Summary: Is this the end of the world as we know it? Will Jesus return in 2012? This series is a study in unlocking the mysteries of the Book of Revelation.
INTRO TO TOPIC: Is this the end of the world as we know it?
Discuss Y2K (2000), last year’s prediction that Jesus was coming back, and the fervor surrounding 2012. There’s a lot of confusion around this topic!
• Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matt. 24:36).
• No one knows the day or the hour of Jesus’ return, but we can recognize the season:
“1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thess. 5:1-6).
• As Christians, Jesus said that we would recognize the season of His soon coming!
REVELATION CHAPTER ONE:
IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS:
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place.
• “Revelation” = the Greek word apokalypsis = an uncovering of a truth, revealing Jesus!
• It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, not the Riddle of Jesus Christ!
• The first five words of the first verse tell us who Revelation is all about: JESUS.
o It’s not about the devil, the beast, or the antichrist.
o Like the other 65 books of the Bible, it is about Jesus!
o If you forget this, you’ll end up being a weird person. “Don’t use the barcodes…”
1b And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
• The Revelation is ‘signified’ – in other words, signs = prophetic symbols.
• Jesus gave this to an angel to give to John. John didn’t make this up while smoking weed!
3 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.
• There is a blessing to those who will read, hear and OBEY this prophecy. Read this book!
A REVELATION OF GOD:
4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace…
• v.4a: Revelation is about grace and PEACE, not wrath, gloom, despair and agony!
4b Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
• The Bible is designed to teach us something about the NATURE of God.
• v.4b: Here we see a picture of the Trinity:
o The Eternal Father, Perfect Holy Spirit (seven = perfection), and the Faithful Son.
• v.5: We also learn some things about Jesus, too:
o Jesus is the one who loved us and washed us from our sins.