The Final Countdown . . .
Vol. 4, Intro – April 14, 2019
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all [of you]. Amen. – Revelation 22:21
Not long ago, I completed (well, as best I could) a study of the book of The Revelation. So many folks have me asked questions about what is written in the book, or have asked me to teach on the subject of The Revelation, I had to take time to really study the work intensely.
It was a long study and wound up being 378 pages – single-spaced on 8-1/2 x 11 paper. But Revelation only occupies 26 pages in my NASV study Bible (and not on as large of sheets)! And . . . I really just started the depth of study.
Have you ever started to read a book and could just not wait to get to the end, wanting to know how things turn out? Of course, you have. What you often do is sneak back to the end of the book to find the answers to your questions.
I did that with the Book of The Revelation. I was not disappointed!
We all want to know in advance, the final score – the judge’s sentence – and how our children and grandchildren will turn out on their final exams. Opinions about the future of our world vary from what people want to believe will happen, to the actual disclosure God makes available for us in His Word, the Bible. Will there be a nuclear holocaust? Mass starvation? A peaceful utopia?
God closes His book with The Revelation, His wrap-up. How should we take it in?
Preterists (it is all behind us) tell us that the predictions are already fulfilled – past history. The “presentists” (it is all happening right now) look at the Bible as just principles and some forces active today. Futurists (it is prophetic) say the battle is decided; Jesus wins! The futurists say that the concluding book of the Bible unfolds the great events yet to occur that will bring history to its consummation (“The Grand Termination”).
As I worked through the book, the guidance of M. R. DeHaan was helpful:
- Revelation is not a book encased in darkness. It is a revelation, an unveiling disclosure of that previously hidden
- It is not necessary for one to understand all the symbols and details to gain a deep knowledge of the book as a whole
- The rule of literal interpretation is appropriate to observe. We should beware of always spiritualizing the Bible. Interpret literally, except where the context indicates it is a symbol or sign
- Approach the book of Revelation with a fresh mind. That means we will need to set aside the views others have told us for years, with presuppositions, about the mysterious and confusing interpretations. The Holy Spirit is quite capable of sorting out what we need to understand. Study the book first for understanding.
- Finally, realize that the Holy Spirit, who infallibly inspired the book, is also the Person who must illuminate the Book. We must ask God for light and guidance.
The book of The Revelation is a fine finish to our divine library in the mind and heart.
I rode a train to Grand Central Station in New York City several years ago. I was impressed with how many trains came from all directions to one central point.
The great trunk lines of prophecy come in from other portions of Scripture. How blessed we are to hold the rest of Scripture in our hands. If you do not read the Bible through each year (and you should), you miss what God intends for you to have. When will you do this?
Over the next many weeks, we are going to travel the trunk lines to get some sense of what is important to know about the Final Countdown. We cannot digest all of it in a blog. However, we can gear up our appetite to learn what God is saying to the church. I trust that you will be as excited as I am about the countdown God gives us.
The time just seems to be about up. Revelation 1:3
What is God expecting of us while we remain here?