One of the things I want to do is use my writing ministry more in my ministry here at Jasper. So, to this end I hope to start writing daily (maybe somewhat daily) devotionals going through a particular place in Scripture. A few people (some on Facebook others in person) suggested that I go through Revelation. At this particular time I am not and here is why:
Mostly it is because, I can almost guarantee that I have a different view of Revelation (eschatology) than 90% of our members. That’s okay. I’m not afraid of having a different view, nor am I embarrassed of my view. But I do think that eschatology (end times) for some is a hot button issue. So I will briefly share my view of the end times (without much explanation) and then close with why I am going to start these devotions at another place in Scripture.
-My core belief on eschatology is that Jesus wins, and fully redeems the church He bought with His blood. That’s the story.
-I don’t believe the church is secretly raptured before a seven year period of tribulation. Nor do I believe the church is raptured half way through, or any other time. I believe in the second coming, but not a secret rapture of the church. Here is a brief explanation of this position…
-I could probably sum up what I don’t believe by saying I disagree with the Left Behind books, though I think they are well written fiction. I disagree with Hal Lindsey though I do like his mustache.
-I don’t think the Middle East is the center of Bible prophecy. I am not what is called a dispensationalist. I do think that there may be a great conversion of Jewish people, but I don’t think that God has a special plan for ethnic Israel and a special plan for spiritual Israel.
-I don’t think you should read Revelation as an end times manual. So, if I did a study on it you would continue to hear me say day after day “Christ is the conquering King, that is what this text is about”. And that wouldn’t be a bad thing but I can do that from other texts that aren’t as loaded with controversy.
-In line with this fundamentally Revelation is not a “revelation of the end times” it is “the revelation of Jesus Christ”. Yes it may be about “the things that will soon take place” but at the center of the story is the conquering King Jesus and not the Tribulation Force.
-I’m either a historic premillenialist or an amillenialist. If you know what that means good. If not, don’t worry about it.
Okay those are a few of my general eschatological views. So why am I not going to do a series (at least now) on my interpretation of Revelation? Because it would cause more trouble than what it is worth. What I mean is that I can proclaim to you the message of Revelation (as I understand it) from a ton of other places that are not loaded with controversy.
Yes, Revelation is essential to Scripture. And, no I’m not refusing to teach the entire Word of God. I’m just saying that I’d rather start somewhere else…
If you have any questions, or want more explanation on these views, then feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org