Sometimes people read the book of Revelation like it’s a piece of science fiction. But there’s nothing fiction about it. The vision that God gave John of the future of this world and our eternal destiny brings God’s sovereignty and authority into sharp focus. It also challenges us to live differently in light of what we have learned.
Finding the future influences the present, so don’t just skip the last book of the Bible because it’s hard to understand. And don’t read it flippantly like it’s just a good story. Let the book of Revelation inform how you live your life today.
Letters to the Churches (Revelation 1:1–2:17): Just as Jesus addresses each of the seven churches of Asia by reminding them of who He is, He wants each of us to know what our status is with Him. Christ both encourages and corrects us to allow us to prepare for the life in His kingdom.
The End of the Church Age (Revelation 2:18–4:11): After Jesus addresses the churches, John sees the throne room of heaven where the heavenly host worship God. As Tony Evans explains, John witnesses these things while he is “in the Spirit,” meaning from a spiritual perspective.
The Lamb Opens the Seven Seals (Revelation 5:1–8:13): Jesus Christ the Lamb who opens the seals and unleashes terrible judgment on the earth. This reveals the seriousness with which God takes sin and that one day, the world will become subject to the consequences of its actions.
The Pit, the Army, and the Little Book (Revelation 9:1–10:11): From the devastation of locusts to the plagues that will wipe out a third of the population, the situation for humanity grows darker. Satan is allowed to rule and to release more demons on the world than have ever been seen. Thus, the second half of the Tribulation commences.
The Witnesses and the Dragon (Revelation 11:1–12:7):
God sends two witnesses to the earth to warn the remainder of humanity to repent and turn to the Lord, whom the beast comes to kill. After this, a woman gives birth to a child who will make war with the red dragon. This brings the conflict between Satan and Christ into sharper focus.
The Rise of the Antichrist (Revelation 12:8–14:2):
John reveals details about the Jewish remnant, the coming Jesus Christ, and their conflict with Satan in the second half of the Tribulation. All of this leads to the rise of the beast of the sea, or the antichrist, who will lead the charge against God and His people.
Armageddon and Babylon the Great (Revelation 14:3–17:5):
Christ appears as a reaper bringing in the last harvest of souls. Heaven prepares to pour out the bowls of God’s wrath on the rest of humanity, leading to the Battle of Armageddon. The mocking harlot named Babylon the Great appears riding on a beast.
The Coming of the King (Revelation 17:6–19:21):
Babylon falls, and heaven and earth mourn for her. Then, all heaven breaks forth in song, as Christ returns on a white horse to rule the earth. While every Christian sees this moment as a delightful occasion, those who have rejected Him will find this a tragic day.
Heaven and Earth Reborn (Revelation 20:1–21:14):
Satan, the beast and the antichrist are all vanquished to the lake of fire, along with all of humanity who rejected Christ. God remakes the heavens and the earth as a home for the elect where He will dwell with them forever.
The River and the Tree (Revelation 21:15–22:21):
God reveals the return of the tree of life, offering its free fruit to God’s children, as they will spend eternity with Christ. John is told again to record only what he saw in this vision and nothing more. Christ promises that He will come back soon!