There is a time in every Believer’s journey with God that they will come to read the Book of Revelation. You know, the last book of the Bible that is all doom and gloom? Well at least that is what some people think when they hear “Revelation” and the Bible. You think end times and the rapture and the Left Behind books. It can seem pretty scary!
It was about a year into my walk of faith that I began to think about the whole end times deal and what the Book of Revelation had to say. I had not really read it yet. I mean, I had attempted to read it, but was completely confused by what I read. I had heard a few things about what Revelation said, but that was about it. I started to get little signs that God wanted me to read it though, and wanted me to understand what He had to reveal to me personally.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1:3
The good news is that God promises that anyone who reads it or hears it will be blessed. This is the only book of the Bible that you will get this kind of promise, so you know it has got to be important! So once again I tried reading Revelation and again was just lost. But it got me to thinking of end times events and how it was going to play out. There is a lot of people on the internet who have a lot to say about Jesus coming back, when it will happen, how it will happen, and what will happen to everyone who is alive at that time. That is what is really scary. When you don’t know what God wants to reveal to you personally through Revelation, you can get very distraught hearing what everyone else has to say about it.
No one really wants to think about end times – the way life as we now know it ending. We like life the way it is. We have families and jobs and houses and friends. We have routines and there is so much great to enjoy in this life. And there is nothing wrong with enjoying our lives – God gave us so many blessings and He gave them to us because He loves us and wants us to have them! As long as we do not put them ahead of Him, of course.
So as I did research on the Book of Revelation and even began a bi-monthly Bible study on it, I did get upset and worried. I also started reading the Left Behind series. Maybe it’s a great portrayal of what will really happen, maybe it’s not. Either way I just really enjoyed the series and it got me thinking a lot. But it just left me with more questions and more fears. What if Jesus was to come back this year? Or next year. A lot of people really believe that it will play out that soon. Then what about my sons? I want to watch them grow up and get married and have kids. What about the hopes and dreams I have for myself and this new life with Jesus? What about the plans my husband and I have talked about for retirement? We always dreamed of getting an RV and traveling all over.
Is it wrong for me to want to hold onto these hopes and dreams of a future in this world? Is the world really so messed up that it’s time for Jesus to come back and for God to pour His wrath out onto the earth? And if end times are coming, what does that mean for us up until that time? War, famine, plagues and worse while we wait for the return of our King? These and so many more questions swirled around in my head for months as I tried to understand Revelation and what it all meant. In hind sight I should have stayed off the internet though…
And once you start to study the Book of Revelation you realize that there is so much more prophecy in the Bible, and it all ties into Revelation. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, even Jesus Himself speaks of the last days in Matthew. It is enough to get a girl all tied up in knots and thinking of what to do with so much overwhelming information. I prayed about it often and tried not to be afraid. I knew it would do me no good to worry, but I did. A lot.
You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Revelation 2:3
It is not that I do not want Jesus to return to the earth. I would welcome Him with resounding joy and awe if that day should come while I am still here. Jesus is my Lord and King and that will never change. I have given up so many sinful ways and changed and grown to become more like Him. I have stepped out of my comfort zone to do His will and learn to love others in new ways. I have done all this willingly and lovingly for my Savior.
“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
But God does not want me to live in fear or be distracted by worrying about what may happen. He wants me to live in every moment, resting in Him, and trusting that if something should happen, He will take care of me and give me the strength I need for the moment. So I am trying to let go of the fear and look for what God wants to reveal to me through this study.
And He is revealing His truth to me slowly. I have realized that I have not given up on people. As bad as society is, with war and famine and plague (wait, isn’t that just reserved for end times?) and Biblical values falling away more and more all the time, I still have hope. That is something that is really amazing and the gift that Jesus gives. Hope. I want to work for God to help Him save many more souls and see His glory in our world. He is everywhere, brilliant and beautiful and loving, and He wants us to be open to Him, so He can work through us and partner with us to do amazing things!
I am so excited by what God has allowed me to do so far in this short time I have had with Him. I want to do as much more as I can, as He will use me for. Without fear or reservation that the end may come. I want to see people I love and care for get saved. I want to see the people I know growing in passion and zeal for Jesus, to live their lives for Him like there is no tomorrow. Because there is no life like a life lived for Christ. It is the greatest joy I have ever had, and to be a part of His kingdom has been the most exciting part of my life! I want everyone to experience this!
Oh what I wouldn’t do for my Lord. I have not as of this moment finished my study of the Book of Revelation and I do not know what more it holds for me. As I have read it I still find great mysteries that have yet to be revealed to me. But I think that is a part of this great journey with God – to walk on a road with Him that doesn’t always make sense, that seems a little scary and mysterious, but to know that in the process you will be blessed.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8