The Blessings of Revelation – Part 2
Yesterday, we began a study of the blessings of Revelation. We discussed the importance of prophecies in the Bible, the difficulty in understanding Revelation and the response many preachers and teachers have made due to this. We explained the purpose of prophecies. Finally, we mentioned the seven blessings within the Book of Revelation.
Today we will discuss the first three blessings. We will conclude our teaching with the final four blessings tomorrow.
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. – Revelation 1:3
This blessing is for those who do three things with the Book of Revelation: read it, hear it and heed it. Though most churches decide not to spend time in this Book due to its confusing nature, God Himself has told us we should read it. God has not given us this promise for any other Biblical book, including the four Gospels. God wants us to read the Book of Revelation.
The Greek word for “hear” is in the Present, Active, Participle. What that means is that those who hear the words of the prophecy are doing it now, in the present and are doing it earnestly, fervently, thoughtfully. For example, you can hear the pastor’s sermon or you can hear the pastor’s sermon. The first goes in and out. The second implies an effort on your part to understand and apply.
Also, notice that the pronoun has changed; “he” who reads becomes “those” who hear. I believe this is saying that as a teacher and preacher, the listeners are blessed by my teaching. They are hearing the words of the prophecy. Hence, to all pastors who are not teaching from this book, you are taking away a blessing to your congregation!
Heed, or keep, means that it is not enough to read and understand the book but it must also be kept. Keep it in mind, keep it in memory, and keep it in our daily activities. Those who do these things are promised a blessing.
And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.” – Revelation 14:13
What an amazing blessing this is! “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 tells us that it is better to be away from the body and with the Lord. Why would anyone choose to stay in this sin-filled world rather than be with God in Heaven?
It is only the unknown that keeps us fearful. The Bible has given us many passages to help ease that fear. This verses tell us we are called “blessed” when we die in the Lord. Of course, those who die outside of faith in Jesus are not so blessed. If only they would read this Book and see this blessing, maybe they would believe.
(“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) – Revelation 16:15
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us of the ten virgins who were waiting for the bridegroom to come. He tells us that five of them were unprepared and so missed their opportunity to enter into the feast. The women who were ready were able to enter. Jesus gives the same advice here.
Earlier, Jesus gave the same warning (Luke 12:49). Paul repeated this warning in his letter to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:2). God has counseled The Church, since she began on the day of Pentecost, to be ready for Jesus’ return.
Here in Revelation 16:15, Jesus once more cautions, “I am coming like a thief,” for those who were not around to hear it before. They are entering into the final battle, the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). We must be ready for His Return. We should be watching and waiting. Those who do not will be like a man who fell asleep under a tree, had his clothes stolen right from underneath him, and now has to walk around naked.
Yet those who are awake will be blessed as the five prepared virgins were blessed. They will enter into the next phase of God’s plan with the Bridegroom and rejoice.
That concludes the first three blessings of Revelation. Tomorrow we will discuss the final four.
Which of these three blessings mean the most to you personally? Why? Let me know in the comments below.