Every Friday I will now be posting through the book of Revelation! We’re almost done walking through this as a church, but I felt like the things we’ve walked through while studying this book would be just as beneficial to everyone out there reading this!
The book of Revelation can be scary to approach and it has definitely challenged me as a pastor to read, interpret and then communicate. When going through this, there was a conscience decision to not push certain “end times agendas” but a deep desire to simply preach the Word. As I prayed through this, I felt it was the best way to come at this, especially while preaching to College Students and Young Adults.
I try to be easy to understand and I use story to help make certain aspects of the Scripture make sense. You will notice a common thread of how I approach the passages at hand…it’s a bit systematic but sometimes that’s how I role.
Sit back on Friday’s and enjoy a journey through the book of Revelation during our “Revelation Friday Series”! Part 1 is below!
I was growing up in my Dad’s church, Revelation scared me to death. I remember as a 4 or 5 year old watching the 70’s end times movie called Thief in the Night which was a movie “scare tactic” to get non-Christians to accept Jesus or become a victim of “being left behind”, which is a song sung by Larry Norman in the film. The lyrics go: “I wished we all been ready, there’s no time to change your mind, the Son has come and you’ve been left behind” basically saying: awesome, I’m in heaven and you’ve got to deal with the crazy awfulness of hell to come, wish you’d have been ready! I remember being terrified I was going to be left behind, I prayed to Jesus 17 times on one Sunday just to ensure I’d be saved and go with God when he comes. I even was so scared one Sunday before church I was laying in a pew flicking Satan off! My dad saw this and said that by flicking Satan off, I was making him happy…so I never did it again!
FEAR is what defines the end times and more specifically the book of Revelation for most people. Many people expect a sermon series (or any type of series for that matter) on Revelation to be one big scare tactic and little else. Sadly, this misses the main thrust of the story, which truly is Redemption by King Jesus. Yes, some crazy things are mentioned and even explained in this book and to us, we want to be students and “figure it out” but Warren Wiersbe says it well when he says: “When Daniel and John received God’s revelations of the future, both fell down as dead men (Dan. 10:7–10; Rev. 1:17). They were overwhelmed! We need to approach this book as wonderers and worshipers, not as academic students”. 
We know our world is in turmoil and many of us would say that Jesus is the answer. When looking at this book, especially the intro, we need to ask How is God revealing Redemption?
In order to get a frame of reference, READ Revelation 1:1-8
The first thing we see in how God is revealing redemption is that it Starts with Jesus
I. It All Starts With Jesus (Vs. 1-3)
This is the revelation of Jesus, which God gave to him and he is now giving to John through “his angel”. Jesus while on Earth let go of his High place in heaven and took on flesh. Although he was God, he did not have the infinite knowledge he did when he was in heaven, he relied on the Holy Spirit to reveal what God was doing, so that he would only do what he saw the father doing (We see this in the book of John a lot), so here we see that once Jesus ascended back into heaven he now knows all once again and God the Father revealed the end plan to him and the Revelation is “of Jesus” meaning it’s about Him. We will soon see that Jesus first appearance was in meek humility and ended in his death and resurrection. His second coming will be as a King, not a servant!
When the Fall happened, we lost our walking side by side relationship with God. He desires this relationship to be fully restored and so he set in motion his plan to crush the serpent’s head. Jesus death on the cross was the deathblow to Satan, sin and death, yet Satan was allowed to linger here as a wounded warrior, giving people the ability to choose into the redemption and restoration or to ignore it. Revelation reveals to us that Jesus is the center of the story and he will not allow Satan to linger forever and that those who hate Jesus, those who seek to destroy the restoration God so deeply desires or are opposed to him will be distraught at seeing the Return of the King.
Through Jesus God is revealing his redemption; next we see God is in Control
II. God is in Control (vs. 4-5a)
Here God is reminding the Church that no matter what you are going through now (which at the time of John’s writing great hardships were striking the church), no matter what is revealed in the coming pages and no matter what has transpired, God is in control and He lives in triune power. The seven spirits are a reference to the Holy Spirit, which Isaiah mentioned in 11:2 and again Jesus is displayed in amazing power as “the ruler of all the kings of earth”. As just mentioned, this time for the church was very hellish indeed. John, the author himself was on the island of Patmos in utter seclusion and confinement for simply being a follower of Jesus. Other Christians, Paul, Peter and Stephen had been brutally martyred for their faith and many Christians were in constant harms way. So, if you think it is hard to believe God is in control now, think of what it was like for them! John is answering the age-old question: “If God is real and loving, why does all this bad stuff happen?” The answer goes back to the fall of man, where we chose to break relationship with God and in his divine mercy he allowed us to choose against him. Yet, when we did we rearranged the cosmos around us and that is why he sent Jesus, to begin the process of turning it back to what he originally intended it to be by redeeming it!
III. He Loves Us and Made us Priests (vs. 5-6)
Because of God’s great love and desire to see humanity redeemed, he sent Jesus to die and his death and resurrection made way for those who believe to become a Kingdom of priests, people who bring the truth of God to the world by showing them the way to Jesus. Priests brought sacrifices to the temple in offering of themselves and others. Our job is to direct, lead and gently nudge those who are far from God towards him, as the priests of old were called to do for the people of Israel. This can only be done by the Spirit of God within us and it is all for His glory and no one else’s.
IV. He is Coming! (vs. 7-8)
When we cry out that this world must change, that God must intervene if he’s real and that if he truly loved us, he’d set this world right…God has heard that and he promises that he is coming, will come and will make all things new. Jesus’s second coming is the inauguration of those new things. As we will see in this book, things will progressively get worse, but because of God’s great and deep desire to redeem, he has revealed also in this book His plan of restoration!
See you next Friday as we continue our journey together!!
 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Re 1:3). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.