This coming Sunday, we are going to finish our walk through the entire Bible in 2016. It has been an amazing year. All of us, kids, teachers, and leaders learned so much about the Word of God. The Bible really is all about Jesus. Here are some of the previous lessons that we have learned:
- The treasure of the kingdom of God
- Jesus feeds the 5,000
- Fear vs. Faith
- Lord, Teach us to pray
- The Sermon on the Mount
- Jairus learns to have faith
- Great in the kingdom of heaven
- Jesus saves Zaccheus
- Christ’s Crucifixion
- The Ascension of Jesus Christ
- Jesus sends the Promised Helper
- Paul’s Mission to the Gentiles
So, the trick in covering Revelation in 45 minutes is deciding what to focus on from the book. There is so much here. Praise the Lord for this amazing book. I decided to break the book up in three parts, focusing on chapter 1, 7, and 19.
I. Chapter 1
The book of Revelation is not difficult to understand, that is, if you pay attention to details. In chapter 1 verse 1, we learn a lot about this book.
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,
There is only 1 Revelation of Jesus Christ, not many. Some people call it the book of Revelations, which is incorrect. In verse 1, chapter 1, we learn that there is only 1 Revelation of Jesus Christ. If you hear of another special revelation about Jesus, don’t believe it. God gave this Revelation to Jesus Christ so that Christ could pass it on to His bond-servants. This is a synonym for Christian/Disciple/Follower. If you call yourself a Christian then you are calling yourself a bond-servant, one who chooses to serve a Master by his own free will. If you call yourself a Christian then you are calling yourself a disciple of Jesus Christ. Jesus, when He calls us to follow Him, He calls us into the process of discipleship. Part of that process is to believe the Word of God, to accept Jesus as Lord and Master, to dedicate our lives to Him alone. Jesus took the Revelation from God and gave it to a messenger to take to the Apostle John, imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos. The Apostle John is to take this message and share it with the 7 churches of Asia Minor. Read what happens to those who hear and apply the Revelation found in this powerful book.
3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
It will bring blessing to your life if you read, understand, and apply this Revelation. The word blessing in Greek means to be satisfied, to be content. Are you struggling to be content in this life? Do you constantly find yourself unsatisfied with the way things are in the world? If that describes you, please read and understand this Revelation because it will bring you to a place of content and satisfaction. The Apostle John was blessed by it, even though he was living as a prisoner in some very harsh conditions.
The outline for the book of Revelation is found in chapter 1. Let’s take a look at it.
19 “Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.
So, the entire book of Revelation can be broken down into 3 parts.
- What John sees, Jesus Christ
- The things which are, the 7 churches
- The things that will happen after the church is gone
The order is very important. Jesus is the focus. The churches are on the earth. After the church is gone, an event called the “gathering” or you may have heard the term “rapture”, then the things which will take place will begin. We are still on number 2 in the list. The church is still on the earth. Once the church is gone, then number 3 will start. Number 3 is called the tribulation or great tribulation. It is a 7 year period when the man of lawlessness rules the world, promising peace and delivering it the first 3 and 1/2 years. At the end of 3 and 1/2 years, he will reveal himself to the world and declare himself to be God. He will attack the saints of the Most High God and will not stop until Christ returns and defeats him.
II. Chapter 7
In the first 3 chapters of Revelation, the church is mentioned constantly and as being on the earth. Then the church disappears from the earth. Again, this is the event known as the rapture. Christ returns but does not set foot on the earth for the 2nd time in human history. The dead in Christ arise and meet Him in the air. The believers who are alive at the time will receive new bodies and also meet Christ in the air. Chapter 7 of Revelation shows us where the church is until we return with Christ in chapter 19 to rule and reign with Christ on the earth for 1,000 years.
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;
10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ” Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
The church is in heaven, praising God and worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s judgment is being carried out on the earth in some disastrous ways. The church is exempt from this wrath because Christ rescues us from the wrath of God. If you accept Christ now as Lord and Savior, dedicating your life to following Him then He will rescue you from the wrath of God to come. You will be in heaven with the rest of the believers. If you reject Christ now, during that 7 year period, a large portion of the earth’s population will perish. The odds are not in your favor. Why not accept Christ now and be prepared to rule with Him later?
III. Chapter 19
The disasters of Revelation get worse and worse until chapter 19. The only thing that stops them is the return of Jesus Christ. During His first advent (coming to earth) Jesus came to offer peace with God and with man. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, a simple of peace. When Christ comes in Revelation 19, His 2nd advent when He places His feet on the earth, He is riding a different animal. Let’s find out.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.
13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.
15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
As you can see in the above text, Jesus returns as a warrior King riding on a white horse. He will defeat the man of lawlessness and set up His 1,000 year kingdom on the earth. We, the saints in heaven, come with Him and we will reign and rule with Him on the earth. If we are faithful now in the little things, He will entrust us with much during the 1,000 year reign. If we are faithless now in the little things, we may be in the kingdom but will have no ruling privilege. Are you being faithful in the little things right now? Do you realize the implications of being faithful in the little things now?
May the Lord bless us as we seek to hear, understand, and apply His message to His church! May He also help us share this message with the rest of humanity.