top of page

How Studying Revelation Changed the Way I Saw Jesus & Eternity (what I learned)




Revelation.


Ah.


Anyone else just get a tad bit nervous when they hear someone talking about Revelation? Just me? Okayyy!


I genuinely don't remember the last time I went fully through the book of Revelation. I know I did a Bible in a year plan a few years ago, but that was probably about 4 years ago, maybe, and all I did was read the chapters - no notes or deep dive. Revelation and Isaiah are probably two of the scariest books in the Bible for me because it's so abstract and can be quite overwhelming. Isaiah is mainly comprised of prophecies, and there are a ton of metaphors and references that take a lot of research and diving into to even partially understand what it's saying, And Revelation, oh Revelation. It talks about tribulation and the end times (so when God is going to complete His judgement and punishment on the earth, and everyone will bear the consequences of their life, aka in heaven or in hell). This is a very, very intimidating and scary topic for most people, and I was one of them.


Until one day, I decided, "You know what! I'm gonna study Revelation!"


Yup, that's me throwing caution to the wind, y'all.


I have always had a hard time understanding Revelation. There are so many creatures, and almost all of which are meant to be symbolic. I struggle wrapping my mind around how a good God could cause so much judgement and wrath and pain on this world He so tenderly loved and created.


And then, I started going through it. I started reading, chapter by chapter, of the mercy and grace and goodness of God. None of what I was reading contradicted any of the things I already knew and believed about God - it only confirmed it.


If you actually study Revelation, you'll see that God gives so many chances to all of humanity during the end times to repent and follow Him. Like so many. Thousands and thousands of people are saved, and actually get to spend eternity worshipping Jesus, because our God is a God of many chances. So the people that have to endure the eternal punishment? They had so many opportunities to turn their entire course of eternity around.


God is so gracious, y'all, but He is also righteous. He's perfect, holy, and mighty. And heaven wouldn't be heaven if it was filled with people who still were not committed to Jesus. As hard as it is for us to wrap our mind around this judgement and punishment for those who haven't decided to follow Jesus with their whole heart (because our world teaches inclusion, follow your heart, and "everyone has their own truth!"), God wouldn't be God if He let all the sin slide. Right? He'd just be some big ol teddy bear up in the sky who said, "whatever! Do whatever you want! With no consequences!" That's not how it works.


For God to be God, He has to hold us accountable for our actions. That's not an easy truth for us to wrap our minds around and understand (but again, God wouldn't be the infinite God He is if we could fully comprehend all of His character), but it's the truth. All we can do is trust that when the time comes, He will judge fairly and perfectly. We can only have faith that He has a perfect plan, and it will all come together for our good and His glory.


I used to be terrified of this judgement in the end times. I feared having all of my sins and mistakes exposed, and always doubted if I really would be welcomed into eternity with Jesus.


And then I read Revelation, and I began to understand that during those end times, all of God's people would be protected. I learned that those who faithfully served Jesus during their life would be hidden and sheltered, away from the plagues and disaster on the earth. This doesn't mean all Christians, no, because the Lord judges by our heart, not our church attendance, but it does mean that as long as I am genuinely walking with Jesus, I am safe and secure for all of eternity.


Also, as I continued through Revelation, and I didn't have extreme anxiety about what is to come, I realized that I want other people to experience that peace too. I want my friends to have a heart set on Jesus, so that one day, we can celebrate in heaven together. I want my classmates and teachers to accept and surrender to the love of Christ, so that I can see them enjoying the joy of the Lord for all of eternity. I want the strangers on the street and the waitress taking my order to fully and truly walk alongside Jesus, so that they too may see the glory of God face-to-face. I want us all to be secure in the truth that as we love Jesus and follow Him with our whole heart and to the best of our abilities, we are protected from the judgement and disaster of the end times.


It's a typical Christian response to say that thinking about the very real reality of eternity moves them to want to share the Gospel more. It's considered the "right" answer, but as I'm sitting here, genuinely reflecting on if my people and community are going to get to see Jesus with me and experience the joy of heaven, and the alternative of that, then what else am I supposed to do? Sit back and not tell them about Jesus? Avoid talking about mortality because it's awkward or scary? I don't think so.


There's three things I want you to get out of this post today.

  1. Our God never changes. Revelation does not contradict anything we know about God; His grace remains unexplainable and wide. It also reminds us, however, about the holiness and perfection of the God we serve - which sometimes can be lost in our culture today, as we push the "God loves you no matter what!" message.

  2. It's okay to not fully understand heaven, hell, or God's judgement. We were never meant to fully comprehend it anyways. But, don't stop learning, praying, or talking about it. Keep walking with the Lord and your community, and continue to explore these topics. And as long as you are truly following Jesus with everything you are, you are safe in His arms for all of eternity.

  3. Don't keep this to yourself. This joy, this peace, this freedom that comes with knowing that you are going to spend all of eternity praising the Lord and living in paradise - don't keep it to yourself. Yeah, it may be uncomfortable and difficult, but live your life in a way that reflects what Jesus has given you, and be intentional about initiating conversations about this hope you have.

 

Revelation can be a difficult book of the Bible to study - but it's not impossible. In fact, you may just realize that as you dive in, you get to know the depth of God's character in a new way, and grow in your faith that God really is so gracious, and that He is worthy of our trust and commitment, even if we don't fully understand. I know that I was amazed at how much I grew and changed after Revelation, and I want you to experience that same thing too.


Have you ever been amazed at how God can teach you about His character in unexpected ways, particularly through challenging topics? What books of the Bible intimidate you, and why? Are there any resources or tips you want to see from the blog that can help you tackle those difficult books of the Bible?


0 comments

Comments


Run the Race (2).png
photo-1590586767908-20d6d1b6db58 (1).jpeg
IMG_0913.jpg

  Run the Race    

8ff6680ab72eb05c374d48c9044d7963 (1).jpg
bottom of page