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Bible Reading Plan: Revelation

With God—the Alpha and the Omega—what we may perceive as an end is also the beginning of something greater. The Book of Revelation is packed with bizarre symbols, from lions and locusts to gates and gold. And while these images may seem strange to us, they are a means for challenging and providing hope to all future generations of Jesus-followers, as we eagerly wait for Jesus to return. Revelation is the culmination of the entire biblical story, and we hope you’ll dive in headfirst with us to this rich and robust book.

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Revelation Reading Guide: Overview

Looking for a helping hand as you begin reading Revelation? This guide will get you up to speed on what Revelation is and how to read it.

Revelation Reading Guide: God & the Ancient Roman Olympic Games

Did you know that John casts his vision in Revelation against the backdrop of the Olympic games? Check out this visual guide to learn about the part we play in this cosmic competition.

Revelation Reading Guide: Visual Guide to the Symbols of Revelation

If your head is spinning from all of the symbolism in Revelation, fear not! We have just the thing for you. This guide is the perfect companion to keep at your side and reference as you read.


Key Thought/Summary

The revelation of Jesus given to John blends vivid apocalyptic imagery with the present-day context of seven first-century churches. John has a vision of Jesus standing among seven lampstands representing local churches, and he sees God seated on his throne, surrounded by creatures and elders who praise Him. This imagery shows us the cosmic reality of a future day when all creation and humanity will give their allegiance to God. In between these two visions, John addresses each church pastorally, offering warnings and encouragement. As you read, pay attention to language about victory and rewards because this section sets the stage for the central question of the book: How will Jesus' followers overcome and inherit the new world God promises?


Key Thought/Summary

Into the heavenly throne room of God walks a bloody, slain lamb. He alone is worthy to open God’s scroll with seven seals, which contains a message about how His Kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven. This lamb is our crucified King Jesus, and like him, his followers paradoxically conquer by laying down their lives. As the lamb peels off the seven seals, we see flashes of the evil and suffering in the world, with Christian martyrs crying out to God, “How long, Lord, until you bring justice?” Amid today’s tragedies, we join their plea. As you read, consider how you can conquer with our lamb and emulate his sacrificial love within our broken world.


Key Thought/Summary

John gives us a window into the cosmic spiritual battle occurring between God and the slithering serpent from the Garden. The serpent is now depicted as an angry dragon with two beasts working at his behest to attack the people of God. Yet, we have no reason to fear! In one of his visions, John sees two witnesses, representing the Church, who are killed by a beast, but God resurrects them. This gives us hope that he will raise us up, too. Though we still live in contested territory, we know how the story ends! One day, the dragon will be defeated. In the meantime, we fight back by proclaiming God’s mercy to the nations and building his kingdom.


Key Thought/Summary

Imagine the scene: we have reached the showdown between the two opposing camps. On one side stands the dragon and those who bear the mark of the beast and on the other, the slain lamb and his followers. By all appearances, the odds are stacked against the lamb, and yet, his followers start to celebrate his victory… Isn’t this premature? This is precisely John’s point. Evil cannot sustain itself, and the systems that perpetuate it will not last. The victory of the lamb, on the other hand, is a sure thing, and as the clash between them comes to a head, we are presented with a choice: will you resist the dragon and follow the Lamb, or will you follow the dragon and suffer his inevitable defeat with him?


Key Thought/Summary

This is it! The entire story of Scripture culminates in these last few chapters. Babylon, the dragon, and those who choose them are finally defeated, and the rule of death and evil end. The rule of abundant life begins as heaven and earth unite as one and the Lamb is joined with his bride—the Church. John describes the New Heaven and New Earth with a kaleidoscope of promises, and the most important of them all is this: God will come and dwell with us forever, and His presence will fill the whole earth. This offers hope not just to the first-century Christians but every generation as we choose to follow the Lamb.

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