Monday, December 31
Revelation 1:1 also tells us that the purpose of the book is to show future events, starting from the time when the book itself was written. Anyone familiar with Revelation will notice that the prediction of events - whether those already fulfilled (at least from our perspective today) or those events still future (again, from our perspective today) - occupies most of the book’s content.
The primary purpose of biblical prophecies is to assure us that no matter what the future brings, God is in control. Revelation does just that: it assures us that Jesus Christ is with His people throughout this world’s history and its alarming final events.
Consequently, Revelation’s prophecies have two practical purposes: to teach us how to live today and to prepare us for the future.
Read Deuteronomy 29:29. How does this text help us understand why some things are not revealed to us? According to this text, what is the purpose of the things that are revealed to us? That is, why are we told them? See also Revelation 22:7.
Revelation’s end-time prophecies are not revealed to satisfy our obsessive curiosity about the future. The book reveals only those aspects of the future important for us to know. They are disclosed to impress upon us the seriousness of what will happen so that we will realize our dependence on God and, in that dependence, obey Him.
For centuries, speculation - and even more sensationalism - has accompanied so much of the teaching regarding end-time events. Fortunes have been made by those who, predicting the immediate end, have scared people into giving money to their ministry because, well, the end was near. Each time, though, the end didn’t come, and people were left disillusioned and discouraged. As with all the good things God has given us, prophecy can be misused, and misinterpreted, as well.
Read John 14:29. What crucially important principle for the purpose of prophecy can we find here in this verse?