Doom and gloom? That’s how many think of the book of Revelation. Oftentimes, Christians shy away from the study of prophecy because they believe it is too complex or irrelevant to spend time examining. But this is not true. Revelation gives us insight into things that will come to pass and helps us understand the things that are happening in our world. It gives us heavenly insight on what the future holds and changes our perspective as we go through our everyday lives. Understanding prophecy allows the Christian to live in hope regardless of the chaos that may be surrounding us in our culture today. Most of us have questions about the prophetic events found in the Bible. Prophecy can be confusing at times, but it is necessary to understanding the events that are to come. Here are a few benefits of delving into the study of Revelation:
Studying Revelation Brings Blessing
The book of Revelation is the only book in the Bible where we are told twice: “Blessed are those who read this book.” If you want to be blessed, you should read and study the book of Revelation, because the Bible promises that if you do, you will be blessed. And I surely have. I’ve learned so much about God’s sovereignty and His wonderful promise to us through the study of the Word. I know that He’s still in charge even though everything else looks like it’s going south on us.
The wonderful truth about prophecy is that it guarantees the integrity of the rest of the Bible. For instance, in the Old Testament there are over three hundred prophecies about the first coming of Christ—about his birthplace and what would happen to Him as a child. Now we have the perspective of history to go back and look at the prophecies and see where they were fulfilled just as they were promised hundreds of years before.
Now we have twice that many prophecies about the Second Coming of Christ. If He was accurate in the first coming, will He not be as accurate in the Second Coming? When you study prophecy, you get God’s blueprint of what’s going to happen in the future—and you begin to see things like the reemergence of Israel as a nation and the collection of nations in Europe. It’s like you have a heads up on what’s going on. The news is catching up with prophecy.
The Encouragement of Revelation
There are a lot of reasons to be discouraged, if you want to be discouraged. But you can’t be discouraged if you really understand prophecy. Because if you understand prophecy, you realize whatever you are experiencing right now is just for a short time and there is something better coming. As we find in the words of Jesus, “Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).
It doesn’t say look down, bend your shoulders, walk stooped over, discouraged. No, it says look up, lift up your head, because your redemption is drawing near. Paul, who after teaching us about the coming of Christ at the end of his passage, says, “Comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). With what words? That Jesus Christ is coming back.
Confidence for the Future
Everywhere I go, when people talk about the events that are happening in our world today, they say something like this: Dr. Jeremiah, where is this all going? And of course, that’s a good question, but if you know the Bible you know where it’s going. It goes to a good place. It ends with our hands up in victory. You don’t have to be afraid of the future if you know the future God has planned for you.
And God has given us this book so we can be confident about what is going to happen. The book of Revelation is a book that is filled with the mercy of God along with the judgment of God. Almost every place where you see God meting out judgment upon this earth, which is deserved, you don’t have to look very far before there is a parenthesis that shows His mercy and His grace.
Did you know that God never ever leaves Himself without a witness, no matter how dark things might be? Look at what’s happening in our world today. If we aren’t careful, we talk about all the bad things, but did you know that in the darkness of this world there are many places where the light is shining very brightly? And the darker the night the brighter the light, amen?
There Is Only One Way to Escape Eternal Hell
Only one Truth saves. Only one Gospel brings eternal life. There is only one escape from hell. We need take the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ to men, women, and children and declare His love for them. The same Gospel that worked in your grandparents’ generation; that worked in your parents’ generation, is the Gospel that is working today. It is the power of God unto salvation. It is relevant forever. It still changes lives, and that’s a message every one of us needs to share. Don’t let the Gospel be changed. Don’t let the Gospel be rendered ineffective by taking away the message of the exclusivity of Christ. C. S. Lewis once said, “Every saved person this side of heaven owes the Gospel to every unsaved person this side of hell.”
There isn’t any way for people to get to heaven except through Jesus Christ. You say, Dr. Jeremiah, are you sure about that? Absolutely certain. Jesus Christ said it this way, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.” He didn’t give us any options. He didn’t say “I am one of the ways.” That’s the message we are hearing today—there are many ways to God. No there are not many ways to God. There is one way, and He is the way. We need to be unashamedly declaring that.