Today, you’ve got one last lengthy reading assignment to do. You’re going to read the whole book of Revelation straight through. Well, at least from Chapter 4 to 22. Consider how John structures the whole apocalyptic letter. Revelation has long been understood as a difficult book to understand as it deals with the End Times through the lens of very difficult imagery. However, I would suggest that the study of eschatology (the end things) is not the primary intent of the author in Revelation.
This book’s primary emphasis is undoubtedly worship. Its shape follows the pattern of how God calls, catechizes (teaches), and commissions us as the church to love God and others. God’s pattern doesn’t just begin creation, but it finalizes and brings to completion the created world as we know it. The worship of God as a result inaugurates the eternal kingdom of Jesus’ perfectly ruled forever new creation. Reading the book of Revelation in this way will cause us to relate to John’s words differently—as well as to apocalyptic work as a whole. Rather than reading Revelation as one of the greatest literary works of art ever written (which it is) we’ll read it as a book of worship.
- God’s character recognized (Adoration) (vv. 4:1-11)
- Human need and sin (Confession) (vv. 5:1-7)
- Prayer for assurance of Provision (Assurance) (vv. 5:8-10)
- Thankful Response (Thanksgiving) (vv. 5:11-14)
- Cycles of God’s Word Opened with Heavenly and Earthly reactions (Rev. 6:1-19:5)
- The Seven Seals (vv. 6:1-8:5)
- The Seven Trumpets (vv. 8:6-11:19)
- The Seven Signs (vv. 12:1-15:8)
- Babylon Announcements (vv. 17:1-19:5)
- Communion in Wedding and Royal Supper (Consummation) (vv. Rev. 19:6-10 & 11-21)
- Charge of Judgment and New Creation (Dismissal-Doxological Entry) (vv. Rev. 20-22)
*For further reading in the Bible: Revelation 1; Revelation 2; Revelation 3; Revelation 4; Revelation 5; Revelation 6; Revelation 7; Revelation 8; Revelation 9; Revelation 10; Revelation 11; Revelation 12; Revelation 13; Revelation 14; Revelation 15; Revelation 16; Revelation 17; Revelation 18; Revelation 19; Revelation 20; Revelation 21; Revelation 22