People are fascinated by the future. The ancients sought omens, and people today look at horoscopes and read palms. But only God knows the future.
This Book Predicts the Future (v. 3):
The book of Revelation is a book of prophecies. It predicts future events, giving more details about Jesus' return than any other book in the Bible.
It amplifies in great detail the seven-year tribulation, the Antichrist, the rapture, the second coming of Christ, and our eternal state.
Probe: Why is prophecy important for demonstrating the reliability and trustworthiness of Scripture?
This Book Promises a Blessing (v. 3):
The book of Revelation is the only book in the Bible that attaches a specific blessing to its reading and study (see Revelation 22:7).
Even with all the pain and destruction detailed in the book, joy is to be found. Why? Satan loses; God wins.
Probe: Why do you think God's people are blessed when they read, understand, and keep the book of Revelation?
The Book Portrays a Person (v. 1):
The Greek word for revelation is apocalupsis, which means an uncovering or unveiling. The revelation is not so much from Jesus as it is about Jesus:
Chapters 1-3: Jesus superintends and evaluates His church as the exalted, priestly King.
Chapters 4-5: Jesus is seen in heaven as the glorified Lamb of God and Lion of Judah.
Chapters 6-18: Jesus will be the judge of all the earth.
Chapter 19: Jesus will return as the King of Kings.
Chapter 20: Jesus will reign on earth as the bridegroom with His bride, the church.
Chapters 21-22: Jesus will illuminate the eternal state and New Jerusalem.
Probe: Using the only physical description Revelation 1 gives of Jesus (see vv. 12-16), compare and contrast Jesus' first time on earth (humbling Himself) to the second time (His millennial reign).
The Book Produces a Response (v. 17):
As Jesus is revealed in this book, one of our main responses should be worship.
As we read and heed the truths presented, we will learn to trust more in Jesus.
Probe: Every tomorrow has two handles: one of fear and one of faith. Read verses 5-6 and 17-18. How does the vision of Jesus produce faith, giving us confidence in God's plan and purposes for the future?
Connect Up: Read Jude 1:17-18 in the ESV. How can prophecy draw you closer to God? What does fulfilled prophecy tell you about God's promises and purposes in the world?
Connect In: Read 2 Timothy 3:16. How does prophecy help build and guide the body of Christ?
Connect Out: Read 1 Peter 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 14:1-3. How can prophecy help you witness to a weary world? Consider ways you can use the promises of prophecy to evangelize and explain the gospel.