Revelation Study 1) Apokalipsis (Chapter 1.1-8) (Word doc available here)
In our study of John’s Gospel we were on a journey of discovery into the true identify of Jesus of Nazareth. John’s aim was to convince us that Jesus was the Son of God and enable us to enter a living relationship with him (John 20.31). Now, through the Spirit, John switches the focus to the battle we are entering and how we can ultimately stand victorious at the end of our journey.
1. Why was the book of Revelation written? Read verses 1-3, describe the five stages in how this message finally reaches us (i.e. from God to Jesus to…)? What does this authorship say about the importance of its message?
2. What is our perception of the book from our Christian experience so far? Are we intimidated or confused by it, if so why? How would you describe this book to someone who is new Christian?
3. Verse 3 gives us the first of seven beatitudes in the book (1.3, 14.13, 16.15, 19.9, 20.6, 22.7 & 22.14). Look up each of these verses – what are the underlying themes uniting these seven blessings? How do these verses encourage us in our spiritual journey? How do they complement the stern warnings also included in this book (22.18-19)?
4. Jim reminded us “this book is written not to obscure but to reveal”. What does God want to reveal in this book? How does its message impact how we live in, and how we interact with, an often anti-Christian society?
5. How is Jesus described in verse 5? What do each of these images reveal about his coming role in this book? What has his victory achieved for us (v5-6)? How does this encourage us to preserve in times of difficulty and be faithful under pressure?
6. Jim summed up the message of Revelation as: “God is sovereign, Christ is the key to history and that the lamb wins”. Which of these three truths do you need to hold onto tonight? Share a time in your Christian walk where you have found strength in remembering one of these truths.
7. What promise and warning does verse 7 contain? How do we balance the desire for vindication in the face of a hostile world, with the tender compassion required to reach this same world? How can we share a message of judgement compassionately? What practical steps can we take to demonstrate our love for our enemies?
“If Genesis gives us our identity, Revelation gives us our destiny”. The encouraging message for the church is, God wins! We know the final result and have seen the closing scene. We now have to live in the light of this knowledge – knowing that each sacrifice, each faithful testimony and each life laid down in service of this King will be fully and finally rewarded. On that day when we will stand and receive our crowns and become “more than conquerors though him who loved us” (Romans 8.37).