“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.” Revelation 22:7 NLT
(These are MY answers to the study questions, not THE answers. Discussion welcome.)
3. a. Revelation 1:4-8; 22:7
- Our Lord God Jesus Christ will return to earth with (or some say riding) the clouds.
- Every eye will “observe Him with recognition and understanding.” Kenneth S. Wuest an expanded translation
- Those who mocked and killed Jesus will see Him. MSG
- All the people of the earth–not just one nation or those alive at that time–will tear their clothes in lament. MSG and Wuest
- Jesus is coming soon.
- Spiritually prosperous is each one who keeps the words of the written prophecy.
I’m concerned for those who have no relationship with the Most High God through His Son, Jesus. Seeking only pleasures of the flesh and distracted by the cares of life.
- Some deny God exists.
- Or make god in their own image.
- Or worship the intellect of man.
Matthew 24:34-37 Jesus said, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.”
My hope: I long to see my Lord Jesus’ return! What a glorious moment that will be! It will be worth it all.
Persecution will come. The saints must persevere. Themes
The prospect of persecution is scary. Videos of chilling examples appear on the news.
But, Psalm 23 comes to mind. Especially,
Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 HCSB
Paul provided an excellent example by worshiping in a dungeon.
I hope I will rejoice. So far, my response to lesser hardship leaves something (much) to be desired.
The zeal of some believers makes them willing to be killed for their faith. The zeal of God dispels fear.
While reading the text, I recalled one of my own moments of zeal.
After a particularly moving time at a church camp when I was a pre-teen, I envisioned missionaries scaling a wall surrounding that country. I told friends, “If they kill the first twenty who manage to get in, I’m willing to one of them.” Only the Spirit of God could have inspired that zeal. I truly meant it.
From an early age, I wanted to be a missionary to India. Others told me, India did not allow them. And you have to be the wife of a missionary or be a nurse. You couldn’t just go, for heaven’s sake. (Bad advice)
Martyrdom still has some appeal to me for the following reasons:
- Reign with the Messiah for a thousand years. Revelation 20:4
- Spend eternity in the company of other martyrs like–
- Steven–stoned to death. He saw heaven open. Acts 7:55-56; 59
- Isaiah, sawn in two.
- All of the disciples except John, who it’s believed died a natural death. (Judas doesn’t count as a martyr, of course.)
- John the Baptist–beheaded
- Saint Denis–beheaded — “Denis is said to have picked his head up after being decapitated, walked ten kilometres (six miles), while preaching a sermon of repentance the entire way.” Wikepedia
They were stoned [to death], they were sawn in two, they were lured with tempting offers [to renounce their faith], they were put to death by the sword; they went about wrapped in the skins of sheep and goats, utterly destitute, oppressed, cruelly treated (people of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and [living in] caves and holes in the ground. Hebrews 11:37-38 AMP
Christ defeats the beast, Satan. Themes
Thankfully, because of Jesus, believers have authority over Satan. We have access to armor that allows us to stand on firm footing, and we can resist him and he has to flee–not just wander off–“To run away, as from trouble or danger:”
Again, glory, hallelujah!
The King comes in victory to attend the marriage feast. themes
- He is faithful and true.
- He judges fairly and wages righteous war.
- His eyes are a blaze of fire.
- On His head are many crowns. (Trying to visualize that…lots of tiny ones, stacked on top of one another, or something else?)
- He wears a blood-soaked robe.
- He is called the Word of God.
- A sharp sword comes out of His mouth to strike down the nations.
- The armies of heaven follow behind.
- Inscribed on His robe is the title “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”.
Creation of New Heaven and Earth Themes
- New, holy Jerusalem
- A new, holy place for God to live among His people
- No more death
- No more crying
- No more sorrow
- No more pain
- God, Himself, will wipe away every tear!
“All these things are gone forever!” NLT
b. My most favorite part of Revelation isn’t among the topics outlined above. I love the praise and worship. themes
God created us for relationship. He desires to live with us. The saints will worship Him for all eternity.
Revelation Song – My favorite song since I first heard it at least ten years ago.
For more information about Bible Study Fellowship International (BSF) visit their website. You can search for a class near you. A study of the book of Revelation began in September 2015 in most parts of the northern hemisphere. New members are usually allowed throughout the year as space allows.
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