As you know from my first post, I have deep-rooted fears and anxieties surrounding the book of Revelation. Really, it’s not the book so much as the subject matter: End times. Three days in, the more I’m reading and studying Revelation, the more I’m learning about a spectacular ending! Dare I say, I’m enjoying it and finding freedom?
Here are three things that have made this mysterious and misunderstood book not just palatable, but desirable to my soul. I’d love to know if these help you, and what you would add!
This side of the cross we have double the hope! For years Israel looked, watched and anticipated the birth of the Savior. Many believed his coming meant a tangible ruler here on earth to put an end to the audacious and cruel rulers of the time (for some serious perspective brush-up on ancient history and teach your kids by listening to Story of the World). God is SO MUCH BETTER THAN THAT. God constantly exceeds our expectations because HE KNOWS WHAT WE REALLY NEED.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOEVER believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 NKJ
Jesus’ words go deeper and reach farther than the Jews ever anticipated as they wrap around the world extending well beyond many disappointed Jews. The king they expected to arrive and rescue didn’t do what they expected, and because Jesus didn’t conquer the enemy once and for all, you and I live with the hope of salvation AND His coming return. Like the ancient wise men, we get to look for His coming!
Follow the stars! Awaiting their Savior
“ …wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” Matthew 2:1-2.
For generations, wise men had studied and looked for the signs of the Savior’s birth. (I seriously picture the last guard of the cups in Indiana Jones The Final Crusade when I think of these wise men.) I’ve hidden myself from studying prophecy like these wise men because I couldn’t see past the impending doom that seems completely plausible when I listen to five minutes of world news. My hope stopped at Christ’s empty tomb. Fear of the beast, Armageddon, 666, and the killing of Christians have held me tight. BUT WE HAVE HOPE!
Spoiler alert Satan doesn’t want you to know! Fear is the sole reason I’ve avoided Revelation. Satan, the ultimate terrorist, has done a great job helping me live in that fear. But guess what, he loses! End of the story, he is toast! What kind of power can something condemned, something dying hold over us? Take a moment and contrast that with our living Savior!
Do you think Satan wants Christians to embrace this wholeheartedly? When we live daily in light of the cross and coming return of Christ our lives will look different. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 13:5 have me reflecting on the state of my heart.
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified”
Are we living out the hope of our salvation in our family relationships? In the way we drive? In the way we wait in lines? In our responses towards our children’s sin?
For those of you still wrapped in fear Jesus consistently reminds followers
“Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
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