday mornings. Recently, I read these encouraging thoughts on how helpful it is to study Revelation, from the preface to Buist Fanning’s commentary:
My grasp and appreciation of the other portions of Scripture have been amazingly enhanced by digging into Revelation. I thought I knew the Gospels and Romans and Hebrews well after teaching them in the church and in seminary classroom for over forty years, but I understand them so much more after studying Revelation. The same goes for Genesis, Samuel, Kings, the Psalms, and the prophets of the Old Testament – especially the prophets! And I don’t mean just an intellectual grasp of the Bible but deep appreciation and commitment to obey it and see others respond in the same way.
Revelation is a book that elicits a response of heart and life. In its pages one sees and this helps us read the whole Bible with a fresh intensity…
It makes sense that Revelation could bring such blessing even today. If ever the world needed a message about people from “every tribe and language and people and nation” (5:9) formed by Christ’s redeeming work into a diverse community that bears witness to God’s ways in a broken world, it is today.
People need Revelation’s message about God bringing real justice to bear against evil and real restoration of his creatures and his creation, so that human life can flourish as he intended from the beginning.
They need to see that God is almighty yet seeks direct communion with his people, that he is faithful to his age-old promises to make things right, and that the godless ideologies of our day have nothing to offer compared to the pathways he has for us as humans.
They need to understand God’s desire for his people to engage faithfully with the world around them even now instead of yielding to assimilation, isolation or escapism.
When we grasp our real identity and what our future holds, we are better quipped and motivated to live different lives in the present.