The Calling of the Saints to Hear and to Heed
When you think about the book of Revelation, what word comes to your mind??
Maybe it's judgement, prophecy, or end-times. We think on the vivid pictures of battles, plagues and the supernatural, probably relating it to some apocalyptic movie we've seen.
There's been an increased interest in prophecy lately, with the ongoing circumstances of the world, and particularly about the end times. The Joy of Hearing: A Theology of the Book of Revelation by Thomas Schreiner writes about the big ideas throughout the letter John wrote, helping us place these themes into their historical and biblical context, giving us a lens through which to see the role Father, Son and Spirit working in the world from beginning to the end.
"The joy of hearing Revelation consists of heeding the call of Jesus, listening to the words of the Spirit, and remaining confident that God rules on his throne."
The advent season perhaps isn't a common time to reflect on Revelation, but as I end my bible reading plan and picked up this book, I've been deeply encouraged with its message.
"John tells us that we are to stay close to Christ, that we must not compromise with evil, that we must endure to the end and that we must look to the final reward."
As we reflect on the challenges of the past year, isn't this a great encouragement?!
No matter what happens around us, God is on His throne with glory, power and might. There's no thwarting His plan, even if we don't like how it's playing out, because He is working all things for His good purposes. We're tempted to doubt, because life isn't turning out the way we want it, but the truth of who God is can't be based on our emotions or situations, they are timeless, eternal and enduring. His plans and purposes are greater than ours, so we keep our eyes fixed on the hope we have in Him.
One of my favourite parts is chapter two, as the author discusses the seven 'blessed' statements throughout Revelation, reminding us of the saints' responsibility to both hear and heed the Lord's instructions. As we find ourselves awaiting the return of Christ, anticipating His kingdom come, we are admonished to live out our calling and stay true to Christ, reflecting His love and peace toward others.
Yes, this becomes increasingly challenging in our divisive climate, yet it doesn't negate the importance. It's an invitation to search our hearts, our anxious thoughts and our offensive ways, that we may test them before the Word and find grace to repent and persevere.
If you're studying the book of Revelation and are looking to add theological discussion, this is a great resource!
# of pages: 208
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
My Rating: 4 stars
*A big thanks to Crossway for the complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to post an honest review!