Wednesday, August 27, 2014

He is Worthy--Rev. 4-5

            Think about the last time you flew.  Did you find out beforehand what sort of credentials the pilot had?  Did you find out the last time he drank alcohol, or how much sleep he got the night before?  Did you even catch his name?  Yet you trusted him with your life.   
            Sometimes it seems like our world is completely out of control, or if someone is in control, they are not to be trusted.  Thankfully, we have the book of Revelation, the last and most controversial book in the Bible, and the only one that promises a blessing on anyone who reads it (Rev. 1:3).  I hope you’re taking the time to read slowly through this book during the week as I preach about it for the next several Sundays.  But keep in mind, this book wasn’t written so that we could watch the daily news and say, “Aha!  It’s exactly as God foretold.”  It was written first of all to a specific group of Christians who lived two thousand years ago in what is today Turkey. God wanted them to be ready for the times ahead, and for the day they would stand face to face with Him.  He wanted them to be aware that there is another world, a far more lasting world, beyond what we can see with our eyes. And He wanted them to be encouraged, that although things may seem dark now, there is a plan unfolding that we are privileged to be a part of.   
            As you probably know, there are some bizarre images in Revelation.  Bible scholars universally agree that God did not intend for us to take these literally.  It helps to be familiar with the rest of the Bible, because John will often use symbols that remind us of other Scriptural images, and that helps us understand what He was trying to say.  The people John was writing to knew the Scriptures, so some of these symbols would have been as familiar to them as common figures of speech are to us today.  So in order to understand, we need to put ourselves into the world of those first readers.  We’ll encounter several of these symbolic images in Revelation 4-5, the two chapters I’ll cover this Sunday.  I hope you'll be there, as we who is really in control of our world.  I promise you'll leave with a greater sense of reassurance. 

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