When our pastor started the series, he polled the congregation asking how many people had previously heard a sermon series on the book, fully expecting very little to affirm that they had heard such a series in the past.
Jamie and I had to smile, as though we may not have heard a specific sermon series, we have led a couple of Bible studies on the book, both in depth and very long lasting (perhaps a little too long).
Revelation is a very interesting book to read and to study. Largely because of the symbolism, but I think also because of expectations. There are certain beliefs as to what the Revelation contains that are not exactly true. For example, most of the "signs of the times" that people are looking for in order to be able to determine when Jesus will come again are not in Revelation. Those are in Daniel, in Isaiah, and in the Gospels. Revelation is very much focused on that specific period of the apocalypse (or uncovering).
It's also very revealing to discover just how much the entirety of the book is focused on Israel and the surrounding region. Put another way, it is heartening and humbling to know that America is not mentioned in the book in any way, shape, or form. Very humbling when you consider that there is no guarantee America will exist in any meaningful way when the events of the Revelation occur.
What amazed me is how much the Revelation seems both historic and prophetic. How it is very much tied to the destruction of Jerusalem, Nero, and other first century Jewish history. And how the events can also seem cyclical, repeating throughout history in some form or another. Little "a" antichrists leading to a final capital "A" Antichrist.
I am very much looking forward to continuing through this series. To seeing what new information I can learn from former study. It's the only book in the Bible with a promise regarding the reading of its words.
So, please do not let any preconceived notions or expectations prevent you from reading and studying this book. It is worth the read and research. And there are plenty of commentaries and resources available to help with any questions that you may have. Don't be afraid to ask any that you may have here. I may not know the answer, but I'll definitely help track one down.
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