When I was growing up, Revelation was intimidating, confusing, a little terrifying. It seems like there are plenty of people offering to help unlock the “secrets of Revelation.” Usually there are charts, timelines, and ever-changing theories of the Antichrist and the mark of the beast.
The driving questions feels like “When?” When will the world end? When is the tribulation? When will Jesus return? But Revelation wasn’t written to focus on when.
Revelation is more about a “Who” and a “How,” then it is about a “What” and “When.” In Revelation, God is asking: Who are you as a church? Who am I calling you to be? Who holds all things together, even when it feels like they’re falling about? How will we choose to live when the pressure is on and the stakes are high?
Maybe the reason we want Revelation to be a book of mysterious predictions is that: It’s easier to speculate than surrender. But that’s how the book begins: With an invitation to trust Christ when the pressure is on.
(Read Rev. 1:1-20)
Overview of the Letters to the Churches
Every letter follows a template:
A Characteristic of Jesus
An Observation of the church
A Corrective for the church
A Promise of Reward
To the angel of the church in … Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea
These are the words of the one who …
Holds seven stars
Is the First and the Last
Has a double-edged sword
Has eyes like blazing fire
Holds the seven spirits and the seven stars
Holds the key of David
Is the Amen, the faithful and true witness
I know your …
Hard work & perseverance
Afflictions & poverty
Address & tenacity
Love, Faith, service, perseverance
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