Friday, July 4, 2008

This Week's Lesson

This week, we're going to begin a brand new series of lessons on the book of Revelation. For the next four weeks, we're going to look at this often-confusing, often misunderstood, book of the Bible. It should be interesting.

Let me begin though, by admitting my biases. This is not my favorite book of the Bible. I think I've been tainted on this book by all of the ways it has been mutilated and used over the years. It's been used to claim everyone from Bill Clinton to the Pope was the anti-christ. It's been used to claim that every year since 1898 would be the year of the rapture. No other book of the Bible has been used to manipulate and confuse people more than has Revelation.

But it is a beautiful book, full of sometimes confusing, but amazing imagery. As I've studied it over the last several days, I've come away with a sense of awe at the beauty and majesty and power of Jesus.

There are a lot of different ways of looking at Revelation. I would probably describe myself as a leaky dispensationalist, and an apathetic pre-millinealist. I say that because I've not studied the issue closely enough to decide with certainty exactly where I come down on those things, but people I've respected over the years have generally fallen into those categories. But I can also see some of the points of the amillinealists and the postmillinealists, in addition the covenant theologians.
For the Wikipedia definitions of what those different terms mean, you can click on the individual words.

The good news is, you don't have to have come down on any side of this discussion to enjoy and appreciate and learn from the next four weeks' lessons. They'll pretty much cover the four major points of Revelation, points that most people agree on. They are:

1. God is in control of the future.
2. Satan will be out to stop God's plan.
3. God will defeat Satan.
4. God will create a new Heaven and a new Earth.

We'll be looking at the first part Sunday, specifically looking at the 5th chapter of Revelation. That chapter holds beautiful imagery of heaven and Jesus. Take a look at it before Sunday. See you then!

And Happy Fourth of July!

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