Growing up with Grandparents who were in the ministry for over 50 years preaching, teaching and leading the Body of Christ, it’s hard not to pick up their spirit. After giving my life to Jesus in 2000 I lived with my grandparents for over two years, as God was putting many needed things into my life. During my time there it became clear that God, through my grandparents gave me a love for the Word of God especially the Old Testament. Reading the Bible became a way of life for me, although when I originally started I couldn’t even read a chapter on my own without my Grandma’s help. Developing a love for all 66 books of the Bible was something that consumed me. My free time, my down time and my break time was usually filled with reading the Bible.
As I grew in maturity within the body of Christ I started to discover that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ didn’t share the same passion for the Word of God and the various books of the Bible. Call me naive, but I assumed that if you were a Christian, you just loved the Bible and spent time becoming acquainted with it. But that wasn’t and still isn’t the case for many. In this process, something that totally shocked me and still shocks me today is that many people who love Jesus, are committed to the Church and serve with Him have no need for some books of the Bible. They see no benefit in reading them or becoming familiar with them. For me personally, it’s unthinkable that I would avoid any book of Bible for I believe what Paul said to Timothy in 2nd Timothy 3:16 that All scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness… It’s not that I feel I’m better than others, but it’s the reality that God gave me all 66 books, inspired by the Holy Spirit, preserved through the ages, as a proof of inspiration. They are given to help me and to help others. I want to love what God loves, and growing in Him means that I need all those books, not just some of them.
When it comes to studying The Revelation it’s common to meet Christians who don’t see any purpose in reading it. They don’t see any benefit in making sure it’s a part of their spiritual diet, as if they are empowered by God to pick and choose what they need. I figure if God didn’t want me to have it, like the lost Gospels He would have left it out, but if He wanted me to have it He would’ve included it. It’s under this frame of mind that I am writing this chapter in hopes of sharing with you ten basic and very beautiful reasons why you should study The Revelation. I hope that a few of these reasons are enough to motivate you to include the reading and study of The Revelation.
Ten Reasons Why We Study The Revelation
The first reason why we study The Revelation is because it’s the completion of the Bible. Without The Revelation the Bible is incomplete but with it, it’s finished or complete. One of my favorite things about The Revelation, besides the unveiling of Jesus, is that it helps me right now in the present more than any other book of the Bible. It lets me know that all things are eventually going to come to a head and that one day I will really stand before Jesus and give Him an account of how I invested what He gave me. Seeing the end of the story helps me to stay focused while I’m in the middle of it, not losing sight of the end while in the comfort of the middle. It also lets us see that things will get worse, but they will end on a good note. Without The Revelation we really wouldn’t know how evil will finally be dealt with and how satan will be wiped off the globe. Could you image the Bible ending with the book of Jude? As good as it is it would be far short of complete.
Secondly,The Book of Revelation is a great defense against heresy. It’s been my personal experience dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons that they use this book in a way that Jesus didn’t intend for it to be used. But without actual understanding of The Revelation we are often swayed by cult beliefs about this book more than we are swayed concerning the truth of what it actually says, simply because we haven’t studied it. Jesus, speaking about the season of His return made it clear that the ample signs He gave are for the purpose that nobody would deceive us. In Matthew 24:4-5 Jesus said to His inquiring disciples …take heed that nobody deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying I am the Christ, and will deceive many. Jesus gives so much information including the entire Revelation for a primary purpose that these various things wouldn’t catch us off guard and that we would be prepared for them. But without studying The Revelation we are often open for an easy deception, as a little leaven actually leavens the whole lump.
The third reason why we study The Revelation is because it gives us an interpretation of History. It’s common in prophetic circles and end time gatherings to hear more about world events and what Jesus is doing through the newspaper than you do through the Bible. Don’t get me wrong, the newspaper has its place in the Kingdom of God. It’s important that as Christians we are watching the signs in the nations of the earth unfold before us, but we don’t want to base all of our experience of what Jesus is doing solely through the newspaper. It’s not only possible it’s also probable that you have been troubled by what you see in society in a way that it scares you and puts fear into your heart. A few years back in 2009 I picked up a book called The Road. When I picked it up I felt the Holy Spirit say to me Don’t read that, it’s going to damage your spirit and give you a non-biblical approach to the trouble that’s coming to the Earth. Well like any good aspiring Christian leader I chose not to listen to the Holy Spirit and read it anyway. Needless to say it was a poor choice and the Holy Spirit, once again, knew much more than I.
The book presented trouble that a father and son were working through as they traveled across a totally decimated America. Just like this book, the newspaper often approaches the subject of global trouble from a non-biblical perspective and it skews our mind and gives us a grid that’s disconnected from the heart of God and Jesus’ plan of world redemption. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Revelation 22:12 says And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me. The book of Revelation reminds us that Jesus is coming and when He does He will make right what’s happened in the past, giving us a proper interpretation of history.
Fourthly, we should study The Revelation as a ground for our hope in this age. The book of Revelation allows us to see that regardless how crazy life gets in this age; it is going according to plan. In Revelation 4, John is taken up in the Spirit to see that prior to Revelation 5-22 Jesus’ throne is seated, set and established in heaven. This means that although the earth is being totally turned upside down by the powers of darkness, Jesus is still enthroned and overseeing everything perfectly. When we see who is really leading human history we receive peace that Jesus who is the great Judge is also our Bridegroom. The One who is answering the sin issue on earth is also the One who hung and bled that He might draw them that were far from Him near Him forever. The Revelation lets us see that we are going to be okay, regardless what takes place, in life or death, Jesus is overseeing all things and this gives us an anchor of hope for our soul.
The Revelation also lets us see that the days of humanism, New Ageism and overt devil worship are numbered. Those that hate God will eventually be wiped off the planet while those who love Jesus will be firmly established on this very planet, ruling and reigning with Him forever.
Fifthly, we study The Revelation as a motive for evangelism. Though this book speaks about the end of all things and the pattern for how the end will come about, it also tells us that Jesus is still calling people to Himself. In fact Revelation 22:17 says And the Spirit and the bride say come! And let him who hears say, come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. In The Revelation the eternal states in Chapters 20-21 couldn’t be clearer. Meaning some will go to heaven and others will go to a literal hell, but in the meantime ANYONE and EVERYONE who is willing to repent can come and drink the water of life freely! Jesus isn’t separating Himself from humans, He’s inviting humans to be with Him forever, but He won’t force them, only invite them. Anybody who wants to be with Jesus can be with Him. This book empowers us to tell everyone we meet that Jesus isn’t counting men’s sins against them in this season of human history, if they will repent. All can be forgiven, regardless what it is.
Sixthly, we study The Revelation for a stimulus for worship. Often times in prayer meetings at my local Church people struggle with raising their voices to Jesus publicly with their peers and other brothers and sisters in Christ. I have often used the book of Revelation as a springboard to say there is no such thing as a quite prayer meeting in heaven. The book of Revelation is the loudest book in the Bible. It’s filled with sounds, noises, thundering, crashing waters, flying locusts, 100,000,000+ angels singing and shouting to God about His worth and dominion. Here are a few passages that speak about the worship and noise of heaven in The Revelation; Revelation 4:5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings and voices; Revelation 14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. Revelation 19:6 And I heard as it were, voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.
The Revelation should be the primary book we go to for worship; the joining of the song of Moses with the Song of the Lamb. This book is a huge stimulus for worship. Seventh reason why we study The Revelation is because it’s a cure for worldliness. The Revelation, as already mentioned in some of the previous reasons, helps us become heavenly minded and to think more about our resurrected bodies than our aging earthly bodies. It helps us think more about our heavenly home, the New Jerusalem than our temporary home here in this age.
If we will allow it, The Revelation is powerful enough to shift our thinking about how we spend our money, our time and our energy. The Revelation helps us gain a proper perspective about life in this age and what’s really important. As we do this, we start to see the sin areas that once kept us from growing in the knowledge of God, falling off as we are being empowered by the Holy Spirit to live abandoned to Jesus in this age. Hebrews 11:8-10 says that Abraham was able to look for a city who’s Builder and Maker was God. This meant that Abraham said no to living along the lines of life in this age. Instead, by faith and patience, declared by the way he lived his life that he was looking for more than compromise, complacency and comfort in this age. The Revelation helps us set our sights on the age to come, not only on this age!
The eighth reason we study The Revelation is for motivation towards Godliness. God’s plan is for us to be holy in this present evil age, and to be happy in the age which is yet to come. But all too often I am content with trying to be happy in this age with hopes that I will be holy in the age which is yet to come. This isn’t what God has planned for me. His plan is that during my time here on earth, which is my only moment to live by faith, that I would reach for holiness. And then when I am with Him in the age which is yet to come, I will be fully happy forever. The book of Revelation helps us survive present troubles, overcoming internal and external temptation because of the many rewards that Jesus offers to the overcoming Church. Did you know that there are 22 eternal rewards listed in just Revelation 2 and 3? Jesus, who knows so much more than us, knew that we would need an incentive to overcome the sinful pleasures of this age so He connected our overcoming with receiving eternal rewards. Just reading Revelation 4 alone shakes us from complacency and reminds us that God is three times holy!
The ninth reason why we study the Revelation is because it is preparation for martyrdom. This point isn’t as motivating as the others but it’s equally important. Many scholars and commentaries see this book as a manual for martyrdom. This book speaks of martyrdom not as the primary theme, but surely as a sub-theme. It’s not the central focus, but it definitely speaks about the suffering of the Church at the hands of the antichrist and an evil culture of humans that have dug in their heels against God and His Christ Jesus Himself. Matthew 24 predicted a day in which universal hatred of Christians would take place, globally, not just locally. There is coming a day, Jesus said, that all nations would hate us because of our affiliation with Him. Beloved, we don’t have a grid for understanding this darkness, trouble and ridicule. Hardship, if it isn’t present for you right now, will surely come just around the corner. But through studying The Revelation we can be prepared for that coming or present day of persecution.
And tenthly, the last and final reason for this chapter of why we study The Revelation is because it gives us understanding of Christ. Within this beautiful book our picture of Jesus becomes clearer and more complete. Without this book our picture of Jesus Christ is unclear and incomplete. David Pawson said if the Gospels present Jesus in His role as Prophet and the Epistles His role as Priest, then the Revelation clarifies His role as Bridegroom, King and Judge.
This book allows us to see a Jesus that the earth has never seen and will never see until two things take place. First, when the Church starts preaching Jesus from this book they will get an idea of what He will look like upon His return. But secondly, the entire earth will one day see this Jesus who isn’t stripped nearly naked, beaten down, bleeding and nearly dead, but they will see a Jesus dressed in white, riding not on a donkey, but on a commanding stallion! Jesus is returning with a sword coming forth from His mouth that with it He should strike the nations! This is a Jesus whom the earth has never seen, but will one day.
At the conclusion of this chapter one of the most important realities is that right now you and I must give ourselves to studying this book so that we can answer the threefold commission from Revelation 1:3 which says blessed is he who reads and those who hear the word of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it. The threefold commission is to read The Revelation, to listen to the words and then to keep it. When we start to learn it we are then taught to hear or apply the teaching to our lives. In the Bible hearing and obeying are always connected. But that’s not the end of the commissioning. The end is not that we just read it and obey it, but that we also keep it or share it with others. Growing to love this book empowers us to keep those things which are written in it because we see them first hand and that helps us as we share it with others.
Well, my prayer is that you come to love this book in the way that God intended us to love it. It’s dear to Him and so it must become dear to us!