CALL FOR PERSEVERANCE

Through a series of seven “beatitudes,” Revelation summons believers to faithfulness despite hostility and persecution.

The book of Revelation is not a divination tool for deciphering future mysteries. Instead, it summons God’s people to vigilance, right living, and perseverance in testimony during trials and persecution. Its concern is not when certain events will occur, but how the churches must “overcome” and thus arrive at the city of “New Jerusalem.”

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PENTECOST AND THE LAST DAYS

The outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost signaled the arrival of the “last days”Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:17-21.

The application of the prophecy from Joel in Acts links the outpouring of the Spirit to the commencement of the “last days.” For the book, the Spirit’s activity and presence in the church are programmatic and foundational for its existence, from the Day of Pentecost until the return of Jesus.

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INHERITANCE OF THE SAINTS

Believers are the heirs of Abraham and possession of the inheritance is guaranteed by the gift of the Spirit.

Possession of the land of Canaan was a preliminary stage in God’s redemptive plan, which always envisioned something larger than Israel. Now, the covenant promises find their fulfillment in the “true seed of Abraham,” Jesus, including the promises of resurrection and new creation.

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APPOINTED TO TRIBULATION

Disciples of Jesus will escape God’s “wrath” but are appointed for “tribulation” in this life for the gospel‘s sake.

The terms “tribulation” and “wrath” are NOT synonymous in the New Testament. The former is what disciples endure for the gospel, but the latter is the horrific fate that awaits those men and women who reject the good news of the kingdom. Rather than life, they along with apostates will undergo the “second death.”

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HASTENING THAT DAY

In the interim between Christ’s ascension and return, God has granted humanity the opportunity to repent.

In his second epistle, Peter explains the apparent “delay” in the return of Jesus from heaven. God is characterized by mercy and has no desire for anyone to perish. But the apostle even contends that the conduct of the church may “hasten” that day’s arrival. The relationship of men with God is dynamic, not static, and He responds eagerly to repentance.

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WITNESS TO ALL NATIONS

Jesus declared that the “end” will not come until this gospel of the kingdom is proclaimed to all nations.

When the future return of Jesus is discussed, the question naturally arises – What “signs” will precede it? Will its proximity be marked by wars, earthquakes, and other catastrophes? Fortunately, Jesus provided a definitive answer to this question – The completion of the church’s mission to testify to the whole earth.

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