Monday, July 18, 2016
I’m always surprised to hear congregation members say they never hear from the book of Revelation from the pulpit. This is going to be rectified on Sunday! I’m calling the sermon, ‘Reading Revelation’. Revelation is very detailed and also very confusing. So here are just a few simple guidelines… o Don’t get lost in the minute detail, stay with the general themes, chronologically - a vision of Jesus, seven letters to the churches (read them as though they were your church), worship, the seven seals, tribulation, victory, defeat of Satan and judgment, a new heaven and earth, and the final coming of Jesus. Eugene Peterson calls the themes, The Last Word on Scripture, Jesus, the Church, Worship, Evil, Prayer, Witness, Politics, Judgment, Salvation and Heaven. Read the book slowly and you will easily find these themes. o There is nothing new in Revelation. Everything you read in Revelation has been said before in the scriptures. This is why Peterson says Revelation is the Last Word…Christ, scripture, worship, prayer, witness, politics, judgment, salvation and heaven are the first constant themes in Old and New Testament. The book constantly references backward. o Whatever Revelation says is going to happen one day, (and we believe it will), has happened before throughout history, and is still happening today. Every generation sees the signs of the coming of the Christ; it is simply a case of when, rather than if. E.g. the first four seals of chapter 6 - the white horse of victory, the red horse of war, the black horse of famine and the white horse of sickness and death have been riding the waves of history since time began. Christians have always been martyred for their faith; the church is steadfast in worship, witness and prayer. When the church stands up for what it believes, it and its members, will always be in trouble. Let me say it again, get lost in the detail and you will get lost in the book. Stay with the themes, look for them happening in history and today, and you may find Revelation a comfort you did not know it could be.