Keys to Understanding The Revelation- Part Three
If you missed Part Two of this post, you can read it here.
4. The Church. The Church is central to God’s plans in Revelation and in history. The book is written to seven churches in Asia. Chapters two and three contain these letters. These seven churches appear to be representative of all the churches. Some of the seven, Jesus speaks very harshly with because of their sins. Others of the seven, Jesus has nothing but positive things to say. Still others, Jesus has a mixture of encouragement and rebuke.
The book of Revelation builds to a climax as the wedding between Jesus and His bride, the Church, take place in heaven in chapter nineteen. “Let us be glad and rejoice and honor him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. She is permitted to wear the finest white linen.” (Fine linen represents the good deeds done by the people of God.)” (19:7-8)
In between the letters to the Seven Churches at the beginning of Revelation and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb towards the end of Revelation, the text in the middle seems to be preparing the Church for the conflict that they will be facting on the earth. John writes to encourage them to stand firm in the midst of persecution. “Let this encourage God’s holy people to endure persecution patiently and remain firm to the end, obeying his commands and trusting in Jesus.” (Rev. 14: 12)
5. Salvation. Revelation shows the completion and fulfillment of our salvation. When Jesus returns, He is coming back to make all things new. The world that we know is broken. It is out of order. Paul said that creation is groaning, awaiting His return. When Jesus comes back, it will be to set up His Kingdom on a restored earth, a new earth.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.” (Rev. 21:1-3)
Genesis 1-2 and Revelation 21-22 are the only two accounts of perfection in the entire Bible. The first two chapters of Genesis were what the world looked like before mankind fell. The last two chapters of the Bible show what a restored creation looks like. Once again, God will make His home among His people and everthing will be working like He intended from the very beginning.
I hope this short overview encourages you to spend some time reading The Revelation!
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