I despise the end times obsession that is prevalent among American Christians. If I started a class today on how to do the things that Jesus taught and it was scheduled at the same time as a class on the end times, we would be outnumbered probably six to one. This doesn’t make sense to me and makes me angry to think that Christians are just like the rest of the American culture – seduced by the sensational.
Because of these strong feelings, I have resisted studying eschatology and even the book of Revelation. I know, it is kind of childish, but I plan to change that. I am participating in a study on the end times from a very knowledgeable and scholarly teacher and I am trying to faithfully follow the reading assignments through Revelation.
Because my leanings are towards discipleship and spiritual growth, I would like to point out what I have learned from a spiritual growth perspective while reading Revelation. Today, while reading Revelation 1, I come across Jesus placing his hand on John and telling him, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last.” This reminded me of when Jesus tells Peter to not be afraid after Jesus provides a weeks worth of fish in one catch. Jesus’ sentiment is the same – I am here, things are different now, I possess what you need.
What a good reminder for me as I bring my prejudice, fear, and skepticism to the study of Revelation. I don’t have to be afraid because Jesus knows what is best for me to learn and he wants to teach me. He is the first and last and the Lord of all.