What if there was something that you could pick up and read, and in it would be everything you needed to know about the past, present, and future. Do you think people would be interested? Of course they would! They would be more interested in the future than anything. I know they would be interested because people are constantly looking for an insight or an advantage in life, especially when it is about trying to understand what is coming. Here’s the thing, there is such a resource, it’s the Bible. As we begin the final book of the Bible in our yearlong series, Blogging Through The Bible, we want to understand why the Bible is so important. Revelation 1:19 says, “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”
The book of Revelation is the only book of prophecy in the New Testament. Prophecy has two functions. Prophecy does what is known as forth-telling, that is sharing the message given to the messenger. The second function is fore-telling, that is predicting what is coming in the future. This is the function that most people think of when they think about the book of Revelation. There is certainly a lot of predictions made about the end times in Revelation. However, Revelation does just as much forth-telling as it does fore-telling. How do we know this? We know it because of the first two sections of Revelation 1:19, “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are.” What does that mean? Before we get there, let’s set up the book a little. The human author of Revelation is the apostle John. He was part of Jesus’ inner circle during Jesus’ earthly ministry. John is a prisoner on the island of Patmos at the time he writes Revelation. He is there as he says for the testimony of Jesus Christ. This means that John was a political/religious prisoner. He wasn’t on some island get-a-away. He was on a prison island. While here, John is going to have a series of visions. The first one as recorded in Revelation 1 is a revelation of the resurrected, glorified Jesus Christ. In this vision, John is told to write what he has seen. This could apply to what he saw during his time with Jesus during Jesus’ earthly ministry or it could just as easily apply to what John was seeing right then. That is the easiest explanation. The second phrase of Revelation 1:19 is “the things which are.” John isn’t just to write about the future, he is to write about what is happening in the world and to the church during his time. What he writes is to be sent to the seven churches mentioned in Revelation 1. They are the seven churches that are directly addressed in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. What this means is that John isn’t just writing for our information today, he was writing to the church in his day as well. Therefore, we can understand that the Bible is relevant for today. It reveals who God is, who man is, how we can be saved, and how we are to live to please God. But there is a third section of Revelation 1:19.
Revelation 1:19 says in the end, “…and the things which will take place after this.” This is clearly pointing us towards the end. What God is going to reveal to John through a series of revelations is how God is going to attain the ultimate victory by once and for all dealing with Satan and sin, and how the church is going to experience the blessings of Jesus’ victory. Therefore, the Bible is the only book that can accurately tell us how things started, why they are the way they are today, and how it is all going to end. Other people and other books have tried to do this, and they have all failed miserably. Only Scripture has perfectly predicted what is and what will come. Before we close this, I feel I need to express something.
While the Bible answers all of the important questions of life in the past, present, and future; it will not answer every question you will ever have. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but that which He has revealed is for us and for our children forever, that we may obey the words of this Law.” There are mysteries in life that we will not understand here, and we have no promise that we will understand them at the end of life. However, God has revealed everything we need to know about Him, ourselves, how to be saved, how to live a godly life, and how this is all going to end. We as humans tend to focus and be driven by what we don’t know. However, we must trust that if we needed to know it, God would have revealed it because He is the source of all truth. Therefore, if God chooses not to reveal something, it is because in His infinite knowledge, He has judged and determined that we do not need to know it. Therefore, don’t get caught up in what you don’t know. Instead, we need to focus on applying what we do know. Because only those who know and obey are called the children of God. Scripture is sufficient for everything we need, the question is, are we reading it and applying it so that we can live for the glory of God?
By His grace and for His glory,