April 3, 2000

Lesson for April 9

Why did God give us the book of Revelation?

___bluebull Revelation 22:6-21
___By Debra Hochgraber
___Women's Evangelism Consultant, BGCT, Dallas
___Years ago, there was a recall of some infant sleepwear. Gowns sold as flame resistant actually were highly combustible. The manufacturer, desperate to get the truth out, entrusted the message to the news media. Information stated the particular style of gown produced at one plant during a known time period, distributed in only a couple of states. Footage was aired showing one doll clothed in the recalled item and another in actual flame study2.resistant sleepwear. When a spark from a fireplace flew onto the gowns, the spark ignited flames on the first, consuming the doll. The spark merely melted a bit of the fabric on the second.
___The intent was not to scare mothers but to get their attention and give them information that would move them to act accordingly. Mothers who felt certain their children would never come in contact with a spark could have ignored it. Families living in other states did not need to be concerned. Clothing purchased before the dates given was fine. But most mothers took no chances, returning or discarding everything with that brand name.
___Why did God give us this Revelation? Matthew 24:36-44 suggests it was not to give the date of Christ's return. Although studying Revelation has sparked many exhilarating debates, intellectual stimulation certainly was not the Lord's purpose for revealing all of this to John. Neither do I think it was so movie studios could make a lot of money fictionalizing some of its content. I believe it was to get our attention and give us information that would move us to act accordingly, whether we lived in New Testament days or the second millennium. God is even more passionate about getting out his message than the manufacturer of children's sleepwear.
___How has the Lord gotten our attention? He has given us scenes of heaven and hell, showing that grace and judgment are real and eternal. We have seen a powerful enemy devising plans to persecute and deceive us. We have glimpsed the glory of Christ's return as he claims the bride whom he sacrificed his life to purchase.
___What information has he given us? Believers will "go through the gates into the city ... where the throne of God and of the Lamb will be" (Revelation 22:14b, 3b).
___What should we do now? "Keep the words of the prophecy in this book" (Revelation 22:7b). In other words, be obedient. Revelation 22:17 says, "And let him who hears say, 'Come!'" We have heard the truth of salvation. The Spirit has called us, and we have taken "the free gift of the water of life." We are told to say, "Come," to a lost and dying world, sharing the gift we received.
___As the end nears, it will become increasingly more difficult for men and women to receive salvation. There should be an urgency in our witnessing. Are we being obedient? Should he have entrusted the message to us?
___Lord, I have much to do before you come. Help me. Amen.

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