I’ve purposed to spend January in the Book of Revelation. So, from time-to-time this month I may drop a blog post on what I’m reading. Here is Revelation 1:1-3:
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
People talk about how Revelation is so difficult to understand, and yet here, in the first sentence, stated so there is no misunderstanding, is the purpose for which the revelation was given: so God could show Christians “the things which must soon take place.”
I’ve heard certain teachers claim that here “soon” means 2,000 years in the future because for the Lord a day is like 1,000 years and 1,000 years like a day. But if that’s the explanation, saying that these things must take place “soon” is not really worth saying. If “soon” can mean 1,000 years or 10,000 years, the word is rendered meaningless at best and misleading at worst, neither of which intent is appropriate to impute to the Holy Spirit.
And, in case one misses the word “soon” in the first verse, John reminds the reader in the third verse that “the time is near.”
Here’s a shocker, perhaps something you’ve never heard in some of the more imaginative interpretations of Revelation so popular today: “soon” means soon and “near’ means near. I believe the best interpretation is that most events foretold in Revelation happened within a few years of when Revelation was written.
More to come. GS