FAITH

The book of Revelation was written to encourage early Christians

Updated: 2013-05-06T19:29:08Z

By BILLY GRAHAM

Tribune Media Services

D EAR BILLY GRAHAM: I’ve always been fascinated with the future and how the world is going to end, so I’ve been trying to read the book of Revelation in the Bible. But to be honest, I can’t make much sense of it. Can you give me some suggestions? — J.R.

DEAR J.R.: When Revelation was written, Christians were facing intense persecution. The Roman Emperor had demanded that Christians worship him as a god, but they wouldn’t give up their faith in Jesus Christ as the only Savior.

This book was written to encourage Christians and give them hope in the midst of their trials — and it should do the same for us. The future is in God’s hands, it reminds us, and someday all God’s enemies will be defeated and Jesus Christ will rule forever as king of kings and lord of lords. Someday, the Bible says, voices from heaven will declare that “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

Don’t get lost in details or try to figure out every symbol in Revelation (particularly if you’re reading it for the first time). Instead, focus on its central message: Someday God will defeat all evil, and Jesus Christ will rule forever. No matter what you’re facing right now, is your hope in him?

Be sure, however, that you don’t ignore the rest of the Bible. Instead, make the Bible part of your life every day, asking God to draw you closer to Christ through its pages. Remember: “All Scripture is God-breathed ... so that the man (or woman) of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

© Tribune Media Services 5/7

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