The last book in the Bible has historically held a fascination for Christians as well as for those who don’t claim to be followers of Christ. The vivid imagery, the graphic depictions of destruction and judgment and the common belief that Revelation is a systematic and symbolic or literal (or both!) description of how the world will end has assured ongoing captivation with the book of Revelation.
I, however, have not shared this fascination with the book. True confession: Revelation has never been a part of my regular Bible study or even Bible reading practices. I can’t recall a single sermon that I have preached from it (although I must’ve preached at least one or two sermons from it; at least, I hope I have!) What has fascinated so many about the book has had the opposite effect on me; I’ve avoided it.
Well, no more! At the urging of several thru the years and recently, I have decided it’s time to address my evading of this important piece of Holy Scripture. Beginning Sunday, January 28, we will launch into a nine week study of the book of Revelation. This sermon series will conclude on Sunday, March 25 (Palm Sunday).
Our study of Revelation will have two parts: a Sunday morning sermon series and a Thursday evening study / discussion group. On Thursday evening, we will dig more deeply into the texts that were the basis for the previous Sunday’s sermon. To help us with that, we will use noted biblical and evangelical scholar N.T. Wright’s study guide, entitled Revelation for Everyone. You are invited and encouraged to join this group, which will meet at the church on Thursday evenings (beginning February 1) from 7:15 to 8:30 PM.
Reading and interpreting the book of Revelation faithfully is a challenge. There is no other book in the Bible like it (although there are a few chunks of Scripture that are very similar to it). To help us get off on the right foot with our study, our brother Klyne Snodgrass (who, as I am sure you know, has NOT avoided Revelation like your pastor has) will join me in a sermon that will take the form of a series of questions and answers (guess who will be asking the questions!) We’ll address some of the various ways the book has been approached and interpreted and what we need to keep in mind as we begin our study together.
So, are you ready? Are you excited? Are you scared? Whatever your reaction to an extended study in this final biblical book, my prayer is that at the end of our time together we will be more hopeful and more certain of the power of God’s final victory to overcome every challenge to and every enemy of, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So buckle up and get ready to dig in to the book that ends the Book…Revelation!