Revelation: A Timeless Encouragement For The People of God
Perhaps no book of the Bible impels faithfulness and gives more hope to the people of God than does the Book of Revelation. It is a divinely inspired letter that has as its' grand theme, God is in control, Christ is Victor, and those that are his will live with him for all eternity in Heaven, the eternal abode of the saved.
Many times, the Book of Revelation is cast aside as too difficult for the Christian to comprehend and as a result, the many words of exhortation and encouragement afforded us today are never contemplated and missed altogether.
Many uplifting references can be found in Revelation. Notice the following five:
1. Revelation 1:5 - "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." John, as he writes to the Christians of Asia Minor reminds them their remitted sins are the result of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, whose love for them was demonstrated in dying for their sins. Man's redemption is made only possible through Jesus' shed blood (Eph. 1:7; Mt. 26:28).
2. Revelation 2:10 - "...be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." The Lord had spoken to them about the suffering and tribulation they would have. If they would give him themselves in obedience and faithfulness, though their life might be required, he would give them a crown of life. See also 2 Timothy 4:8 and Titus 1:2.
3. Revelation 11:15 - "...the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." Though the kingdoms of men persecute the Lord's people and these first century Christians were walking through the furnace of affliction, they are assured the kingdoms of men will have their end and the kingdom of God will continue on. The Lord will be triumphant.
4. Revelation 14:13 - "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." What encouragement this must have been to these Christians! They were assured the time will come when they will rest from their labor and their works will follow them. This hope is given to those who die in the Lord. There is no hope outside Christ (1 Th. 4:13).
5. Revelation 22:17 - "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." In what is probably the sweetest Bible invitation, the life-sustaining water is extended to "whosoever will". Let us purpose to die to self that we might life with him!
- Donnie Oliver