How does this video challenge popular understandings of the Revelation of Jesus?
Name one thing that catches your attention in the conclusion of the letter.
What comes to mind as you consider that this is the conclusion of the whole Bible?
John’s apocalypse (and the whole story of the Bible) ends with a vision of the marriage of Heaven and Earth. An angel shows John a stunning bride, which symbolizes the new creation, and God announces that he will come to live together with humanity forever. This vision captures the fulfillment of Israel’s ancient prophecies for God to heal creation from the pain and evil of human history. In the restored creation, God’s expressions on earth will no longer be limited to a garden, a temple, a person, or anything else. When God makes all things new, the brilliance of his character will permeate every part of the world, and humanity will fully reflect and partner with God. As we wait for this time with expectation, God invites us to allow his promises to shape our attitudes and actions today. We can begin partnering with God’s mission to rejoin Heaven and Earth right now. Let's reflect more on this together.
Let’s review Revelation 21:1-7 and Isaiah 65:17-24. According to these passages, what does God promise to make, take away, and give? How does your perspective on life change when you consider that what God promises will actually happen?
Compare Genesis 2:8-14 to Revelation 22:1-4. What are the similarities between the garden of Eden and John’s vision?
As you review today’s readings, how is God’s new world even better than his first creation and the garden of Eden? Why is there no temple, sun, or moon in the restored world God promises (see Rev. 21:22-25)?
While we wait for the fullness of the promise, God has given the Holy Spirit to empower our participation in his mission to rejoin Heaven and Earth. How does the Holy Spirit help us participate in and wait for God’s promises (e.g. Ephesians 1:13-14, Ephesians 4, and Ephesians 5:18-21)?
Spend some time turning all these reflections into a prayer to God. Express gratitude for all God has promised to make, take away, and give. Together, let’s ask for new courage to trust his promises and partner with him in sharing the goodness of his new world, even now.
What is the message of Revelation?
The book of Revelation is not a secret code or puzzle to predict the end of the world. It’s a message to seven ancient churches who were facing persecution. It’s an indictment of earthly kingdoms that makes that point that every human kingdom eventually becomes Babylon and must be resisted. The book is filled with visions and images that point to Jesus’ return as the ultimate King, where he will restore his people and usher in the new creation. This promise motivates every generation of God's people to remain faithful in the midst of persecution and hardship.
God's Rescue Plan
The book of Revelation is a letter written to seven churches as both encouragement and challenge. It uses visions and symbolic imagery to offer a glimpse of God's plan for a new creation. See how the strange visions of Revelation point to the fulfilment of God's promise to Abraham and his purpose for humanity.