Revelation

Lesson 15: An Advent Sermon Reflecting Revelation Teachings

Lesson 15: An Advent Sermon Reflecting Revelation Teachings

I preached this sermon the Sunday after one of the first major terrorist attacks in Europe. I was attempting to place this in the context of the Advent theme focusing on Jesus’ Second Coming. The sermon also incorporated the baptisms being celebrated that day. Let’s start with an old trivial pursuit question, “What do angels […]

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Lesson 14:  Gettysburg and Revelation

Lesson 14: Gettysburg and Revelation

One of the questions Revelation raises is, “For what should we give our lives?” Martyrdom is a primary feature from the beginning to the end of the book. The Apostle warns dying for the Pax Romana serves evil. Even though the empire claims to be founded on law, it really depends upon the military suppressing […]

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Lesson 13: Reasons for Reading Revelation (Part 2)

Lesson 13: Reasons for Reading Revelation (Part 2)

Let me continue mentioning reasons I find important for reading John’s Apocalypse. Close after the Prophet’s broadening our concept of church-state relationships and narrowing our definition of the Christian community, I would place enhancing our understanding of prophecy. A good half of the Old Testament books are the prophets. Obviously, prophecy makes up a great […]

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Lesson 12: Reasons for Reading Revelation (Part 1)

Lesson 12: Reasons for Reading Revelation (Part 1)

For approximately half of my life, I thought we all would be better off if the Church had never included Revelation in the Bible. Then a friend, who became ill, asked me to teach his seminary course. Although he had written a respected commentary, he suggested I do my own research before consulting with him. […]

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Lesson 11: The Wrath of God in Revelation

Lesson 11: The Wrath of God in Revelation

Revelation throws together, without any rhyme or reason, just about every theological vision of the future being discussed in his day. That, of course, entices us to find our favorite and read the prophesy entirely from that perspective. It is easy to see how the “religious wrong” do this when they make John’s promise into […]

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Lesson 10: The Religious Implications of Revelation

Lesson 10: The Religious Implications of Revelation

In the last lesson, I suggested John’s take on the relationship between church and state in his time offers us some help in our own situation. Many of us are seeking new approaches after losing confidence in the two-kingdom theory. The prophet also confronted a government that tried to silence or control the voice of […]

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Lesson 9: The Political Implications of Revelation

Lesson 9: The Political Implications of Revelation

At first, it seems John sees the relationship between the church and state differently than Jesus and Paul. Jesus, in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, tells Christians to give Caesar what is Caesar’s in response to a question about paying taxes. In John, he tells Pilate that he does not pose a threat to the Roman […]

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Lesson 8: New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 and 22

Lesson 8: New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 and 22

If one part of prophecy is explicating God’s promises with visions of the future, John offers one of the most beautiful in all history. God himself wipes away the tears of those who have suffered with the Lamb. The Divine speaks for the first time, comforting his people with the words, “I am making all […]

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Lesson 7: The Last Judgment and Millennium in Revelation 19 and 20

Lesson 7: The Last Judgment and Millennium in Revelation 19 and 20

John has treated us to three versions of the Tribulation. Now in these two chapters, he offers at least two Last Judgments. Two obvious ones employ an Armageddon battle to eradicate evil powers and people. The second of these adds an admissions test based on record books kept in heaven. Two questions arise as you […]

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Lesson 6: The Judgment of Rome in Revelation 17, 18, and 19

Lesson 6: The Judgment of Rome in Revelation 17, 18, and 19

Anyone who studies the development of Revelation as if it were a scholarly work or, for that matter, an unfolding or prediction of future events has to be pulling out their hair as they exclaim, “Oh no, here we go again.” The opening of the 7 seals brought us to the moment when Jesus should […]

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