“Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”—Revelation 2:29
I have to confess, when I found out that we were beginning a series on the Book of Revelation, I rolled my eyes. Of the sixty-six books that make up our Bible, Revelation is probably the one that most revs up others, and wearies me. I’ve seen the cable shows where the “End Times’ Scholars” break down the news of the day through the lens of the Revelation. There are over 5,000,000 videos online that attempt to explain, intuit, or otherwise decode the book. I’m guessing here, but would estimate that’s roughly nine-and-a-half-years of video content (and growing every hour). For many of the “infant” believers this dense and confusing letter from an exiled prophet writing in First Century Greek can overshadow the entire rest of the Bible.
Signs and portents aside, I think I can cut through all the noise and reveal the real “secret” of Revelation. At the other end of the Bible, in the Genesis, the Lord calls out to Abram from Ur and tells him, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you…” This is only eleven chapters after God created the whole of the universe and created an Eden in which he placed mankind with the express purpose of spending time with them. From creation to the flood to Abram to Abraham, we learn that God is steadfast and true. That He is continuously seeking us out—individually, personally—because He wants to be our God.
From the fifty-second verse of the Bible onward we see how mankind is continuously overcomplicating this very simple relationship. God is God; we are not. He loves us and wants us to feel that love so clearly that we can set aside our petty foolishness and let Him be our God. Again, and again, He offers us pathways to Him: from leaders to judges to prophets and kings culminating with a Messiah and an indwelling Spirit (God showing us His triune nature).
The Book of Revelation is just the last word on the foundational truth. The secret of Revelation is that there is no secret. He has been calling out to us since Creation and He will continue to until He makes all things new again. It’s not up to us to decode the stars and the horns and the other parts of what John saw. We need to focus instead on the God of all creation and join in John’s prayer of, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen” (Revelation 22:21)