August 20, 2018

Today you should read: Revelation 3:1-6

As a kid, I really struggled to wake up on time for school. I was that kid. My mom would yell for me well before the bus would come. I wouldn’t budge. She’d call for me again and knock on my door. Snooze. Her tone would become much more serious, but I would still turn over and go back to sleep.

Then she’d get a cup of water and pour it on my face. That did the trick and also made me pretty mad.

Here’s the deal: one way or another, Thankamma Thomas was going to get my attention. She’s my mom, she loves me, and she wanted me to get an education. She wouldn’t let me sleep the day away.

That’s what I see God doing with these churches in Revelation. Today’s reading brings us to the church at Sardis where God was pouring cold water on lots of heads, so to speak. They needed a wake-up call because their faith had been lulled to sleep.

Maybe, like the church at Sardis, God is trying to get your attention. He’s offering you a wake-up call. In what ways have you been going through the motions but lacking a thriving faith (v. 1-2)? Consider this morning’s reading of Revelation 3:1-6 an opportunity for repentance.

In the comments section below, tell us about a time where God gave you a wake-up call. It’d be great for us to learn from each other’s testimonies.

By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor

August 14, 2018

Today you should read: Revelation 1:9-20

Back in my teenage years, a mentor of mine helped me process the idea of prophetic literature in the Bible. No, he didn’t tell me exactly how to interpret it (literal or figurative). But he did make me think of the big picture. Here’s what he said to me:

“In the Word, when God gives us glimpses of the future, it is always meant to inspire worship and obedience in the present.”

This struck quite chord with me. I had always been so caught up in what was going to happen when, that I never stopped to think about that idea. God wants us to see Him as Lord, sovereign over all things, fulfilling all things in Christ more than He wants us to figure out how every second of the end times plays out. I’d encourage you to espouse this idea in your own reading. Sure, you can dig deep and try to reconcile a timeline of how things will go, and you can try to determine which millennial view you most closely align with, but do not miss the forest for the trees. Let the grandeur of the book of Revelation cause your view of God and worship of Him to increase.

And as you read today’s passage, that’s exactly what you’ll find: John was struck with absolute awe by what he saw.

How have you viewed apocalyptic literature in the Bible? How can you view it differently in light of these thoughts?

By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor

August 13, 2018

Today you should read: Revelation 1:1-8

Today we’ll start a nearly 2 month Jumpstart series on what’s probably the most controversial and confusing book of the Bible. As Cornelis Venema from Ligonier Ministries said,

“The interpretation of the book of Revelation has often proven difficult throughout the history of the Christian church. Though it is little more than a piece of scholarly gossip, some have even suggested that the Reformer John Calvin, one of the best interpreters of the Scriptures the church has known, shied away from writing a commentary on the book of Revelation for this very reason.”

You can imagine my confidence in giving my own interpretation and commentary when John Calvin, who wrote one of the greatest commentaries, didn’t. Add the fact that I hold to a different end times view than the majority of modern American Christians and this should really be fun. 😉

None the less, here’s a great introductory video to the first eleven chapters by the Bible Project:

Let’s dive into the first eight verses of chapter one.

In the introduction to the book, the apostle John makes it clear that he received a revealed vision from God of what’s to come, including the end times, final judgment, and consummation. He received this vision while exiled on the island of Patmos. Most scholars believe that John was the only Apostle (outside of Judas) who was not martyred for his faith, but instead God brought him to this island for this revelation and for all to read and know what he wrote to be blessed (v. 3).

John then mentions that he is writing to seven known churches at that time, warning and encouraging them and us, for each instruction is relevant to churches today. More on that content later next week. He makes a beautiful Gospel statement in verses 5-6 and in verse 8 he mentions, for the first time, that God is the Alpha and Omega, something that is repeated three more times in the book and extremely appropriate for a book revealing what a God who has no beginning or end will do in the end times and in the final judgment.

As controversial and confusing as the book of Revelation can be, I’m very excited to study it with our church the next few months, because we know it’s not only God’s inerrant Word, but it gives us a beautiful picture of a new heavens and earth when Satan is defeated once and for all.

What are you excited to learn about from this book? What are you most confused about concerning this book? Comment below and maybe we can attempt to help answer some of those questions and concerns when we reach some of those chapters and verses.

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor

November 21, 2015

Today you should read: Revelation 22:6-21

“REVELATION—NOTE ON 22:10–15 Prohibition of Sealing the Book, Promise that Jesus Is Coming Soon, Promise of Blessing.“John must not “seal” his prophecy as Daniel did his, because the fulfillment of John’s visions was temporally “near” to his first-century readers, as it is to believers 20 centuries later. The assurance that, when Jesus comes “soon,” he will bring blessing to believers and judgment to rebels, should motivate believers to perseverance and purity.” (ESV Study Bible Notes)
I know it is difficult to make sense of many of the visions in the book of Revelation. I know it can be tough to understand the meaning of the prophesies and how they will come about. The truth is there is some gray area’s and many faithful bible scholars have differing opinions on a lot of it. However, one thing that is very clear from this book that sums up most of the Bible is Jesus wins and He is coming back!
Jesus’ victory on the cross and the promise of his return validate all promises of scripture. That means that the grace and righteous identity we get through the redemption of his blood is true! It also means that those who do not know him will perish in a Christless eternity called hell. In a world full of confusion the Bible brings concrete truths that simplifies and brings wisdom when sin offers chaos and confusion. The key to freedom and peace is not through logic, it’s not through riches and it is not through circumstantial prosperity. Freedom comes from faith in Jesus Christ.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Galatains 5:1)
Are you free?

Posted by: Chad Wiles