The First Chapter…
Last week our church kicked off a new series called A Summer of Revelation. We plan to spend the summer walking through the Book of Revelation and last week we dug into the first chapter. As many of you know this book is one of the most controversial books in the Bible. It is also one of the least read and most misunderstood. There have been many concepts, theories, theologies, and frames of thought (all created by man) regarding this book. Some churches and denominations have chosen to not even teach from the book because of the division over how it should be interpreted. Even those who do not believe in God have read it and thrown in their opinions (most of which fall in line with the more frequently quoted and well known book of 2nd Opinions).
The entire Bible is written by men as inspired by God, and there are books which record what occurred and record what God said to individuals. But I find all the controversy extremely interesting about a book in which Jesus Christ comes to the Apostle John and says “take a memo” and deliver it to the Church. If Jesus Christ says take a memo and deliver it to the Church then perhaps we should spend more time reading and discussing the book and less time arguing and dividing over it. The word Revelation comes from the same Greek word where we get the word “apocalypse”. A little strange since the Greek word for Revelation literally means “unveiling”. Our culture has taken a book meant to be an unveiling of God’s will and His love for us and turned it into an apocalyptic horror story. In fact, Revelation starts out by promising a blessing to those who read it and those who hear it and take it to heart.
Revelation is, in my opinion, more about Who God is and His love for us than a climax of events leading up to the end of the world. In fact, in my humble opinion (yes, mine can be found in the book of 2nd Opinions as well), Revelation is the epitome of a supernatural chick flick. It’s not a story about a guy swimming the longest river and climbing the highest mountain to get to the one he loves. It is a supernatural unveiling of how God will dry up the rivers and kick over the mountains to get to the one He loves…the Church.
If you have not read the book of Revelation I encourage you to read it as we are reading it: as if for the very first time. In addition we are asking God to use this time to reveal more of Himself to us, more about ourselves to us, and more about how we can impact the lives of others to us.