As of late, I have been reading in the book of Revelation. Not my favorite book of the Bible, if I were to be completely honest. There is nothing wrong with the book for it is God’s Word. The problem I have with it, is the way I saw it handled, or mishandled when I was growing up. It never set well with me as a kid for some reason when I would sit through a sermon on end times, rapture, and tribulations. I will go into my thoughts on that at another time. Nevertheless, I heard men make daring and bold predictions about the future and how things will play out based on their own personal interpretation of the book of Revelation. In hindsight, I know now why it made me cringe every time a preacher stood up to say his text would be from the book of Revelation. I knew we were about to get a distorted view of what is to come.
THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT TODAY. I just thought a little personal history would be helpful. Today, as I read through Revelation 21 for my time with God, I saw something really cool. VS. 10-14 were talking about the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven. It has 12 gates and the name of each tribe of Israel was on each gate of the Holy city. Just the sheer spectacle of seeing a city gently coming out of the sky and landing perfectly while staying intact is absolutely “mind bottling” (Sorry, Will Ferrell quote.) Vs 14 is what I saw that was so cool. See if you spot it too.
“And the wall of the city had 12 foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb”
Did you see it? Imagine John, the writer of this book, strolling around the city checking it out. He sees the gates and is in awe. Then he sees the giant foundation stones. On each of the 12 foundations stones were the name of each of Jesus’ apostles (they were first called disciples.) John would have seen Peters’ name, Matthew, Andrew, and all the others. His heart would have swelled a bit just by seeing their names on the stones of the Holy city and reminiscing about his time with those men. How do you think John reacted when he saw his own name? I would need a few minutes to collect my thoughts, hold back tears, and I might do a little happy dance (In no way is it impressive, just expressive.) John was checking out this amazing city and found his name carved into the building by the Maker. How incredible of a moment for him, WOW!
The interesting thing is that this also happened earlier in the book when John would have seen his future self sitting around the throne of God in Heaven while he was still alive on earth. I found those two snippets of this book to be a fresh reminder that I have no clue what being with Jesus forever will be like, what heaven will be like, and how all of Revelation will play out. All I do know is that eternity with Jesus in Heaven will be far beyond my imagination and expectations. It will be much better than the best thing I could conjure in my mind because Jesus will be there and it will be perfect. I also know the great tribulation will probably be worse than John could describe as he wrote it years ago. But that is for another blog.
I would recommend you give the book of Revelation another look. Come to the book with fresh eyes and don’t drag your preconceived ideology to the book, see it anew. The whole point of the book is laid out in the first sentence. Hint: the point is not to obsess about prophecies and signs. I hope this helps you discover Jesus on a whole new level.
On a side note, if you have been hurt by wonky prophetic teachings or teachers, please share that with someone. Don’t loose sight of Jesus just because someone else did. Grow from the hurt and pain while allowing Jesus to heal the wound. I would love to hear your story and I’d love to share mine with you. Please let me know how I can help.
Grace and Peace to you as you are captivated by the wonder of Jesus, the One who was, and is, and is to come.