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How Does the Book of Revelation Apply to Discipleship?

To me, it seems, at least one of the main points of the Book of Revelation is to encourage believers under persecution or the threat of persecution to persevere and stay faithful to King Jesus. Corrie Ten Boom wrote a letter in 1974 called, “Prepared for the Coming Tribulation” and one of the things she said in it was this, “Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world and see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming true. Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just read the last pages. I can now come to shouting “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” for I have found where it is written that Jesus said, “He that overcomes shall inherit all things: and I will be His God, and he shall be My son.” (Revelation 21:7) This is the future and hope of this world. Not that the world will survive – but that we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying world.” My heart resonates with Corrie Ten Boom, for I would say one of the main ways that I have also applied the Book of Revelation to my life and hopefully into the life of others is the idea of persevering. Christians have suffered in the past, are suffering now and will suffer in the future, but one day Jesus will come back to judge His enemies and rescue His followers. The light at the end of the tunnel is bright. The best is yet to come, and our future is filled with hope. Therefore we are not simply persevering for persevering’s sake but rather we are persevering because we know there will be an end to our persevering. And not just an end, but an end that will make anything, any believer has ever had to go through, be worth every bit of it. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband….He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”… To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:1-7) On the flip side, though the main reason we pursue our own discipleship and the discipleship of others is to experience everlasting forever joy in God, even at the cost of denying earthly and physical comforts, and experiencing tribulations here, one other main reason for coming to Christ and persevering in faith, is because those who don’t know God will experience an end that will make any of the suffering that they went through in this fallen world in the meantime look like child’s play. “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8) So there is a promise of reward to those who heed the books message, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3) And there is a promise of judgement to those who don’t. “ But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:4)

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