Angels, Trumpets, and A Dragon, Oh My! - How Do We Understand the Book of Revelation?
After the service last Sunday I had a brief and cordial interaction with a man. He asked me the following question, “When do you believe the book of Revelation was written?” Immediately I knew where the rest of the conversation was going. There are two primary dates that different Christians and scholars believe the book of Revelation was written. It’s only a 30 year difference, and in the span of 2017 years since the birth of Christ, that may not seem like much. However, the dating of Revelation is significant, because it serves as an interpretive grid for what the book is about. What does Jesus mean when he tells John about the things “which soon must take place”? What is soon? It’s like that 1990’s, “That depends what the meaning of is, is!” The book of Revelation is a fascinating, encouraging, hope filling, and yes, a challenging book of the Bible. Devout Christians have had different views on the book since the first Century. Here is the great news and our focal point; all of church history has agreed on what matters most in the book of Revelation, which is that Jesus is returning again! His return will be literal, physical, and undeniable! A new heavens and a new earth await every follower of Jesus! Jesus has told us what to expect and how to live throughout the book of Revelation, and that’s our focus. So there may be different views on who the 144,000 are in Revelation 7, and there may be different opinions on whether the Millennium is a literal period of time, or a spiritual reign. That’s fine; we don’t have to lose the forest through the trees! Jesus is coming again! Are you eager, expectant, preparing, living, serving, loving and following Jesus like today could be the Day? That’s what matters!
I stumbled on an old article that helps us beyond Revelation to differentiate what is absolute and essential from what is acceptable variations and opinions on a range of Biblical issues. We need that discernment in our day of theological confusion. God bless you, saints of Metro! I look forward to gathering with you this Sunday. And if by chance that cabbie in St. Maarten is in Orlando this weekend, you are very welcome to join us too!