Surviving the last days, Revelation Chapter 1
Updated: Jul 12, 2022
Waiting On His Timing:
Introduction of the coming end:
In present times the world seems to thrive on chaos and distraction. Peace of mind is fleeting and elusive. Many times it’s difficult just to focus on the here and now in our lives and thinking about tomorrow is just too overwhelming. Am I, as a believer in the last days, ready for the book of revelation to become reality? What will that require of me?
I encourage yo to read Revelation Chapter 1 along with this study.
John was given a vision of Christ and the responsibility of sharing all that he had seen with future generations. The book of revelation is a warning of what will come. Every believer needs to be ready and prepared for it because that day is fast approaching. There are instructions left behind for us to follow and blessings given to those who do, but take note that nowhere does it say these things will be easy to endure.
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This book is also a promise of blessings to those who follow Christ and keep “those things which are written in it.” We are to follow our Savior in every situation. The Lord promises to bless His children for following Him and being faithful to keep His commandments but we must be careful that that we are not following Him simply because we want these blessings. A relationship with Christ means knowing that I am a sinner and I deserve no blessings at all but God in His love for us has promised to give blessings to those who are faithful.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
Perspective of who God is and how we should revere him:
The letters to the seven churches began with a clear presentation of who God is. Whether it’s commendation or correction, most of us will take more seriously a comment that comes from a superior source. From this perspective, directions from our heavenly father should be the most important to follow in our daily lives. As believers, we have the entire Bible as a guide for how we should be living and a clear representation of who God is. It is so easy to forget what I ought to be doing, how I ought to be speaking, and how I ought to be living, when the basics of my daily life take over.
So, how do I apply this chapter to my life? Remember as you read these, little sparrows, that God should be the first and the last in our lives. Not merely the first in every day, but the first in every action, in every word, and in every thought. If I am putting God first before myself, my commitments, my conveniences, and my comfort zones, suddenly the big, bad things that come up in don’t seem so big after all, and the little things become easier to place in his hands. That means I need to worry less about my earthly trials, and focus more on my spiritual relationship with Christ.
“John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.””
Johns vision of the end time and introduction of the seven churches:
Jesus came to John with something important for him to share with the churches and that includes us. Some would like to think the words to the churches only applied to the churchgoers of that day but not so. Many believers would prefer not to read the last book of the Bible or to read it as if it’s a story instead of something to be completely and utterly prepared for. Though we should always take every book of the Bible seriously, and every word of God as important, there has never been a time that we ought to be more prepared and aware of the warnings of Revelation than now. The seven mentioned churches represent more than just geographical locations of those days. They also represent the hearts and practices of the churches of today. Oh how easy it is to become like the church of Ephesus; Steadfast in following the word like prepared guidelines for my life and how easily it is to slip into a routine and forget my first love, Jesus Christ. Remember believer, that as Christians we are not religious but instead we have a personal relationship with our Lord.
I don’t know anyone who would truly like to be as the church of Smyrna, persecuted and undergoing tribulation, though some believers like to think every little thing that happens to us is a trial sent from the enemy. Not every negative thing that happens is a direct attack from the devil. Focusing on that thought can lead to assuming those of us with longer or harder trials are being singled out or possibly punished by God for some present sin in to lives. It is all too easy to become judgmental when you are on the outside looking in and forget to remove the plank from your eye. Instead, we ought to focus our eyes on the love and mercy of our Lord and take the little trials in stride, praying for those who have it worse at the moment. As we approach the end of this age, our trials may no longer be so small and when it comes to fighting the big battles, we need to be focused on Christ and not the world.
“I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.””
Description of Christ and john’s reaction:
“Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
When John describes his vision of Christ, he says that he fell over as dead. The kind of fear and shock that amounts to enough to stop one’s heart must have been an incredible sight to be hold. I hope as believers, we all want our hearts to be in the right place when the day comes that we stand before God as well. In order to do that, we must be always ready for it, living every day as if it’s our last. This doesn’t mean fulfilling a bucket list of earthly things we wish to do before we are called into His presence. In fact that means the opposite. As Christians, we are to live separate and apart from the rest of the world. In it, but not functioning as part of it. Yes, I must do the normal daily things like working, grooming, and paying taxes… but my heart and allegiance are to my God and I should follow his plan for my life first and foremost.
Remembering fresh every morning that my life on this earth is but a blink of an eye and my soul ever belongs to the Lord, helps me remember to keep in perspective the things which happen here. No, it doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with fear, stress, anger, and my fair share of all the other emotions but it does mean I daily need to remind myself to handle those emotions as if God is at the center of my trials and taking care of every situation, because He is. Living one day at a time while always being spiritually prepared for this one to be the last is freeing. If my focus is on Christ then I have no time to think of myself. If my eyes are on Christ today, then I cannot be distracted by the earthly cares of tomorrow.
Instruction to prophesy angels and churches: obedience:
“Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”
In preparing for the last days we should remember to be obedient to God and what he has set forth for us to do. If John was not obedient to write down the words of the book of Revelation, we would not know what is coming, nor would we be thinking to prepare for an end. Because of his obedience, and that of all the faithful men who contributed to writing the words of God, we can read the Bible and know the promises He has made us. We can show that same obedience by daily reading, study of His word, and applying those instructions to our lives. How can one fight a battle they are unprepared for? Or bake a cake without the ingredients? Taking the time to read the Bible daily will give us the knowledge we need to combats the constant lies and distractions this world presents us with.
I encourage you, believer, to take the time to remind yourself daily who God is and how He is working in your life. Allow Him to be your first and last thought and your guide through every situation. Instead of focusing on your worries about tomorrow, put them in His hands. Focus on the promises He has made us and prepare for the last days by reading His word.
Have a blessed day, little sparrows
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