By God’s grace, I am finishing up Revelation in a couple weeks. It has been about an eight month journey. It has been more fulfilling than I ever anticipated. Just a few reflections:
- Revelation is relevant for today- not because we have finally reached the “end times” now, but because we have been in the “end times” ever since Jesus rose from the dead. And when John wrote Revelation, the time (for the book to begin to be fulfilled) was near (Rev 1.3).
- The point of this book is the victory of Christ over Satan through His resurrection- all debates about this book take a back seat to that main point.
- This book is full of symbols- the modern resistance to that betrays a desire in Christians to have every book of the bible be as easy to interpret for the 21st century reader as it was for the 1st century reader.
- You have to choose a perspective to read from- the four major perspectives on reading Revelation are the Preterist, Idealist, Futurist, and Historicist views. You can be a combination of these (as I am), but you still have to choose a way to read this book, and then interpret it through that philosophy. Otherwise, you will be inconsistent, and your interpretations just will not stand the test of literature.
- You have to be aware of your biases- at the same time, there is a fine line between interpretive perspectives and interpretive biases. You have to pray your way through this book, that the Lord would make you a humble reader, not afraid to be wrong about things you currently believe.
- Dispensationalists are Christians. But many of them are not gospel-centered. So many of them can sit through a sermon that exalts Christ and His saving work, but leave troubled that you might not think there is a future for national Israel. That is the definition of not-gospel-centered.
- Greg Beale has written the best commentary in the history of the world on Revelation.
- If this book does not make you love the gospel and desire to evangelize the lost more, nothing will!