Revelation

A NEW HOPE

This apocalyptic letter is a book of hope - you are not supposed to focus on the beast, but on the beauty, worship and power of God in this book. This is about God restoring everything back to its original intention, this is about the future of our world, our future and the incredible hope and choice that awaits us. 

Jesus is coming back, but that is just the beginning!  Read about all the great things that God has planned for those who choose to be on his team. Don’t be scared off by the imagery in this book, but jump in and experience all the hope that was intended in this beautiful, God-filled account of the future.

PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE

 
 

 

Part One

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy

R 1:3


DIVE

beauty not the beast

The book of Revelation is an incredible book and a book that most people avoid.  Why do you think that is? Think about it in your own life, if you were to read only one book in the Bible to encourage you to worship God and to lift you up, which one would you choose?  I bet you are thinking Psalms – with it’s incredible poetry, or Acts – the birthing of the Church or the Gospels with the story of Jesus’ life, or perhaps Genesis with the incredible life stories of Joseph, Abraham and the men and women of faith.  What would you say to me if I told you that now after six years of studying this incredible book, I would choose to read the book of Revelation for encouragement, hope and to understand true worship?

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DEEP DIVE

I know that most Christians believe that Revelation is a weird anomaly at the end of the Bible, a book that is one of a kind, but Revelation sits securely in a very common genre of its time. That genre is called Apocalyptic literature. Today the word “Apocalyptic” brings up every weird and wonderful image that our culture, movies and the internet provide. We have been conditioned to hear this word and hear hell, fire, damnation and the cataclysmic terror of the end of the world. But in this Deep Dive, I want to set the record straight about how common the book of Revelation would have been to its original audience, they would have understood its message from beginning to end. They knew the characters, they recognised what John was saying and they would have adhered to the warnings contained within its text.

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Part Two

now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God

r 12:10


DIVE

keep it in context, people!

If you were going to write a book and you were writing the last chapter, how would you finish it? You had journeyed through the birth of your main character and the audience had watched as his life had gone through some horrific trials, he had been in situations that he needed help and at the right time someone came to rescue him – the audience cheered, he had been in some moments where he had failed and had to walk through dark periods of abandonment – the audience cried, and now after the final redemptive plan had been outplayed and the audience is left feeling like this incredible victory is finally working out in the characters life and his final destiny was coming to pass – you kill him, hell, fire, damnation, no hope, no life, just fear, terror - a feeling of complete ‘what a waste of my time’ comes across the audience. They are in shock! Other than Stephen King or Quentin Tarantino, you wouldn’t do that. So why would you expect God to?

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DEEP DIVE

politically incorrect

Revelation is a political statement of great proportions. The Roman Empire of the 1st Century would not have taken lightly the political implications of this text. Now I am not going to get into the Eschatological debates of whether this book is to be read as Futurist, Preterist, Historicist or Spiritual. For me the book of Revelation is a diamond, the more I read it the more I am aware how multi-faceted and multi-sided it is. To limit this book to our natural order is to limit the God who gave us this Revelation. So, as we study the historical context of the book of Revelation in this Deep Dive, I am not limiting this book to the 1st Century application only but I want to present you with a greater understanding of the time in which it was written so that you can get a fresh revelation balanced in the historical context of the book.

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Part Three

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

r 22:12


DIVE

you have a choice

The last thing I want to highlight in our study of the book of Revelation is the two sides within the text. For the original audience, they would have heard the prophetic declaration as a message of hope, that even though on this earth everything is going badly, in the end, God’s final redemptive plan is on track and all things are going to work out for good! But they would have also heard the sound rebuke, the warning to those who were sitting on the fence.

God was showing them the future of the two kingdoms that they were investing in, one going onto glorious victory and one being cast into the lake of fire and in John’s amazing creative way he presents both choices and calls the reader, including us to answer one question – YOU HAVE A CHOICE - CHOOSE SIDES!

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DEEP DIVE

your eschatology must impact your ecclesiology

This is an academic way of saying “What you believe will happen in the End Times must impact how you live your life in and for the Church today?”

C S Lewis said it best “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”

N T Wright in his revolutionary text Surprised by Hope confirms it again “what you think about death, and life beyond it, is the key to thinking about everything else – and, indeed, that it provides one of the main reasons for thinking seriously about anything at all.”

I am passionate about the understanding that what you believe will happen in the end, will either motivate you for the Church today or distract you from another mission. Let me explain, if you believe that heaven and hell are real places and that there is only one way to go to one and escape the other, then your belief will be reflected in your actions in evangelism. If you believe that hell is not, in fact, real and that everyone will have a choice for Christ until all are saved, then your passion for evangelism will be impacted. Or if you believe that Jerusalem plays a key role in End Times theology you will find yourself pouring your time and money into that passion, again, if you believe that this earth will be destroyed then your passion for stewardship of the earth will be restricted.

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