Summary: This first sermon in the Book of Revelation series we'll be looking the revelation given by the Apostle John, along with the main focus of the book, Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
The Book of Revelation
“Introduction: The Unveiling”
The book of Revelation is primarily a book of prophecy. It foretells those things that are going to come in the End Times. We see vivid word pictures of what it will be like during the seven-year time frame of Tribulation with God’s wrath being poured out on planet earth along with the ultimate defeat of the Satan and the Anti-Christ. We also see heaven and the final state of humanity.
Literally what we see is that the book of Revelation ends with what began in book of Genesis.
• In Genesis the earth was created; in Revelation it will pass away.
• In Genesis the sun was to govern the day and the moon by night; in Revelation there is no need for either sun or moon.
• In Genesis we have the entrance of sin; in Revelation we have the end of sin.
• In Genesis the curse was pronounced; in Revelation the curse is removed.
• In Genesis death entered; in Revelation there is no more death.
• In Genesis we see Satan’s first rebellion; in Revelation we see Satan’s last rebellion.
• In Genesis Satan’s doom was pronounced; and in Revelation Satan’s doom is executed.
When it comes to the book of Revelation, often times we read and study it with the wrong motives. We read it to study prophecy, that is, we want read about the sensational, about the doom and gloom, the death and destruction that is foretold in the book, and then we like to match current events to what we read.
And don’t get me wrong, we’ll see these very things and we’ll look at what they mean in our current political and social economic climate. We’ll see that our world today is on a downward spiral toward natural and economic disaster.
But through it all what we’ll see is that God is ultimately in control. And so the main focus of the book is upon the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
We see this in the first five words; “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” It’s not John’s revelation; rather it’s the revelation of Jesus Christ given to John by God. Further, it’s not the book of Revelations; rather it’s the book of Revelation, that is, one revelation given by God about Jesus Christ and the End Times.
Seeing that it’s the Revelation of Jesus Christ, this means that it’s not only what’s revealed by Christ, like His letters to the seven churches in chapters two and three, but it’s also God’s revelation about Jesus Christ, which is what we’ll see in next week’s description.
And so the main focus of the book isn’t the Apostle John, nor is it the beast, the Anti-Christ, or the false prophet. Nor is the focus about all the stuff that’s going to happen during the time of Tribulation and the Millennium: rather the main focus of the book is Jesus Christ.
And so as we launch out into this powerful study, we need to be looking not so much for the sensational, but rather for the sovereign Lord, and we shouldn’t be looking exclusively at current events, but rather for our coming King of kings, and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ.
But there’s something more, and that is while a blessing is received when we read or hear the words of this prophecy, these words must be followed and obeyed. It’s not enough to read what Revelation says; we have to keep what it says.
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3 NKJV)
Prophetic doctrine is only as good as when we connect it with our every day lives, and our responsibilities as Christians. In other words it’s not how excited we get when we read and hear these things, rather it’s how we walk them out once we hear them.
This is also the only book in the Bible that contains this promise of blessing, yet it is probably the least read out of all the books of the Bible.
Read Revelation 1:1-8
The word “revelation” is the Greek word “apokalupsis” meaning “an uncovering,” or “an unveiling.” It’s an unveiling of not only what is to come, “things which must shortly take place,” but also of Jesus Christ, not only as He presently is in heaven, what we’ll look at next week, but of His coming again that’s found at the end of the book.
Also take notice that it says it’s about what is shortly to take place. The word “shortly” means that which happens quickly or suddenly. The idea isn’t that the event will occur soon, which far too many people have believed, even as far back as the early church, but rather that when it does come to pass it will happen quickly or suddenly.