Courtney Jacob

Revelation: A Comfort for Believers

Have you ever felt so intimidated by something that you hesitated to start it? That's how I felt about the Book of Revelation. Many of the images within its pages are other-worldly and fascinating, but they can also feel complicated and hard to understand. In the book of Revelation, we find references to things like the Millenium (or the Thousand Years), the Beast, and the anti-Christ. Scholars have written thousands of pages unpacking these terms and images.

Yet, Revelation piques my curiosity precisely because I know it talks about spiritual things I long to understand. In our Groundwork series, “Revelation: A Comfort for Believers,” we’ll examine John’s heavenly visions and the messages he received from Jesus Christ. We’ll discuss the context of Revelation and important details that will help us properly interpret and understand what we read. Together, we’ll discover the comfort, assurance, and hope it holds for Christians and the church today. 

Fascination with the End Times

Like me, many believers find the book of Revelation fascinating and long to understand it better. Its pages have long been a source of mystery and curiosity for both Christians and non-Christians alike. And it is easily the book that Groundwork receives the most requests from listeners to study! 

And it's easy to understand why. When we experience chaos, evil, pain, injustice, and grief in this life, many of us wonder: “Is there life after death?” “What is heaven like?” “How will we know when Jesus comes again?” “Are we in the End Times now?” and “Have the End Times already started?” 

There’s no shortage of movies, TV shows, comic books, video games, and stories that imagine the end of civilization; an impending, world-ending apocalyptic event; or what the afterlife is like. Some of these storylines ask questions alongside us, and others play on our fears and insecurities about the unknown.

The answers we find and the conclusions we come to in response to our important questions about heaven and the afterlife impact our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Ultimately, it can even affect how we engage in this life, which might be why believers feel so much pressure to decipher Revelation just right. 

A Fresh Look at Revelation

Studying the book of Revelation can sometimes leave us feeling confused and with more questions than answers. Unfortunately, some Christians have used Revelation and the fear of the unknown to scare or intimidate people into belief. As a result, the book of Revelation is sadly often misunderstood or treated as a book only religious experts can explain. 

But, it’s worth taking a fresh look at Revelation. It records an extended heavenly vision John received from God while exiled to the island of Patmos; a revelation of things unseen through visions, symbols, promises, and warnings. But God did not give John this vision to invoke fear. When we study Revelation and consider John’s circumstances, we realize that God gave John this vision to provide comfort and assurance for our faith. 

When we experience chaos, injustice, evil, and pain in this world, Revelation offers hope by revealing God’s perspective and a cosmic, rather than earthly view of our situation. In the pages of Revelations, we can cling to God’s eternal promises and find wisdom in these warnings to live faithfully in the midst of our world. Revelation is a beautiful vision that communicates comforting truths and provides valuable reassurance for all believers, both then and now.

Discover Hope and Encouragement

As believers, we wait for justice, peace, and for God’s kingdom to come. Sometimes, that waiting can feel fruitless and unending. At times, it can be tempting to even give up or give in to the pressures of this world. John knew what this kind of waiting felt like, he knew what it felt like to watch evil, grief, injustice, and pain at work in the world. If you want to know what heaven will be like or find comfort in your life right now, I invite you to discover eternal hope and encouragement for faithful living through our Groundwork series, “Revelation: A Comfort for Believers”:

...and together we’ll remember that our job is to remain faithful and continue doing the work to which God called us because we have assurance that God is still in control and we know that Christ has already won the final victory.

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