February 1, 2019
How to Keep the Book of Revelation
By Skip Heitzig
Revelation paints a picture of Jesus as the righteous, glorious judge of all the earth (see Revelation 1:12-16; 19:11-16). Unfortunately, a lot of Christians tend to ignore this. They'll say, "Well, I prefer to picture Jesus as always smiling, patting little babies on the head, and embracing everyone." Now, Jesus was loving, merciful, and embracing, but we need to get the full picture.
One day Jesus is going to take over the earth, set up His kingdom, and rule and reign forever. This is the second coming, and it will be very different from Jesus' first coming. The first time, Jesus came as a helpless baby; the second time, He'll come as a warrior king. The first coming was "gentle Jesus, meek and mild"; the second coming will be "judge Jesus, mighty and riled."
And I believe that the blessing Revelation promises its readers is the blessing of seeing Jesus in this way: "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it" (Revelation 1:3; see also Revelation 22:7). In other words, "Happy is the one who gets the full picture of Jesus Christ as the one who will judge every form of evil and put an end to it ultimately." The clearer you see Jesus, the happier and more hopeful you'll get, because you'll understand God's ultimate plan for this world.
But there's one portion of that verse that's hard to understand: "Blessed is he who…keep[s] those things which are written in it." It's one thing to know what Revelation says about Jesus and the second coming, but how do you keep that—how do you obey it? I think it's simply by choosing to live in the light of eternity rather than the temporal world.
And I pray that you would do that—that you would live with eternity in mind and be gripped by heaven rather than gripped by this world. One day Jesus is going to come back as the righteous, glorious judge of all the earth. Are you living like it?
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Discover God's plan for real love in the real world and develop healthier relationships with Beyond the Summer of Love. Plus, find a fresh expression of love with Skip's collection of song, Scripture, and the solid love of Jesus in The Royal Road of Love CD and booklet.