Thursday, August 9, 2012

Revelation Panel: The Importance of Reading Revelation - Part 1

Watch MP3 PDF

Over the next few weeks we are going to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. You will find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.

The first is related to the fact that most Christians have never even read the book of Revelation. So the question for our experts is this:

#1. Why is it important to read the book of Revelation?

August Rosado, Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries
The book of Revelation is our blessed hope. That's found in Titus 2:13 where Paul says, "We are to be looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." God did not give us the book of Revelation to intimidate us or to scare us, but to show us that there is a blessed hope at the end of that book, and that's the coming of Jesus Christ back to this earth. There's a blessing for reading the book of Revelation told to us in Revelation 1:3, "Blessed is he who readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things that are written therein for the time is at hand." If John can say the time was at hand 2,000 years ago, then how close can it be 2,000 years later? So, Christians should not be intimidated when studying or reading the book of Revelation. It's our blessed hope.

Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries
I want to give four reasons right out of the Bible, and these are reasons that God gave. I will read from the book of 2 Peter 1:19-21, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Four reasons are right there.

Firstly, Peter says prophecy is sure. It's certain. It's reliable. It's accurate.

Secondly, he says you would do well to take heed, meaning you would be wise to pay attention to prophecy. This is what God is telling people, that you would be wise to pay attention to it.

Thirdly, Peter says that prophecy is like a light. It helps people understand other passages of Scripture. It helps people understand current events.

Fourthly, he says prophecy was given by the Holy Ghost. That's why it is so accurate, because it was given by the Holy Spirit.

I would like to add a five, six, seven and eight to this. Number five would be that all Scripture, and that would include the book of Revelation, is profitable.

Then the sixth one would be that if God had not wanted us to know what was in the book of Revelation, all He had to do was to leave out the book of Revelation, but He put in the book of Revelation and that's because He wants us to know what is recorded there.

The seventh reason that I would tell people is that God promised to bless those who read, hear, and keep the words of scripture in the book of Revelation. So, if a person doesn't know what's there, they are going to miss a blessing.

The eighth and final reason that I would give is that God gave the Scriptures to the Church, and it is the Church's responsibility to interpret the Scriptures and to teach others what is in the Scriptures. Those who are not doing that are not meeting their responsibilities.

Don Perkins, According to Prophecy Ministries
I believe people should read Revelation because it's the only book in the Bible that has a promise of blessing on it for those who read it.

Another thing, Revelation is the only book in the Bible that literally gives us the close of world history. We can actually see what God has planned for man in the future from that book.

Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
The most obvious answer is because it is part of God's Word and we are not to overlook any part of God's Word.

The book of Revelation promises to the readers and the hearers and those who keep the things that are written in Revelation a special blessing from God. There is a special blessing promised for those who read and study Revelation.

Most importantly is because I think Revelation gives us some wonderful promises to look forward to. Sure, the biggest point of it is related to the Tribulation which obviously has nothing to do with the Church per say. But, beyond the Tribulation, beginning with chapter 20 Revelaton talks about the Millennial Kingdom, and beyond that we learn about the eternal ages of ages and the New Heaven and the New Earth.

What a glorious future that we have that God has promised us! The idea is that even though there are hard times to come, like a great novel, it ends and the people live happily ever after. We are going to live a happily ever after with our Lord Jesus.

Learning from Revelation has never been exhausted and you just can't exhaust the study of Revelation. There are a lot of great reasons to study it. A lot of people think it's too hard to understand, but it's not. It was written for all of God's people.

Mark Hitchcock, Faith Bible Church
People should read the book of Revelation for a lot of reasons. A very basic reason can be found in Revelation 1:3 concerning a blessing. There are seven beatitudes in the book of Revelation and the first one is, "Blessed are those, the one who reads this book, who hears what's in it and who applies it to their life, or who does it." That's why Revelation is called a blessing book. It's the only book in the Bible that has this kind of specific blessing promised there. So, if we want God's blessing, we hear that book, we read it, we understand it, and we do what it says.

The book of the Revelation is a book that tells us where this world is going. Franklin Roosevelt years ago in his first inaugural address said about this world we live, "We don't know where we are going, but we are well on our way." Now, that's kind of the way people see the world today. We don't know where we are going, but we are well on our way. The book of Revelation tells us where we are going and where this world is headed. God in the book of Genesis told us how everything started and how everything began, but the book of Revelation gives us the consummation of history. To me, it's just a great comfort for us to know where this world we live in is headed.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, more members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to answer, "Why is it important to read the book of Revelation?"

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I go to an amillennial church, and the Book of Revelation is taught quite often in youth groups, sermons, camp talks, or even Bible studies. The trouble is, every chapter prior to Cahpter 22 (concerning the New Heaven and New Earth) is interpreted symbolically or glossed over as just general descriptions of God vs Satan. As a dispensationalist this makes me cringe...

Anonymous said...

I am in the same situation,Anon. with my church.
The problem with spiritualizing Scripture is that then you can make it say what YOU think it says. It opens a whole can of worms.
Amills and post-mills usually take a dim view of dispensationalists.
And that would take up too much space here to explain.
One of today's Bible scholars told me that just because we don't agree doesn't mean that good Christian folks can't get along. And that's true, but it is so sad to see them miss the most exciting proof of the Bible, prophecy and looking forward to the Blessed Saviour coming for His people. 1Thess5:9.
Pam

Anonymous said...

I'm the first Anon poster again, I would say to cut our amillennial brothers and sisters some slack, they also do look forward to the day of redemption and the blessed Saviour coming for His people, however different in the details of the blessed Coming of Jesus as they may be from our dispensational beliefs, as they have told me. They do expect Jesus coming on a "perhaps today" basis also, but with a very different other-worldly mindset.

It is a lot better than many dispensational or broadly premillennial brothers in many semi-Pentecostal/Purpose Driven churches who don't give more than 5 minutes thought about the Second Coming, but focusing on the psychological felt-needs and/or social gospel.

Anonymous said...

I certainly agree, first Anon. I just wish they would give us some slack as well. My church is definitely looking for Jesus to return. And I am totally with you on your issue with the Purpose Driven.
I am so thankful that our God is sovreign and has everything in His control.
Amen?
Pam