The last book of the Bible intimidates Bible rookies. It is couched primarily in the language of visions and dreams and needs some care in interpreting and understanding. And the content of those visions is so scary! Things do not look good for the church until Jesus comes back. Even the rookies, however, can see that there is an unbelievably happy ending for Christians.
In the meantime, to give encouragement and hope to the believers as we struggle along, waiting for our final redemption, the Lord gave seven “benedictions” or “blessed statements.” These statements describe happy outcomes for the people who do certain things. Here’s #1: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near” (Revelation 1:3).
The Bible, including its priceless Revelation at the end, does not self-read or self-hear or self-believe. It is a stunning gift of God, but that gift needs to be received gladly and thankfully and then used. It is not intended as a decorative object in homes and churches. It is a working document, living and breathing, pulsing with spiritual energy, and deep with wisdom for the Christian life. It reveals Satan for the ugly terrorist that he is but reveals Christ our Savior in his sacred and triumphant glory.
You will be blessed when you read it and hear it. You will be blessed even more when you believe it.