The Clear Purpose of Revelation
The great historian H.G. Wells once wrote a book titled The Fate of Man. In it he asked, “Who except cranks and lunatics reads the book of Revelation?” Well, as one “crank” to another, let me say that God makes it clear in the very first verse of Revelation that this is His message to His church.
“The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass. And He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” (Revelation 1:1)
History is not just happening willy-nilly; God is in control, and He wants us to know that.
Revealing the Future
In Revelation, Jesus is showing His servants the future. The word for “servants” here is really “bondslaves,” those who are willingly the slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose lives are not their own but belong to Christ.
Have you ever bowed your knee to Jesus Christ and crowned Him King of kings and Lord of lords? If so, you have a right to understand this book. If not, you won’t understand it. The Bible, especially Revelation, is a closed book to those who have never bowed their knee to Jesus Christ.
Satan Cannot Tell the Future!
Only God knows the future. Don’t get the idea that the devil knows the future. If he did, he’d never have tried to be the devil in the first place. He thought he could exalt himself above the stars of God (Isaiah 14:13). It didn’t come to pass, nor would it ever have. He does know his time is short (Revelation 12:12). He is destined for hell. But when he gets there, he will not reign in hell. Only God reigns.
God “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11). God is in control, not up in heaven wringing His hands, saying “What am I going to do?” The Holy Trinity never meets in emergency session.
Only God can prophesy; only God knows the future.
Satan may empower fortune tellers, but neither he nor they actually know the future. For the saints of God, however, the book of Revelation is written to tell us “the things which shall be hereafter.” (v. 19)
Different Views of Revelation
There are several ways some scholars look at Revelation.
- Some see it as already fulfilled in the first century. They say all these events, including the fall of Jerusalem and persecution of Christians, took place in the first century and that we’re not looking for tribulation to come or for the millennium.
- Others believe Revelation is an outline of history, beginning in the first century and continuing to our day. People will go back and try to find various things in history and say, “This is this, and that is that.”
- Others take the book of Revelation and use it as sort of a spiritual allegory, comparing the battle of evil versus good.
But I don’t believe any of these are true. I believe the clear purpose of Revelation is exactly what it says it is: to show us things to come — the future and the consummation of the age.
The Comforting Promise of Revelation
When you are certain of your future, then you can concentrate on your present. Revelation is a blessing book; it comes with a promise.
Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written therein, for the time is at hand.” (1:3)
There is a blessing for those who read, who heed, and who speed it on its way. Many people only have a carnal curiosity about the future, but if you read the book of Revelation with “ears to hear,” you’re going to obey it and bring souls to Jesus. You’ll get your head out of the clouds of prophecy and your feet on the pavement of soul-winning! If you really believe that the end of the age may be close at hand, you’re not going to be so casual about your unsaved mother, father, brother, sister, neighbor, or person you work with.
This book has a blessing.
It will unlock the mystery of history.
It will bring sense to your suffering.
It will give you stability in chaotic times.
Have you been reading the newspapers or listening to the news? We live in incredible days. But our Lord Jesus said,
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord which is and which was and is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)
Jesus is saying, “Trust me.”He is the Almighty, and He has everything under control.