The Revelation to John was written at a time when Christians were being persecuted because of their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. The writer's main concern is to give his readers hope and encouragement, and to urge them to remain faithful during times of suffering and persecution.
For the most part the book consists of several series of revelations and visions presented in symbolic language that would have been understood by Christians of that day, but would have remained a mystery to all others. As with the themes of a symphony, the themes of this book are repeated again and again in different ways through the various series of visions. Although there are differences of opinion regarding the details of interpretation of the book, the central theme is clear: through Christ the Lord, God will finally and totally defeat all his enemies, including Satan, and will reward his faithful people with the blessings of a new heaven and a new earth when this victory is complete.
Outline of Contents
Introduction 1.1–8
Opening vision and the letters to the seven churches 1.9—3.22
The scroll with seven seals 4.1—8.1
The seven trumpets 8.2—11.19
The dragon and the two beasts 12.1—13.18
Various visions 14.1—15.8
The seven bowls of God's anger 16.1–21
The destruction of Babylon, and the defeat of the beast, the false prophet, and the Devil 17.1—20.10
The final judgement 20.11–15
The new heaven, the new earth, the new Jerusalem 21.1—22.5
Conclusion 22.6–21