During Nero’s reign (54-68 AD), Christians were under heavy persecution, as Nero demanded worship for himself. His successors, Vespasian (69-79 AD) and Domitian (81-96 AD) were equally as hostel to Christians.
The Apostle John was exiled to the Island of Patmos and is widely credited with authorship of the last book in the Bible, Revelation.
This final book of the Bible was probably written around 95 AD. John sees a vision and writes down what he saw and heard.
The writer tells of the triumphant return of Jesus and shares Jesus’ moral admonitions for the seven churches in Asia minor. As much as the letters to these churches deal with events to come, they also deal with the state of faith among the believers there at the time, as well as the state of believers around the world today.
At the time, the Romans were persecuting the church and, as a result, many would turn away from the faith. But the book chronicles the victory of God over Satan and the Antichrist.
The end of time, as we know it, will come, as God establishes His Kingdom, with Jesus on the throne.
Why it matters
Revelation is a conclusion to the story that God wanted to share. Christians are encouraged to keep the faith, and in doing so, reap the benefits of eternity in God’s house.
We are given the promise of closure, the ultimate victory of good over sin and evil.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. 19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.
Why it matters to you
God does not waste words. He shares insights into events that will occur in the future, not to fill the pages or confuse the reader, but to objectively warn us about the pitfalls of life, things to avoid and give us encouragement to put our trust and faith in His plan.
We are given a glimpse of Jesus, not as Lamb of God, a gentle Rabbi, but as the King of kings and Lord of lords, in His full glory.
John most likely understood very little of what he was seeing. Like the prophets before him, John was inspirited to write down the account of what he saw, making no attempt to interpret.
Inspired by God, John transcribed what Jesus said about the churches.
What you may not know
Revelation is a classic example of apocalyptic writing. It is highly symbolic and the book can be very difficult to interpret or understand. It is the final piece in a truly remarkable book, not only signifies the end of time, but the beginning of eternity.
From the beginning, to the promise of a Messiah, to the prophecies about Jesus, to His birth, life, crucifixion to His resurrection, the Bible maps out a pathway to God.
Of the Apostles, John was the only one who died of old age, as the rest were executed. Of the original 12, John was the last one left.