Revelation gives hope, boldness, Rogers writes in new book
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--In an evil and dangerous time that surely signals the last days, the Book of Revelation gives Christians the encouragement and understanding they need to live bold, hope-filled lives, one of America's most-respected Bible teachers writes in a new book.
Today's news is as frightening as any movie: terrorists smuggle biological weapons, AIDS kills thousands worldwide every day, human fetuses are created and destroyed for cloning research, activist judges promote homosexual "marriage" and armies face off in the Middle East.
Revelation, however, "offers every believer a dramatic and hope-filled overview of what the end of the age will be like," said Adrian Rogers, senior pastor of the 27,000-member Bellevue Baptist Church near Memphis, Tenn., and author of "Unveiling the End Times in Our Times," released by Broadman & Holman, LifeWay Christian Resources' book publishing division.
"These are perilous times, and the nations of this world are a boiling sea out of which a beast will arise," Rogers said. "God wants us to know that from heaven's viewpoint all is planned, under control and on schedule.
"The Book of Revelation tells us that the future is in God's hands and the best is yet to come. It gives us a proper understanding of where history is headed and empowers us to live boldly in eager expectation of the return of King Jesus."
Revelation has fascinated believers for nearly 2,000 years. Its dragons, beasts and plagues confuse and even frighten readers. Yet in its pages Rogers finds "a hope that will fill every believer's heart with a holy anticipation for the return of the triumphant Lamb."
Rogers, who is the featured speaker of the "Love Worth Finding" radio and television ministry and whose books include "The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority," "The Wonder of It All" and "The Nature of Hope," said Revelation's symbolic imagery -- and the way it often is abused -- causes many to shy away from the book altogether.
"When they do that, they miss incredible encouragement and penetrating insight, not only into the future but for today," he said. "That's sad.
"The book is the revelation of Jesus Christ. It reveals Christ in His work and personhood in more splendor and detail than perhaps anywhere else in Scripture. God has a very special blessing for those who read and heed this closing book of the Bible."
Rogers approaches Revelation with a devotional spirit in 28 short chapters that are outlined so Bible teachers or preachers can adapt them for everyday ministry. He highlights Jesus' central role in the book as the Lamb of God and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
The book examines the ancient biblical text in relation to modern events, showing how the signs of the times reveal God's plan for bringing His people into full redemption. It also looks at elements in Revelation that often confuse readers: the symbolic numbers, the significance of Israel, the rapture of the church, the mark of the beast, the battle of Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ.
God meant the book for blessing, not confusion or controversy, Rogers said.
"The Book of Revelation is a great treasure, but it can be a source of fanaticism and foolishness to the careless or carnal reader," he said. "The book was given to engender faith, not fanaticism or foolishness.
"Revelation should be read and studied with an extra measure of humility. I am a convinced pretribulation premillennialist, but many who come from that same basic approach will still disagree with me at various points." (A pretribulation premillennialist view is a belief in the rapture of the saints preceding the tribulation, which is then followed by the 1,000-year reign of Christ.)
"There are some things in the Book of Revelation that will not be known until they are unfolded," Rogers added. "Some prophecies await fulfillment for understanding.
"The bottom line, however, is this: Jesus is coming, and I am certain of that and very, very glad. I have resigned from the program committee and have moved over to the welcoming committee. Even so, come Lord Jesus!"
For more information about "Unveiling the End Times in Our Times," visit lifewaystores.com. (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: REVELATION REVEALED.