THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST
“The book of The Revelation is the ultimate action thriller. Anyone who loves books filled with adventure and excitement will certainly love this book. The Revelation contains drama, suspense, mystery, passion and horror. It speaks of unprecedented economic collapse, and of the ultimate war of human history. It describes natural disasters rivaled in intensity only by the worldwide Flood of Noah’s day, as God will pour out His wrath on the sin-cursed earth. It speaks of the political intrigues that will lead to the ascendancy of the most evil and powerful dictator the world has ever known. Finally, and most terrifying of all, it describes the final judgment and the sentencing of all rebels, angelic and human, to eternal torment in hell. The book of The Revelation is thus a book of astonishing drama, horror, and pathos. Yet, amazingly, it is also a book of hope and joy with a happy ending, as sin, sorrow and death are forever banished.” – Dr. John McArthur
Most scholars put the time of writing of The Revelation at 95 A.D., during the reign of Domitian. At that time, John was living in exile on the island of Patmos, off the Italian coast in the Mediterranean Sea. John – John the Apostle – John the Revelator identifies himself in four different places in The Revelation: 1:1; 1:4; 1:9; and 22:8. The Apostle John, writes of things about which he is told, and writes of things he sees. He is an eyewitness to many of the things we will read.
In my studies of The Revelation, I have come to the several conclusions. First, a complete study of the Book of The Revelation may be impossible for a single person to accomplish. It would, at least, be the work of a lifetime, and I’ve only worked on this study for a little over 21 years.
Second, I believe we will never understand everything we read, but we will understand more than we thought we might. And I am convinced that God will show each of us what we need to learn… IF we are faithful to commit ourselves to the study.
The key verses in The Revelation are 1:3 and 1:19. 1:3 says, “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Those are blessings we will receive during this sermon series, because of our investigation into the Word of God.
Each of us, all of you and I, will be blessed by reading God’s Word contained in The Revelation, as I read it to you and as each of us takes it to heart. All of God’s Word is that way, it doesn’t do a thing for us until we drink it in as His Living Water, and take it to heart.
Revelation 1:19 breaks down the entire book into 3 sections. “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.” John is given instructions to write down what has happened, write down what is currently going on, and what is in the future. This verse refers to what he had seen in Chapter 1; what is current, Chapters 2 and 3; and what will happen in the future, Chapters 4-22. The currently going on section applied to John’s present time and our time now. It applies to what is known as the “Church age.”
In addition to these two key verses there are seven distinct blessings that are written for the readers of this Book. You will find them in verses: 1:3, 14:13, 16:15, 19:9, 20:6, and 22:14.
Two important aspects of The Revelation that most people miss are the blessings, as stated above, and the number of “second chances” everyone on earth is given to come to Salvation through God the Father’s Son, Jesus Christ.
Over and over again, God reaches out to those left on earth to offer them an opportunity to come to Him. Truly, no one will be able to say they didn’t know or have a chance to respond to God’s call. God does not want anyone to be lost. He wants all people to receive Salvation through the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) Simply put, the Revelation reveals the true identity of Jesus and God’s plan for the world.
Everyone wants to know the future, but too many consult the wrong sources. Tarot cards, psychic hotlines, and horoscopes are popular ways people are scammed by imposters. I say impostors because no man knows the future. (Ecclesiastes 8:7)
It will take some time for the dramas to unfold, so like any good writer, John gives his readers a preview of what will come later in the book. By so doing, he reveals the theme of the book of The Revelation: It is a book about the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. “In verses 1:7 & 8 John presents five truths about His second coming: its necessity, glory, scope, response, and certainty.”
As the letter begins, John found himself in the very presence of Jesus Christ, and Jesus introduced Himself: He placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (1:17-18) I have the thought that when we get to heaven, Jesus won’t have to introduce Himself to us. How could you ever not recognize God in Heaven? Jesus then instructs John to write one of our key verses, 1:19: “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.”
There was an urgency in John’s writing, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.” (1:1) and “because the time is near.” (1:3b) Was the time near? Is the time near? Remember, though this letter is written to be circulated to the seven churches in Asia, it is also directed toward us. Every letter, or book, in the Bible, all 66 of them, were usually written with a specific audience in mind, which includes us: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.” (Rev 1:1) John wrote as he was instructed, so words like “soon,” “at hand,” and “near” might not have been as clear as he, or we might like.
As we go through The Revelation we are going to notice things like the indescribable beauty of heaven, worshipful creatures we have never seen the likes of, and worship by all those in heaven. What John witnesses will make 3D movies and surround sound seem feeble. I believe we will not be able to contain the worship and love bubbling up within us. Our desire to worship and praise God will be continual and eternal. While in heaven we will be constantly worshiping in one form or another. But, on earth the people of earth will be going through something else entirely different.
In The Revelation, we are going to see descriptions of Jesus, God the Father, God’s throne, the heavenly hosts, and all of heaven itself, and in most of the descriptions we will see that John has trouble finding the vocabulary to describe what he is seeing. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that. I believe God is relating and will relate to us just what we need to know when we need to know it. I am looking forward to the surprises that will come to us when we get there. Remember, as I’ve said, we won’t understand everything we see, but we will understand what God wants us to know.
Bostwick UMC 8/8/21
 MacArthur, John, New Testament Commentary, Revelation, (Moody Press, Chicago, 1999) p2
 MacArthur, John, New Testament Commentary, Revelation, (Moody Press, Chicago, 1999) p28