29.2 Revelation – To Heart

Our questions today focused on Revelation and the Bible as a whole being “trustworthy and true”.  I imagine that many will focus their answers around the bible being true with the idea that if it is true then, obviously, by default, it is also trustworthy.

However, most of the attacks I see on the bible today and on the basic beliefs of Christianity, are not attacks on the truthfulness of the bible, but on its applicability.  This is particularly true of the attacks coming from those inside the church who seek to put their own ideas of acceptability above what is taught by the bible, some not even recognizing or accepting that this is what they are doing.

The argument made goes something like this, it is not that the bible is untrue, but that parts of it applied then and there but don’t apply here and now.  If we simply go by what the bible says then, we would still be worshiping on Saturdays, eating only what was kosher, offering animal sacrifices, and administering capital punishment for everything from working on the Sabbath to rebelliousness on the part of children.*

If we only look at scripture as a rule book, then this argument seems to provide a strong backing to a modern or progressive rewrite of the word of God.  And, as we continue to progress as a modern society, we would continue the rewrite or redefinition of what is currently applicable and what is old fashioned.  That’s progress, right?

But the bible is not a self-help book or a rule book, it isn’t a user manual or legal compendium.  The bible is a love story.  It is a story of how every sin is a sin against God and yet, God still loves us.  It is a story of the measures that the Creator God will go to redeem His people that sold themselves into the bondage of sin.  It is a book of grace and mercy, not to change the definitions of sin to ignore what is and isn’t sinful, but to recognize the sacrifice that was made for us and try to grow in holiness.  Yes, there are rules and self-help elements, there are how-tos and do’s and do not’s, but that is why it is critical to know not simply a narrow passage of scripture, but to know and take to heart the entire bible.  It is “whole bible” learning and application.

The blessing of Revelation is not simply for those who read and hear the prophecy, but to those who take it to heart.  Taking something to heart means a heart transformation, not a message transformation.  A hardened heart seeks to redefine God’s word to fit in it.  A transformed heart is one that seeks to be reshaped into the holy image of our Lord’s heart.

John was rebuked for falling at the feet of the angel.  Today, many fall at the feet of pastors and leaders who absolve them of sin by redefining what is sinful, by reshaping the image of God to meet man’s desire, rather than reshape men to God’s desire.  Sadly, these souls do not receive the same rebuke from these leaders that John received from the angel.

*quote from blog posting of prominent pastor, left anonymous here to not be misconstrued in intent.

 

My Answers:

3.
a.
Because Jesus is Faithful and True.  There is precedent – everything in the bible is true.  There is authority, comes from the creator.  There is substance, the power of the Holy Spirit.

b.
Start with the hypothesis: what if it is true?  Then what does that mean for you?   It is not a history book or an owners manual.  It isn’t a book of rules and regulations.  It is a living love story.  Heb 4:12, For the word of God is alive and active…

4.
Rev 1:3, read aloud, hear, take to heart.
Blessed by revelation of the end of this story.  Blessed by drawing closer to who God really is and not whom He is “rumored to be” by mankind.  Blessed by seeing the power and awesomeness of our Lord.  Blessed by seeing the method of worship in heaven

5.
a.
Worship God!  John had bowed down to worship at the feet of the angel, he is a fellow servant

b.
When I seek fulfillment in places other than God.  when I have not been diligent in staying alert or walking daily with Him.  When I have been overwhelmed (positive or negative) and I’m awestruck, I forget how much more full of awe God is than even that.

 

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