I recently finished reading the book of Revelations. Yep, the one in the bible. The very last book that talks about the end times. The book that I’ve avoided for most of my adult life. I’m not sure why. I’ve watched a few end of the world movies and read a couple of Left-Behind-ish type of books. Maybe I’ve just been intimidated at the thought of reading the “official” account of how the world will end.
Anyone who considers himself or herself a little wimpy when it comes to being a Christian needs to read this book! It has totally infiltrated my psyche and has me thinking about what is beyond this life on a whole new level. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
A few caveats before I get into my reflection on the Book of Revelations
- I read the Message 2.0 version of the story. I’m a simple girl. I need common language. I didn’t have the mental energy to interpret or decipher. I needed it spoon-fed. I LOVE the Message translation. I always start there when reading a bible passage.
- I also read the book on my Kindle. This was helpful because there is a built in dictionary on the Kindle so whenever there was a word or term that I didn’t understand the Kindle was right there to define it for me.
- I had the Quest Study Bible near me. If you haven’t seen the Quest Bible, it is one of the neatest study bibles I’ve seen. It’s an NIV translation, so it’s fairly easy to read. But what makes it so user-friendly is along the left and right margins are answers to common questions someone might have while reading a particular passage. So if I encountered something in Revelations that really confused me, I just popped over to the Quest version to get clarification.
Here is my reflection on the Book of Revelations
- At the end of time there will be a final battle between good and evil. There will be judgement. I don’t want there to be any confusion or ambiguity about what side I’m on. In my day to day living I’ve seriously started thinking more about how are my choices reflecting the side I identify with.
- It is hard being a Christian and it will only get harder. There are no promises in the bible about having an easy life once you decide to follow Christ. And Revelations makes it clear that there will be some serious times of testing.
- …but there are rewards. The testing that we go through here on earth is only temporary compared to the eternity that awaits. In one part of the story they talk about the special place that is awaiting everyone who has been beheaded for Christ’s sake. What an awful way to die! But what an incredible reward that has been promised to those willing to go that far.
- Some of the happenings in revelations we see in our world now. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). And “for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Will it happen tomorrow? Next week? In 10 years from now? Who knows. But I do not want to be caught unprepared.
The Book of Revelations can be a tough read. The images that John shares regarding the end times are more than a little disturbing. But it also provides us with perspective. What would be the point if all there was to it is the life and the times we live in now. There must be something waiting at the end that makes sense of all the chaos we endure now. There has to be a grand plan. Revelations answers all of those questions and more.