The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:1-3
I love the way John starts the book of Revelation. He said that God gave this Revelation of Jesus Christ to him to show Christians things which will happen soon, and that an angel revealed it to him.
John was a disciple who loved Jesus very much. Many people quote the verse from John 3:16 that says, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John knew love, love motivated him, moved him to preach, teach, and serve others. He walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and was able to write lovingly of what he witnessed in the life of Jesus. We can believe what John has to say.
We are so lucky to have a glimpse of what the end of the world, and the beginning of our heavenly kingdom, will look like, When deception, wars, false Christs, and evil look like they are winning, we can look up, and know that God has the final Word. He knows what is about to happen, and shared those events with us to encourage us.
Prophecy has always interested me. Who would have thought that swords would still be used in battle, or that we would be concerned about plagues, pestilences, or famines? Those are real and valid concerns today.
What about a third of the world being destroyed, or the stars falling from heaven?
What about war on the scale of Armageddon? That is a real possibility.
Revelation talks about the four horsemen of the apocalypse. White, Red, Black, and Pale horses are introduced with their colors representing certain events.
The first horseman goes out to conquer on a white horse. Then the rider on the red horse has the power to take peace away from the earth, and men kill each other. A black horse is next, and the rider has a pair of balances in his hand. He measures wheat, barley, oil, and wine. Finally, the pale horse, and the rider’s name was Death, and Hell followed him. Power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
These horses are shown to John as Jesus opens one of the seals of God’s book.
Revelation 5:3-5: And no man in heaven, nor in earth neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon, and I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
This is just a beautiful reminder that Jesus is alive in heaven, actively preparing for the events that will bring about His eternal kingdom. And, John says it won’t be long. I am hopeful and expectantly waiting for Jesus to come soon!
Dear Lord, with the New Year, I am again reminded how close we are to Your return. I pray for people who are in need of salvation, that they will find You, and that You will send workers for this great harvest. Help us to stand firm in our faith in You. Help us, protect us, and keep us in Your care. Amen.