Set 20: The Revelation

Revelation is the one of the most controversial books in the Bible. John relates a vision - or "revelation" - given to him by Jesus. The vision includes the chastisement of churches about their lack of faith, multiple forms of symbolism, prophecies about the fate of the Devil, and apocalyptic language that both confuses and concerns people. It remains popular as the basis for "fire and brimstone" fear tactics, the belief of some religious leaders that if you scare people enough about the end of the world, they will default to believing in Jesus as their savior.

We see a glimpse in Revelation of how God's story of salvation - the one we are still living in today - will result in all things being made new. While much of Revelation can intense to decipher, the end of the book is one of the most comforting passages in the Bible, not scary. We all long for and look forward to the being in Jesus' presence, in the place where there is no more pain or tears. All of His promises have been fulfilled, and we will never have to experience death or separation from God ever again.

The Big Picture series has been about God's story of salvation for His people. As you finish out this series, we pray that you see clearly how this story of salvation is for YOU.


Message from Sunday, March 10th

Author & Date: The Apostle John, who was also the writer of the Gospel of John, received the vision of the revelation while on the island of Patmos in the mid-90s AD.
Many Antichrists vs. The Antichrist: John writes in his previous letters about many "antichrists" coming. In those verses, he is referring to any teaching that is contradictory to the teachings of Christ. However, THE Antichrist is the embodiment of all evil contrary to who Christ is as Savior and Lord: the Devil.
The 144,000: Some religious groups, for example the Jehovah's Witnesses, consider this number to be a literal representation of the truly faithful Christians from 33 AD until the end of time. This can be concerning when you consider that there are over 8.6 million Jehovah's Witnesses today! However, when taken through the lens of Biblical number symbolism, this number represents all of the faithful believers in the body of Christ throughout all of time.
How Do I Study Revelation? In addition to helpful books and Bibles Studies, there are lot of books with skewed theology or non-Christian ideas written about Revelation. If your church isn't leading a Bible study about Revelation right now, trust your pastor to guide you to books that will explain the visions and symbolism while staying faithful to the Big Picture of the whole Bible!

These questions can apply to all readings individually or can be done after all readings are finished.
  1. What did you find most interesting or thought-provoking?
  2. What challenged you?
  3. What did you learn about the character of God?
  4. What does this Biblical account invite you to do, think, or believe after reading it?

God, our Father, creator of Heaven and earth, we thank You that Your plans are greater than our plans. Even when we can't see the way forward, you are with us. We know how You will work out all things for the good of those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. Fulfill Your promise to forgive us by the blood of Jesus. Give us faith to trust You all our days, and when we finally reach heaven, let us proclaim with all of the saints that Christ is Lord! Amen.

You can engage these readings and devotional times individually or as a group. If you want to send an email to Family of Christ with your thoughts and questions, you are invited to click the link below.