Revelation Revealed to Me
We are all on one journey called life. But throughout life, we are simultaneously on countless other journeys like parenting, education, and wellness. One journey that I am on is my faith journey. It's had its ups and downs, that's for sure. I went to Catholic school my entire life up to college and always revered God but I didn't feel like I knew Him well. During my junior year at UM, my relationship with God was arguably at its all-time low. In high school, I had been part of Pastoral Ministry organizing retreats and masses. It was an intrinsic part of my education. At UM, that obviously wasn't the case. It ended up being almost three years that I was practically agnostic, no thanks at all to the Philosophy course I took either. I hit a breaking point of sorts and knew that the major thing I was missing in my life was faith(God was always there).
Now, I'm part of a Bible study group and am in and out of churches trying to find the right place for me(taking recommendations by the way). If you read my earlier blog post, you know that I've been waking up at around 4am and reading my Bible. Last week, I read Revelation. I know, I know. I totally skipped to the ending. That's not something I typically do with books. In fact, I've never done it before. There's just something about the political climate today that encouraged me to read about the end times. I was always taught growing up that the Bible is a very sacred book that should not be written on but I think it's now more widely accepted to highlight your Bible here and there. I didn't take up my highlighter until the last few chapters so I'll do my best to retroactively reflect. Here's my take on it:
Let me begin by reminding everyone that I am in no way, shape, or form a preacher or pastor well-versed in these types of writings. This is my first time doing this sort of thing. To be completely candid, there were parts of the Book of Revelation that went right over my head(likely attributable to the fact that I was reading at 4 o'clock in the morning). But a few lines in specific stood out to me:
Revelation 19:9 "Then the angel said to me, 'Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'"
Revelation 21:3 "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.'"
Revelation 21:10-12 "And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel."
Revelation 22:7 "Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll."
Revelation 22:20-21 "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen."
Maybe it was just my Church growing up, but I feel like I never heard the Book of Revelation preached on often. This past Sunday, I watched a pastor from a local church refer to those pastors as "lukewarm" as is written in the Book of Revelation and it's sad but true. Today's churches are not radical. Radical is frowned upon. Nobody wants to draw too much attention. The churches who call themselves radical are not radical either. I know, I went to one for many months. They preach on topics that don't deeply wound Christians, topics that require only superficial introspection. The Book of Revelation requires some serious introspection. After reading it, I realized I'm not doing nearly enough to solidify my relationship with God. If I want to be among the 144,000, I'm going to have to work for it. Jesus sacrificed everything for me. The least I can do is serve him.
If there is one thing to be learned from the Book of Revelation(and there are MANY to be learned), it is that Jesus is coming soon, sooner than any of us would like to believe. Think of it this way, if Jesus were to arrive tomorrow, would you be welcomed into the Kingdom of God?
I also recognized something more solemn, fewer people than I previously thought will qualify for the seal that distinguishes us as servants of God because few people do serve God. Many among us lack a relationship with God. I believe that those who do not know God but always sought him will be saved. However, those who know God and turned away from him will not be so fortunate. It really puts a huge emphasis on maintaining a relationship with God. We don't want to be marked with the seal of the Beast but if you have a closer relationship with the Beast than with God, how could you expect a different result?
I pray that this post inspire you to continue to work on your relationship with God. Don't give up on it. Find Bible Study groups, crews, a church that reaches you in a way that encourages you to keep coming back and keep building your relationship with God.
How's your relationship with God going? What's your take on the Book of Revelation? Let me know in the comments below!