The Message Of Revelation Friday, June 23, 2017
The Message Of The Book Of Revelation (KJV)
By James L. Thornton
Thousands of men and women of varied religions and races, nations, and cultures had listened to a new and compelling word, and had become Christians. Their experience with the new faith was to make new men and women of them. That faith was to go through their lives with transforming power.
But they did not come under its influence with empty minds or with empty lives. Their whole past spoke to them in a thousand ways. Their minds were full of pictures which came from old religions. Their hearts were full of passions which came from old ways of living. Some of it could blend with this new faith, but some of it must be utterly cast out.
By A.D. 95 Christianity had become a living tradition. Certain facts and truths were, not only accepted, they were glorified by the richness of a great adoration. At the very thought of them Christians were ready to burst into song.
In Revelation, there is much tragedy, there is much glory. We are constantly hearing bursts of Heavenly music. The new religion has given to Christians the environment in which they live. They can retreat into this environment of mind and spirit, and can escape the threatening and evil environment of the world. They believe with all their hearts and minds in One Great God of perfect goodness and perfect truth and perfect strength. He has come to the world in the person of Jesus Christ, Who with all Authority of God and all the Power of God.
Jesus has suffered the fierce onslaughts of whole evil of the world. It has done Him the worst it could do. It has nailed Him to a cross. From the cross He has come forth completely triumphant, alive, and powerful forevermore. His throne is the ultimate throne of the universe. His great deed upon the cross is a mighty deed of rescue. In His death men find life, as in His life they find life forevermore. He is not only Savoir, He is Judge. His Judgment is the final word in the destiny of men and of nations. All other authority and powers dissolve and disintegrate before Him. His authority and His power are eternal.
The worship of the Emperor set Rome against the Christian religion. Christ must occupy an unshared throne. The Christian could not worship the Emperor. To the Christian, Christ was the Judge both of the Emperor and of the Empire.
So the great Empire and the little Church met in battle array. And the Christian witnessed to his faith by dying for it. The Martyr became the triumphant soldier of Christ. It was a terrible test, and there were many who could not meet it. But the Church was already triumphant in the invisible reign of Jesus Christ.
It was Rome which was passing. The reign of Christ was eternal. The Rome which attempted to judge Christ, must accept the judgment of Christ. The Martyr was completely victorious in the very hour of his seeming defeat.
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By James L. Thornton