For most Bible readers, Revelation is a riddle that fascinates and frustrates. The last book of our Bibles has inspired countless commentaries, prophecy charts, and dissertations, but it is rarely read or preached in many churches. I regularly teach and write on Revelation and recently published All Things New: Revelation as Canonical Capstone. Here are seven reasons why I wrote a book on Revelation.
- To show Revelation’s relevance for the church today. Revelation is not addressed to prophecy gurus but to seven churches, who must hear what the Spirit says (Rev. 1:4; 2:7). The book promises blessing to those who read and heed its urgent message (Rev. 1:3).
- To foster faithful reading rather than end-time speculation. Many best-selling books have suggested reading biblical prophecy in light of current world events. Rather than reading Revelation with the aid of cable news, we should read and re-read John’s visions in light of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel and interpret Revelation as the climax of biblical prophecy.
- To promote bold preaching of God’s trustworthy Word. Because many preachers struggle to see Revelation as relevant and readable—especially chapters 6–22!—they are reluctant to preach and teach the last book of the Bible. I pray that pastors who read my book will have greater confidence to exposit Revelation in their churches.
- To reassure struggling Christians to confidently hope in Christ’s return. Christians struggle with discouragement, temptation, persecution, compromise, and apathy as they navigate life in this fallen world. Revelation reminds us that the King of kings will return to slay the dragon, wed his bride, right every wrong, and make everything new. No more tears, no more death, no more enemies. Our faith will be sight, our hopes will be satisfied as we will be forever with the Lord. “Amen. Come Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20).
- To stimulate persevering prayer in troubled times. The Bible is filled with instructions to pray and assurances that God hears our prayers. Revelation vividly pictures the prayers of God’s people like sweet-smelling incense that ascends into God’s holy throne room and moves Him to judge his foes and save his people (see Rev. 5:8; 8:3–4).
- To nurture wise discernment rather than worldly compromise. Christians regularly face choices about what to believe and what to do. Revelation’s visions give us a fresh perspective on our reality. They wake us up to the ugliness of sin and the danger of worldly compromise, they shape our world views around what is true, good and beautiful according to God’s revealed standards, and they motivate us to live counter-culturally in this world as faithful witnesses who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Rev. 14:4).
- To encourage joyful worship of the one true God. The repeated command “Worship God” (Rev. 19:10; 22:9) effectively summarizes the book’s call to the church in every age. As I wrote in a recent Desiring God article, Revelation gives us four great images of joy in God: an ultimate deliverance, a decisive victory, a spectacular wedding, and a secure eternal home. With the certainty of our future joy in view, we may worship God by singing the songs of the new heaven and new earth now in the old, sorrow-filled land in which we live.
- Pray that God will bless our upcoming visit March 25–28 by a team from the Association for Biblical Higher Education, who will assess us regarding our application for another ten years of accreditation.
- Pray for our undergraduate and seminary students preparing for graduation in May as they finish their coursework and seek God’s will regarding future ministry, employment, and additional studies.
- Pray for faculty and students who are ministering in Ethiopia, India, and elsewhere over spring break.