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Revelation 1 - Apocalypse Now

The apocalypse isn't something to be afraid of. Those who read, listen & keep it will be blessed.

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Revelation 1 Summary

The word 'apocalypse' is very often misused. For example, after some sort of natural disaster such as a tornado or flood, reporters often describe the scene as being apocalyptic. We associate this word with disasters because it's the first word of this final book of the Bible: Ἀποκάλυψις (Apokalypsis), which translates into English as 'a revelation.'

An apocalypse can be either good or bad, and books of the Bible that reveal future events are classified as apocalyptic books, although, as we'll see, not all of the events that are revealed in this book will happen in the future. Some have already occurred, and others are occurring right now, as Jesus mentions in v19.

We'll be interpreting the book through the lens of what's come to be known as progressive parallelism: Parallel because we'll be looking at the same series of events from seven different perspectives, and progressive because each new perspective adds progressively more detail than the previous one.

Dig Deeper

Most of the Bible's teachings are clear and straightforward. For example, the doctrines of salvation taught in Romans and Ephesians are simple enough to be understood by children, yet at the same time, the details can be described with amazing precision. Those presenting ideas that are contrary or who make misrepresentations to this orthodox theology must be called out in order to keep the church pure.

When it comes to apocalyptic books like Revelation, however, we need to loosen our grip a bit and understand that good Christian people are going to come to different conclusions and interpretations. Understanding what this book is saying is hard stuff, so unfortunately many people just give up and skip over it. Others spend all of their time and energy developing massively complex interpretations and looking for clues each night on the evening news for fulfillment of their theories.

The Book of Revelation is God's Word that has meaning and application for our lives, so you can't just skip it, but at the same time, one of the first rules of Biblical interpretation that we must stick to is that we interpret the difficult passages of scripture in light of the clear passages. As we've read the New Testament this year, we've seen over and over again that salvation comes by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, and for God's glory alone, so it's through that confidence that we'll interpret this difficult book.

AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father God, who is, who was, and who is to come (v4)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will read and hear God's Word often and keep what's written in it (v3)




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