Tuesday, January 9, 2007

A Challenge for 2007

As we enter 2007, I'd like to challenge you to begin the year by reading through the Book of Revelation. Why? Underlying all the amazing imagery of the book, you will uncover a clearer, and more exalted, picture of who Jesus is. The opening words of the book set the tone for the rest of the prophecy ...

REVELATION 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ…

Revelation, at its core, is not about a code to decipher, but a Person to discover. Essentially, through these amazing chapters, God wants to unveil His Son. As we enter into a new year, I can think of nothing more important for me and you than a clearer understanding of who Jesus is, especially when present circumstances blur our view.

The disciple, John, received God's disclosing vision of Jesus at a time when he greatly needed it. He was suffering persecution and exiled to a desolate island (see Revelation 1:9). Sometimes our circumstances can veil our picture of Jesus. When we are going through tough times, Jesus can seem distant, weak, out of control, and from another time and place. How John must have needed a fresh vision of Jesus! Exalted Jesus! Powerful Jesus! Victorious Jesus! Jesus still in charge!

How we need that, too! When circumstances blur our vision, when world events appear to be getting more violent and out of control every day, Revelation can orient us to the future. It can tell us where human history is headed. Why not join me in a commitment to begin this year by reading through the Book of Revelation in order to gain new insight into the glory of Jesus Christ?


Anonymous said...

I am definitely looking forward to your series. A couple of things which stood out from your first message..."but a Person to discover" and "God wants to unveil His Son". I really like this. Just like the rest of scripture, God wants us to 'know his Son'.

If we understand the Old Testament, Revelation is not that difficult...which is why I believe it begins with "The Revelation (unveiling). God is going to lift the veil to show the 7 churches what is in the future.

A couple of quick questions/comments.
1. What do we do with the timetables given in the book. How do they relate to the first century Christians which John is writing to. (The seven Churches)
"to show his servants what must soon take place" 1:1
"because the time is near" 1:3
"The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place."22:6
"Behold, I am coming soon! 22:7,12
""Yes, I am coming soon."22:20
""Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near." 22:10

2. In the sermon you made the comment "the seven churches, which is us". Do you feel that the church today is the seven churches?

Doug, I love your preaching, and feel priviliged to be under your teaching.

Doug Kyle said...

Thanks for your encouraging comments. Regarding your questions:

1. The Bible consistently teaches that the Second Coming of Jesus is soon. It is my view that this means that His return is imminent, sudden, and certain. The Bible teaches that the New Testament inaugurated the "last days" and so every generation of New Testament believers (starting with those John addressed) needs to be prepared for His return. The next great event in redemptive history is Jesus' Second Coming.

2. I will talk about this a little bit tomorrow (Sunday Jan 14). I think Jesus through John originally addressed 7 actual churches. I also feel that their various conditions are typical of what the church in every generation deals with (today's churches as well). It is interesting that these seven letters were to be read in every church and the fact that it made it into the Bible makes me think it is for every church too. In fact, the letters seem to be addressed to anyone who fits this criterion: "He who has an ear."

God's best to you,