The book of Revelation is the most challenging book of the Bible to understand. Written by John while in exile on the island of Patmos, it records a vision from Jesus of the end of the world as we know it. It should create within us a sense of dreadful awe at His glory, judgment and justice. This vision is full of imagery that can be challenging to decipher. Despite these interpretive challenges, there are concrete realities in the book of Revelation, which our reading will focus on this week.
- God sits in glory on the throne (Revelation 4). Nothing is random or happenstance. He has controlled it all since the beginning and will control it all until the end.
- Judgment is coming (Revelation 6-20).
- Jesus is coming back a second time, and when He does, He will judge fully, finally, and righteously (Revelation 1:7). Those who have not placed their faith in Him will be eternally cast from His presence; those who have placed their faith in Him will spend eternity with Him.
- There is a new heaven and new earth coming where believers will dwell with the Lord. In it, death will be replaced by life, darkness by light, brokenness by purity, and the curses of the fall by the blessings of redemption (Revelation 21-22).
Revelation completes the work of God to restore humanity into right relationship with Himself. For this reason, as believers, we do not have to fret about the future. In fact, we can hope in it. Like John, after we have seen and heard of the future, justice-restoring judgment of God, we can excitedly, expectantly, and hopefully proclaim, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). And do so as we continue to work to share the message of the gospel to the ends of the earth.
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Everyone, including kids, is intrigued by the book of Revelation. The end of this book completes the story of a real Kingdom of God, where God will judge all people and create a new heaven and earth and reign forever. There will be no more crying or sickness or sin or death! It will be a place of constant praise to the One True God. On this earth we have only been able to comprehend a part of who God is; in heaven we will know Him fully! Use this week to showcase Jesus as Almighty God on a white horse symbolizing His lordship. While we do not like to think about God’s wrath and anger toward sin, it is also a part of His nature. This is because He is totally holy. Only because of this was Jesus able to die for our sins. He resisted all temptation on earth and thus was able to carry our punishment. To get a complete picture we must know this to be true of God as well as the love He shows to all creation in sending Christ. God is preparing a place as our loving Father where He will wipe every tear from our eyes. He is Lord!
- “Hallelujah” means to praise God or boast in who He is. What are some ways you could boast about God?
- In Revelation 19:9, John writes that those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb are blessed. That means that they are happy. When we go to a party, we first need an invitation. How do we get our invitation to the Lord’s wedding supper? For help, refer back to the week of November 12-18.
- In Revelation 21:1, what does John see? What is different from this earth than the one we live on now?
- Sometimes at the end of a letter, we add an encouragement about something fun that is going to happen. Why do you think God had John include the end chapters of Revelation?
Activity 1: What is Heaven Like?
As a family, cover the outside of an empty shoe box with shiny wrapping paper and decorate it with jewels, glitter, and stickers. On the inside of box, decorate it in rainbow colors. Cut a piece of white cardstock to fit opening of box. Cut cardstock in half down the middle and decorate the gates to heaven with foil or gold crayon. Tape sides of gates to box so it will open in middle. Inside box, place dollhouse size chair and figure to represent God sitting on His throne, or have your child make a throne (of legos, etc.).
Source: Watermark Community Church
Activity 2: The Price is Right
Find nine small items costing $10 or less and give each item a value (price) close to actual cost and write it down on an index card. The price should be an even dollar amount. Fold card so the price does not show. Then make a card for heaven and leave the price blank. Display all ten items in a row with heaven in the last spot. Guess how much each item costs. Turn over the card to show the actual price and see how many you get right. Ham it up as a game show host might do, describing each item, etc. Last, have them guess the cost of heaven. Explain that heaven has two different costs. What is the cost to us? Read Eph. 2:8-9. What is the cost to God? Read I Peter 1:18-19. Discuss and praise God for His gift of heaven.
Adapted: Kids Sunday School Place
Small Group Discussion
- What promises are there to claim in Revelation?
- What commands are there to obey?
- Faith makes people right with God and produces gospel faithfulness, which reaps gospel reward. The book of Revelation is a triumphant vision of God’s final victory over all the forces of evil in the world. It is filled with the gracious purposes of God, to strengthen His people. How has reading the book of Revelation strengthened your faith?