Thoughts on the Passage
To whom did God give this revelation?
That is an important question. Before we get started in the last section of this book—the things to come—it is important that we understand this.
First, it was given to John. He is on the island of Patmos, and he is old. It is a difficult time and place for an old man. God is telling him this—“Your time is not up yet, I still have work for you to do.” This message is first of all for John. It is to encourage him and strengthen him in his task—regardless of the challenges he faces.
Second, it is to the seven churches. Not just the messages to them individually, but this whole revelation. God wanted them to know and understand what was coming. It was a message of hope and encouragement to them.
Third, it is for the church universal. It is part of the canon of scripture. It is for the church in every generation and for us today. This is why God calls us to read it and be blessed by it.
Fourth, it is for the world—all mankind. The message of the book of Revelation is for the world to know that Jesus is coming back and that He will judge this world and its sin. Even more, it is for every person to know that the tree of life, and the river of life—and heaven itself—is open for all mankind. No one will be excluded if they acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
When we look at this book remember that all of these people are being spoken to by God. It is a personal letter to everyone of us. Let’s take it as God’s letter to us today.
Father, today as we get started on this next portion, I start by asking You to make it personal to me. It was meant to release blessing. It was written to give me encouragement today. It was meant to have meaning for John, for the churches, for us today, and for our world. So release understanding in my heart I pray. In Jesus' name. Amen.