When you think of Revelation what comes to mind? Our answer is critical since our grasp of this prophecy is critical.
As a student then teacher, I’ve learned there are incredible blessings if we dig deep into this book (Revelation 1:3). After the first chapter’s introduction of the glorified Christ, the Lord begins letters to seven churches in Asia Minor.
My brother and blog partner, Elijah, is pouring over every word in Chapter Two. In a recent discussion, we reminded each other of the five major rules of Bible interpretation. One rule is: “Look for the near/far prophetic in Scripture”. This phrase describes the way prophecy has dual applications; one near in time and the other far (ex. the end of this age). So, when Christ told Smyrna’s believers, “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer… Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown (2:10 NIrV)” his words echo all the way down the corridors of time. As Smyrna’s faithful were encouraged, 1900 plus years later their persecuted counterparts will also be encouraged. Likewise, as the Ephesians received warning they had forsaken their first love, some reading Revelation 2:4 will experience the Spirit convicting their heart.
Consider the content of Revelation 2 and 3. Remember the entire scroll was read in each church. The letters reveal Jesus’ intimate knowledge and concern for his household. He is the True and Faithful Judge. He’s the Light as well as the Good Shepherd. In truth, he walks among his flock. He wants all people everywhere to be saved (John 12:46-50, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4).
In the next segment, we will look at the context of Revelation‘s letters. Hopefully, the meaning of our Judge’s judgments will become crystal clear.