Our call is to be blessed so the character qualities we receive from the Spirit come from the inward love we have for our Lord and we will desire to spill them upon others around us (Psalm 1).
John begins His book by reminding his readers of whom and what Christ is, His supremacy, and His role of Redeemer and Judge. He then gives us a glimpse of end-time events. We must never forget who we are in Christ. If we do, we will quickly fall to pride and apostasy, buying lies and living in our depravity. God is beyond time and space, and beyond our comprehension other that what He has clearly revealed to us. He has a plan; let’s face Him, not our fears or our doubts or other’s misgivings. Let us swim in His living waters (Jer. 2:13; 17:13; John 4:10-11; 7:38; Rev. 7:17). God may seem to be slow, taking His time, but He does this for good reason. Life is about learning and growing, about becoming faithful, infused with His Spirit, spiritually responsible and character-driven. It is not about how we feel or what we want.
Questions to Ponder:
1. One of the main themes of Revelation is the call for us to stand firm and grow further in our faith. Does this surprise you? What did you expect to find from Revelation?
2. Why do you suppose most people see Revelation as an ominous apocalypse of chaos and catastrophe? How do you see it?
3. What is your take on the word and theme of soon? Does it mean the sudden nature of the Christian era and the unexpected return of Christ, or is it a time reference? This has been the crux of the debate for theologians since the 1840’s. How would this affect how you view Revelation?
4. Most people see Revelation as only about future events. What does it mean to you that it is actually more about how we should conduct ourselves in times of distress and the strength of faith to endure and learn from those times?
5. What needs to take place to better connect your relationship with Christ more firmly? How would this help you receive hope and encouragement?