Most do not know the book of Revelation contains 7 blessings. Here is the first one.
[Darris McNeely] When we think about the Book of Revelation we always think about Bible prophecy, end-time prophecy, Armageddon, beasts, and images of a fallen woman riding a scarlet beast. We think about the day of the Lord, and tribulation, and plagues, and seals. All of that is in the Book of Revelation. But there’s something else that we don’t always focus on that shows the positive encouraging grace of God and of Jesus Christ, the true Revelator in what is said.
There are actually seven what we can call beatitudes or seven blessings that Jesus Christ spoke as He gave the revelation, the apocalypse, to the Apostle John as we’re told. You remember that Jesus in his earthly ministry gave blessings and beatitudes in what is called the Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are the meek.” “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Well, about 60 years later, the same Christ, now resurrected, now giving his final revelation to his servants in what is called the Revelation, gives seven blessings throughout this book.
I’m beginning a series on those seven and today we wanted to look at just the first one. It’s in Revelation 1:3 Revelation 1:3Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
American King James Version×. Jesus says, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things that are written in it for the time is near.” Book of Revelation was actually meant to be read aloud in a public setting. As people would hear the words of Revelation, it would draw them into a vivid book about certainly prophecy and the world of their time, but also, the encouragement that God gives.
He says, “Blessed are those who read and those who hear the words of this prophecy.” So to read it and then to be able to hear it in a setting. And you and I today do most of it by reading it. And if it’s preached to us in a church setting, that’s also how we would hear that. But it is a blessing to hear the very word of God. And those words, and in this particular case the Book of Revelation with its teaching and with its pronouncements about the state of the world and the events leading up to Christ’s return, they’re meant to stir us to action. They’re meant to bring us to change in our life by these very words of prophecy. That’s exactly what revelation is meant to do, and Bible prophecy, to motivate us to obedience, to motivate us to a conviction, and to motivate us to a love for God and a confident assurance that God is guiding history and God is in charge and we need not fear that the world is going to end.
He says, “The time is near.” And what that really means is not that we should be looking to figure out when Christ is going to return and when all of these events are gonna come on a calendar date, but to recognize that for all of us our time is now in terms of a relationship with God, obeying God, and heeding His words and letting those words then motivate us to a deeper relationship, deeper conviction, and a deeper motivation with God. The time is near, it’s always near for us, in our lives. That’s what Christ was getting across to us then. And that when we heed it, when we listen to the words of Jesus, is a blessing. That’s the first one of the seven. Next time we’ll talk about the second.
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