After His ascension to heaven (Acts 1:9), Jesus visited the last of the living apostles, John, on the island of Patmos, where John had been exiled by the ruthless Roman emperor Domitian.
Read Revelation 1:9. See also Matthew 13:21, Acts 14:22, and John 16:33. What’s the message here for all who seek to follow Jesus in this world?
Separated from the support of his family, friends, and the Christian community, John was not left alone in the tribulations and trouble that he faced as a follower of Jesus. His ministry was not over. His witness was not complete. An angelic visitor of dazzling brightness visited John on that lonely isle and brought him a message directly from the throne of God. This message from Jesus was to echo down the corridors of time through the centuries. It was a message of hope for every generation, but especially a message to prepare God’s last-day people for the coming of Jesus. It is a serious message of warning as well as an end-time message of encouragement as we get ready to face the trials of the final days (or any trials that you might be facing now).
If you were to enter the cave where it is purported that John was visited by the heavenly angel with Revelation’s prophetic vision, you would immediately notice these words placed on a plaque at its entrance summarizing the entire book of Revelation: “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water” (Revelation 14:7, NKJV).
The central issue in the book of Revelation is worship. We were created as worshiping beings. Every one of us worships something or someone. True worship, the worship of the Creator, enables us to discover life’s true purpose. It gives us a reason for living. It gives us not only something to die for but, even more significantly, something to live for and, if need be, to endure tribulations for. And indeed, as the final crises arise, we will better understand the words that “we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22, NKJV).
|If faithful servants of God, like John, face suffering and tribulation, what makes us think we, ourselves, won’t face trouble either? (See 1 Peter 4:12-15.)|