The New Testament writers were tapped by God to tell the story of Jesus Christ. It is a good news story from start to finish. At the birth of Jesus Christ, the angelic message was this: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
The culmination of this good news story is the book of Revelation. Its message is one of hope and victory. Concerning Revelation, John said this, “…blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near” (Revelation 1:3).
As you read Revelation, let these four principles guide you through.
1. Revelation is about Jesus (Revelation 1:1). It is God’s final revelation about His Son. The Greek word for Revelation is apokalupsis. It is where we get our word apocalypse. It means an uncovering or unveiling. In Revelation, God lifts the curtain to reveal Jesus Christ in His glory and majesty.
2. Revelation is properly understood when read through the lens of the Gospel. Paul spelled out the Gospel very clearly in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,…” The Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Revelation, you will see the good news carried out to its full extent.
3. Revelation rests on the promises of the New Covenant. Hebrews 8:10-12 spells them out.
- Power: I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.
- Assurance: I will be their God, and they will be my people.
- Relationship: No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
- Forgiveness: For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
4. Revelation promises a blessing to those who hear and take to heart what is written in it. Read expecting that blessing.
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