Ever since John recorded his apocalyptic vision as the book of Revelation, people have been trying to figure it out. We’ve got “pre-trib,” “mid-trib,” and “post-trib” views. Some scholars believe that most of the prophesies described have already happened. Some are expecting the rapture; others expect the church to remain on earth until Jesus comes.
It seems as if every generation has its favorite interpretation. When I was in high school, Hal Lindsey was drawing parallels with current events in his book The Late, Great Planet Earth. More recently, we read the Left Behind series, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.
Head knowledge or heart knowledge? Most of us know the difference. Growing up on the west coast, I “knew” that the plains are flat—but until the year I saw them gently rolling uninterrupted to the horizon as we descended the eastern slope of the Rockies, I really had no concept of what “flat” meant. I can intellectually grasp that it hurts to lose a loved one, but until someone close to me died, it was only an academic principle.
Much of what we learn about God and His ways fits into one or the other of these categories. We study the Bible, listen attentively to sermons, discuss truths in our small groups. But until God reveals these things to us, we are merely learning about Him. We don’t really know. Continue reading
Do you love the book of Revelation—or do you avoid it whenever possible? We seem to have a love/hate relationship with John’s writings, and it’s easy to see why. He’s confusing. The book is full of scary events. It’s controversial; many of us have strong opinions about what it all means, and we often don’t agree.
I admit, I wouldn’t read Revelation except that God tells us to. It’s the only book in the Bible you get a bribe reward for reading—“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” (Rev. 1:3)
Most of the time, I don’t give the book of Revelation much thought. However, in just the last week it’s come up four times in various conversations and articles. Plus, the Holy Spirit seems to be prompting me in this direction. I just finished reading through the Gospels, and was trying to decide what to read next. I guess this is it.