I have spent the last many months pouring through the book of Revelation. Back in November I began reading a commentary on the book, and I’ve just reached Revelation 18:5. In my reading of the Bible, I’ve also reached my personal reading of the book of Revelation. As I’m reading it, there is something that I’ve found strangely lacking in all of the teaching and commentary on Revelation. You see, it isn’t difficult to Google search a sermon series, podcast, PDF, website, blog, etc devoted to expanding the book of Revelation. It is almost as easy to search Youtube and find a similar phenomenon.
In all of our words, and with all of our talk, and all of the debate, what I find missing in all of this is the same heart that the apostle John writes with. The book is full of loving adoration of the Lamb that has been slain. That the Kingdom of God oozes with this “lamb” character of meekness, willingness to die on behalf of others, tenderness, and even compassion cannot be denied. The worship that pours forth from they who are under Christ reveals such truth. The purpose given to the saints throughout the book is one of self-deference, and not self-preservation.
I listen and read a lot of opinions on the book of Revelation – even hours worth of videos and books worth of pages on simply when the book was written. In all of the debate, whether there is pre-trib rapture, post-trib pre-wrath, whether it is fulfilled in history, or whether it is fulfilled in the future, I was struck this morning in my devotional at how few words are spoken with the reality of what is being proclaimed in the book. The glory of what the angels sing in adoration unto the Lamb is astounding. Can such praise come from a heart? Obviously so, and yet these praises nonplus me.
The obvious reaction to beholding such a sight as the angels to continuously sing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come” would be of tears and prostration. Yet, overwhelming is not a satisfactory word for the praise that then issues forth from these elders: You are worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and by your will they exist and were created.
If we don’t have that disposition – if it is only verbiage and rhetoric – then are we in a place to say anything concerning the book of Revelation? How authentic could our witness possibly be if we aren’t even at all moved by such words? The stark contrast between the love of these creatures – and indeed the saints as well – and the words of the commentators is shocking to say the least. I’m somewhat appalled and unnerved at the laxity of our words concerning Revelation. This debate is not about whether our system of interpretation is correct. If that is all the book is to you, then don’t even read it until you’ve come to a place of awe for your savior. These words are precious, and suddenly I have a lot less patience for they who speak with a tone of anger about the opposing views concerning the book of Revelation.