November 17, 2009

Revelation...

I mentioned a couple of days ago that our message at church on Sunday was going to be about Heaven. We went to church and really enjoyed our time there...amazing worship, an incredible scripture-based message, and a great Los Lonely Boys song "Heaven" performed by our worship pastor and pastor. We sure have some talented people at our church.

Our pastor's message included a description of what the "New Heaven" will be like, according to Revelation 21...1,400 miles high, wide, and long, 216 foot thick walls made of precious jewels, streets of gold, gates each made from a single pearl, with God illuminating the whole thing. I was enjoying doing my best to imagine how amazing that would possibly be, when my husband leaned over and asked me a profound question. One thing I love about Justin is that he is a deep thinker. He ponders and questions things that don't ever even occur to me to stop and think about! He asked me, that if we were in this new heaven, and everyone who isn't a Christian is already in hell, why would there be a need for walls, especially ones so thick? Hmmmmm...good question.


That started us off on many discussions about this and about the book of Revelation in the Bible. Right now, I'm listening to Justin and his dad discussing end times. Very interesting, but for me, the one who tends not to be the deepest thinker about this kind of stuff, I really have to stop and try to get my head around it all. I've studied Revelation some in the past, heard different stories and beliefs about what will actually happen when life as we know it is all over, but I still don't understand it at all. Rapture? Pre-tribulation, Mid-trib, Post-trib? Mark of the Beast? New Heaven, New Earth? Is the Book of Revelation symbolic? Do the different things that happen symbolize something else? Or is it a description of actual things that happen, but through the eyes of John, a man who lived a long time ago? He wouldn't have the modern words for the technology we have today, so he would have to describe it based on familiar things to him. I know Revelation is one of the hardest to understand books of the Bible, and for good reason!
In just google searching "Revelation", there are over 5 million hits! It can be so confusing, and I know that is partly the reason that I tend to shy away from the topic of end times and Revelation. Just look at this chart!! Yikes!

But, I think for Christians, it is important for us to try our best to make sense of the end, and I want to try to study this more to see if I can gain some understanding. For me, not only is this topic confusing, but also kind of scary! I don't know why it is to me. Since I am a Christian, I know the end of the story and where I'm going, but there is still something about it that makes my heart race just a little bit! Am I the only one that this happens to? Justin loves to talk about end times, and I usually say, "Go talk to your Dad." But the message at church on Sunday has really spurred me on to try to learn more.


What do you know about Revelation? What do you wonder about the book? Have you read any good books that helps to make sense of this most confusing book of Revelation?


I'm thinking deep today! =)

4 comments:

Riley Kai said...

I tend to feel the same way as you! (and yes, I have to admit that as a Christian, the thought still makes me nervous too!) My husband on the other hand loves to study it! By far his favorite chapter and could talk about it all day. I think I should try to focus on why I get scared of the thought!Hmmm! Great post...you always get me thinking:-)

Candie said...

Wow. My dad and I discuss this quite a bit...he's so much more knowledgable than I ...but every topic you mentioned are all the things dad and I discuss. I like that you brought up that those topics could merely represent more common terms that were not known then. Our pastor is great about not trying to "modernize" the Bible, but rather he relates what was written so long ago and how it IS still most applicable today. Thank you for your post! I appreciate you!

Jack said...

Doesn’t it seem odd that if the “New Heaven” were these exact dimensions that it would be a little crowded fitting in all the saints from all times? I think that many modern translations cloud the meaning of the numbers of Revelation when they translate them into modern measurements. The dimensions included the numbers 12,000 and 144. 12 times 1,000 and 12 times 12. These are significant numbers. Probably not too significant to us, but the book is structured in Hebraic thought and to a Jew and 1st century believers these were very meaningful.
I have 7 or 8 books on Revelation but one that I find real useful is “Who Is This Babylon?”. Knowing who is the Babylon of Revelation certainly is key. This is not a commercial, but I looked it up and found it at http://www.bibleprophecy.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-ask.tpl&product_id=20&category_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=98

Cristina said...

I read your posts in reverse order, so I just read this one... Revelation is something that really intrigues me too and when I start to think about it, I get nervous, excited, and confused. It is a lot to wrap your brain around! Bonham always tells me that I try to put human characteristics on God, and you just can't do that! I'm bad about trying to figure it all out and make sense of it....

I haven't ever read that part of the Bible and I'm hoping that we discuss it in more detail in our small group. Great post - very thought-provoking! =)