The Book of Revelation can be a challenging read, as it’s filled with biblical symbolism and scary, sometimes wild imagery. It’s difficult to wrap our minds around the very last book of the Bible, for both the prophetic style and language used are different from other books of the Bible. Still, it’s a critical read for various reasons.
The Book of Revelation is said to have been written by the apostle John around AD 95 and addressed the seven churches in western Asia Minor, the heart of God’s church in the world at the time it was written. It’s a book of hope, mainly using prophecy and allegory to explain a vision given to him, John, while he was on the Greek island Patmos in the Aegean Sea. The central message is to offer encouragement to Christians to stand firm against persecution and compromise in anticipation of Christ’s return.
Revelation has 22 chapters, with the first three chapters introducing the book. We’re shown a vision of Jesus through John’s eyes, one clothed with a long robe and a golden sash around his chest, as detailed in Revelation 1:13. In John’s vision, Jesus’ hair was white like snow, and His eyes were like fire. His feet were like polished bronze, and His voice was a roar. Next, John offers messages to the seven churches. Many see these as messages to all churches today, and they address behaviors he condemns and appreciates.
The final chapters of Revelation, 21-22, describe the new heaven and earth, the river of life, and the New Jerusalem. The book ends with a reminder that Jesus is coming, so we must understand what’s to come so we can be prepared. Here are some key reasons why we should read the Book of Revelation.
The message is from Jesus, given by God.
Right away, we’re told in the first sentence of the Book of Revelation that this message is from “Jesus Christ” and something essential that God gave Him to show His servants the things that will happen soon. That alone is a good enough reason to read the Book of Revelation. We know Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit to the Virgin Mary and lived among us. He leads the way to the Father, and those who follow and believe in Him are promised eternal life with God in heaven. The four Gospels share details of Jesus’ life and earthly ministry, His crucifixion, and resurrection. At the beginning of the Book of Acts, we learn how Jesus ascended to heaven.
After this, the Holy Spirit came to live in His follower’s hearts, guiding them and enabling them to do His work until His return. However, there’s more. A new message was given to the apostle John, a message Jesus wanted us to have. As Jesus’ followers, we need to hear what He has to say, even if the book is complex and discusses upsetting or uncomfortable topics like hellfire and plagues. Also, what we learn about Jesus in Revelation is different, a new perspective about Him than others.
The information is essential.
If the fact that Jesus has a special message for us isn’t enough, let’s think about what Jesus called it: a revelation. The word in the original Greek here is apokalypsis, which translates to uncovering, unveiling, revelation and revelation. It’s something that was hidden but is now revealed. This is critical information that Jesus wanted us, His beloved, to hear. He felt we needed to know what was coming. To honor Him and what He foretells, we should do our best to receive His message.
An angel carried the message.
We understand that angels are divine messengers; their very name means “messenger.” They’re sent to Earth to carry necessary information and essential truths. In Luke 1, it was an angel that told Mary she would birth the Son of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. An angel also told the shepherds of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2, and an angel told the woman at Jesus’ tomb that He’d risen from the dead and commanded them to share the news in Matthew 28:6-7. The Bible has many more examples of critical moments when God sent angels to share divine messages with people. Also, in Revelation 1:19, John was commanded by an angel to write down the vision he was shown. Given all this information, it seems apparent we should pay attention and read the Book of Revelation.
The Book of Revelation blesses us.
We’re told that whoever reads the Book of Revelation is blessed, specifically in Revelation 1:3. We’re blessed when we hear it, read it, heed it, and read it aloud so others can benefit from it. “Blessedness” refers to being in the Lord’s favor, which is a wonderful and beautiful thing. At the end of the book, in Revelation 22:7, we’re further told that those who not only read the book but also keep the words of the prophecy will be blessed. God’s blessing isn’t something trivial to be taken for granted. Jesus says those who listen to this are blessed. Indeed, we should do what He asks and follow His words.
It’s trustworthy and coming soon.
When Jesus finished sharing this information in Revelation 22:6-7, He finished by telling John that these words are true and trustworthy. The Lord sent His angel to show His servants what must soon happen. A few lines later, John says Jesus advised him not to seal up the words of the prophecy in this book. This information was given as a way to help Jesus’ followers prepare so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life. Make no mistake: the material we’re given is meant to be put to good use. It can help us prepare for the end of days, the time when Jesus returns and the old world ends.
Revelation tells us in no uncertain terms that hell and heaven are real, and justice is coming. However, while all of these things are terrible, Revelation also makes it clear that we should stand firm and choose the right team: God’s team. God is all-powerful and sovereign. In Revelation 20:15, we’re told that we must choose, and if anyone’s name isn’t found written in the Book of Life, they’ll be thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation may not be an easy book, but it’s essential and worth our attention. If you haven’t read Revelation yet, think about which of these reasons resonate with you the most. Then, pray and ask God to help you understand what you read. Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for all of us. Then, He gave us another gift in the Book of Revelation, helping us to realize what’s to come so we can prepare. Let’s honor His gift with our time.