“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John.”Revelation 1:1 NASB
As we prepare to return to our survey of the book of Revelation, let’s begin by remembering Christ’s words to John, which frame the purpose for this book of prophecy:
‘Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.‘Revelation 1:19 NASB
Jesus directed John to write things that were past, present, and future, beginning with the messages to the seven churches in Asia. Each letter outlines specific commendations of excellence and warnings of failure, but concludes with a promise of rewards for overcomers. In fact, the purpose of these seven-fold messages is to overcome. Let’s review Christ’s encouragement to each church.
‘To the one who overcomes, I will grant to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God‘ (Revelation 2:7 NASB).
‘The one who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death’ (Revelation 2:11b NASB).
‘To the one who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows except the one who receives it’ (Revelation 2:17b NASB).
‘The one who overcomes, and the one who keeps My deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are shattered, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star‘ (Revelation 2:26-28 NASB).
‘The one who overcomes will be clothed the same way, in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels‘ (Revelation 3:5 NASB).
‘The one who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name‘ (Revelation 3:12 NASB).
‘The one who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat with My Father on His throne‘ (Revelation 3:21 NASB).
Notice that Jesus concludes His message to each church the same way. ‘The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
As we prepare to delve into the fourth chapter and beyond, let’s be aware that we’re entering a realm of spiritual mystery. There will be fantastic, wonderful descriptions of heaven and what it’s really like. But there will also be a description of the wrath of God poured out upon the earth, and at times it will be very dark and troubling.
Keep in mind that through it all, God is in complete control. We don’t have to fear what we read, neither do we have to understand every detail. At some point, God will send Jesus to rapture the Church out of the Great Tribulation because the wrath of God is only for the wicked (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The bottom line is to be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to escape what is coming on the earth. We can rest assured that God will protect us through it all.
Our survey will glean the surface and hopefully bring encouragement to dig deeper in a Bible study on Revelation. Why should we read this book of prophecy? The answer is here:
Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophecy and keep the things which are written in it; for the time is near.Revelation 1:3 NASB
Dear Father, thank you for blessing us as we read this great book of prophecy. Let us listen closely to Your words and be obedient to its instruction. May we be overcomers in Your kingdom. Come quickly, Lord Jesus–we anxiously look for Your return. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ by Karen Jurgens copyright © 2023 All rights reserved.