The angel has completed John’s tour of the New Jerusalem. Additionally, the prophetic revelation Jesus has brought to John is coming to a close.
Then he [the angel] said to me, “These words are faithful and true. The Lord, the God of the holy prophets, has sent His angel to show His servants what must soon take place.”
and then Jesus adds:
“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
In these statements, God’s purpose for giving the entire revelation to John is disclosed. Do you see it?
This dialogue must have had a profound effect on John, because he borrows these words to introduce the book of Revelation to his readers:
The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave Him to show His servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, whatever he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it, because the time is near.
If God takes the time to communicate something to us – it’s worth our attention.
If God repeats himself – then the topic’s importance cannot be understated!
At both ends of Revelation is the encouragement of a blessing from God to those who take hold of the words in this book. We shouldn’t let our own insecurities keep us from reading through and grabbing a hold of God’s truth found in Revelation.
Think about what we’ve seen from looking at the last two chapters – the many statements of encouragement, learning that justice prevails, learning that there is a reason for suffering, discovering the rewards from God for right-living now, seeing the beauty and grandeur of New Jerusalem, and we had a preview to our final destiny, of humanity partnering with God in eternity future…just to name a few.
If that’s what we’ve discovered in just two chapters, how many more great things await us in the first twenty chapters?
I highly encourage you to read through Revelation. I doubt anyone has ever said that to you. However, if I told you I knew of a sure-fire way for you to be blessed by God – I’m pretty sure you’d want to know what it was. If God says there’s a way to be blessed by Him…will you take Him up on it?
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it…
I suggest that you read Revelation with a pen/paper nearby…and just write down what you learn about God and who He is as you go through the passages. You don’t have to understand every symbol and every reference. However, I firmly believe you’ll understand more than you think you will. If you need to, find a mature Christian to talk through your questions. If you feel like you’re getting bogged down, just keep looking for observations that reveal who God is in the passage you’re reading.
The book of Revelation contains the things that God wants us to think about now…because the time is near.