The Book of Revelation, the final book of the Christian Bible, is full of shocking revelations! Beasts and monsters join angels and visions to paint an extraordinary picture.
We cannot get our minds round much of it it. To some extent, that is the point! God, through Christ's disciple Jesus, wants to give us shocking revelations. These wake us up to the realities of everyday life. John paints our everyday life in language like our political cartoons. We are shocked and made to think again in different ways about what is going on.
Is Revelation about the future?
When we say that Revelation is about predicting the future, we have missed the whole point. It is about our present, if we open our minds to see. We have shocking revelations about the powers and authorities that govern so much of our lives, as they are seen for what they really are. (See also Ephesians 6:10-17)
Is Revelation about the future as well? Revelation does also give us insight into the future. The powers and authorities will one day be totally overcome. The peaceable victory of the cross and resurrection are already working their way though the world and history like yeast. One day all wrong and suffering and evil will get it comeuppance. Everyone in the world will have the shocking revelation. What is already true and happening will be completed.
As we are shocked awake, we see afresh that Christ really is Lord in all things. God's Kingship is often hidden in daily life, but "behind the scenes" Christ ie very active. Hence the emphasis on angels. God brings the New Jerusalem. It is not something humanity can build in England or anywhere else.
One day Christ will return, all will be revealed and plain to see (hence "Revelation"). For all suffering this will be a wonderul revelation - the justice and healing they have longed for. For those wedded to wrongdoing it will be a shocking revelation
As we see things afresh we see also how close God is to us - closer than our own breath. Heaven is opened (hunt for '"open door" in the Book of Revelation). The invisible barriers between us and God begin to break down. Our prayer life is refreshed, renewed and indeed become urgent.
Open the Book
Is your and our prayer life urgent. If not, maybe you will find the prescription in the Book of Revelation.
As I have studied it, the strange language has gradually begun to make sense to me and I am becoming more deeply aware of the awesome working of God in all life. May that language come alive for you too.