Why study the prophecy of Revelation?

I was in a discussion with a brother in Christ and the topic of Revelation came up. He mentioned that their small group was trying to decide what to study next and Revelation came up. But there is one member of the group that does not want to do that study because they do not feel there is any growth in studying the prophecy of Revelation. I know there is a lot of different views around Revelation. Personally I love reading the prophecy, studying it, and taking it in.

Here’s my question: Outside of the promise is Revelation 1:3, how would you respond to this objection to Revelation? I see their point. I do not necessarily agree with it but I understand where they could be coming from. (1) They may not want division because of debates on interpretation. (2) They may truly find no value in studying Revelation but want to focus more on being ready for it.

I’m not sure…how would you respond to this?

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Good question, @dewreeves. I would say that, aside from the general promise in II Timothy 3:16 that all scripture is profitable in various ways, the contemplation of prophecy has many practical benefits - and they are explicitly listed in the very passages that focus on Christ’s return.

For example, I John 3:2 says, Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And then the very next verse says, And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure. Without exception, every man that looks forward to the appearing of Christ purifieth himself. Learning about the end times is a motivation to be pure as Christ is.

In II Peter 3, you see the same thing. He spends the first part of the chapter giving a wealth of information about Christ’s return, then in verse 14 he says, Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless. Learning about the end times motivates us to be diligent peacemakers living spotless and blameless lives.

Again, after that famous Rapture passage in the end of I Thessalonians 4, and the description of the day of the Lord in the beginning of I Thessalonians 5, Paul says in verse 6, Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. So it motivates us to be watchful and alert.

And he elaborates on that phrase, be sober down in verse 8 - let us…be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. So learning about Christ’s return encourages our faith, makes us more loving, and strengthens our hope in the coming deliverance - and faith, hope and love are cardinal virtues (I Corinthians 13:13).

And he concludes that prophetic section in I Thessalonians 5:11, saying, Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. So thinking about prophecy is a source of comfort, or encouragement, as I Thessalonians 4:18 also confirms - and it serves to edify us, or build us up.

So I believe the New Testament very clearly teaches that meditating on the prophetic scriptures has abundant practical value.

I hope this will help you!

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Hello @dewreeves.

Well, ultimately its what the majority wants in a group. But most times it really depends on the maturity of the individual. I don’t recommend a babe in Christ (new believer) start studying revelation any time soon. There are more pressing things they need to know and study first. If this person is a babe in Christ I would give them something different to study cause he’s actually being mature in saying it’s probably not best for him.

For those who are more mature in Christ I say it’s up to them. They know what God wants from them. I personally don’t do deep study in revelation because studying that one book without knowing the rest of the bible will make things seem extremely confusing. Its really hard to do. Revelation ties into so much of the rest of the Bible and its very easy to miss certain meanings if you are only looking up passages that relate but haven’t read the context of the references as a whole. For example, I say reading the first 5 books of the bible is a must before reading Revelation. And even then I would say read the 4 gospels after reading the old testament lol

So different factors play a part. The level of maturity and knowlegde are the biggest ones.

I would have someone they trust have a one on one with them and ask them what they really think aside from the fact they feel it won’t advance them in any way. Have they seen people argue instead of listen to one another? Have they been taught dangerous doctine in the past with the teacher using revelation? Is it just hard to understand and they don’t want to be the only one struggling? Do they actually believe something that is different from most and don’t want to be shamed for it?

Most times there is something deeper going on when someone doesn’t want to study a book in the bible and have pretty strong feelings about it. Maybe you guys can ask those questions and get some answers.

God Bless :slight_smile:

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Hi @dewreeves,
I empathize with your friend because in my initial days after I came to know the Lord, I too felt the same way - that it was not worth studying the book because everybody seems to be interpreting it differently, it is full of fantastic (meaning symbolic/fantasy) material that is not useful in everyday life etc. Hearing the die-hard proponents of certain aspects of Revelation also put me off studying the book.

However, 20 years down the line, I am personally studying the book of Revelation right now and it has been the most encouraging experience going through it. Using a commentary helped - I used two, one by David Pawson and another by John Macarthur (both book form and videos). The book of Revelation was written as a letter to churches in Asia Minor who were going through intense persecution and ostracization, as a direct letter from Christ himself, and what John saw and the main intention was to encourage believers going through trial. This it does, by showing a sweeping panorama right up to the end of the age, where Christ will ultimately win, his work will be culminated in a new Heaven and a new Earth. It gives me something to look forward to, and serves as an anchor in uncertain trying times, which was the original intention also.

The main area of disagreement among believers appears to be the timing of the rapture and the nature of the millennium. Apart from these, I do not find too many major disagreements. If studying in a group, it would be preferable to agree to disagree amicably on these and not go too deep into fine details that can cause conflicts. Yes, that means it requires some degree of maturity in the faith. If the group is able to overcome this obstacle, I think it should be a very encouraging and profitable study.

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