“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.” — Revelation (a.k.a. Apocalypse) 1:3 (NASB)
Someone has said that the New Testament is so simple that you need someone to help you misunderstand it. We’ve all had plenty of help! As far as Revelation is concerned though, I doubt if many find it simple at all.
There seem to be two predominant kinds of Christians when it comes to that book. Many avoid it entirely; it is too overwhelmingly confusing. Others teach from it all the time, attempting to guide people through the spiritual implications of today’s news. Alas, they frequently contradict each other, and after the passage of time, much of their interpretation turns out to be wrong.
Fortunately, some people over the centuries have found another way to approach Revelation. It’s a great example of worship. Read it through, if you haven’t already. It’s the only book in the Bible with a special blessing just for reading it. Or read it again if you find the connection of Revelation and worship surprising.
Look at how people act toward God in the scenes that take place in heaven. Notice all the very familiar verses that have become the texts of hymns, sacred choral music, and praise choruses. Does it make you want to sing? Please do!
If I read Revelation correctly, while some really apocalyptic stuff happens on earth, the saints in heaven join all the angels in some pretty spectacular worship services.
I have gotten tired of trying to figure out whether to prefer premillennialism, postmillennialism, or amillennialism–and especially what’s supposed to happen pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation.
I guess I’m a panmillennialist: It will all pan out eventually. I just want to live in such a way that I’m among those worshiping in heaven, not the other bunch. As long as John wrote down so many hymn texts, we might as well sing them and worship God here. It will set our hearts in the right direction. It will be good practice for there.