My young adult group is studying the book of Revelation. I've never been in an indepth Bible study of Revelation. Our group is made up of people in their 20s & 30s, single and married, who desire to labor together for the gospel and grow together in Him. It's not a perfect group by any means, but it's a vibrant ministry to people in our community.
Yesterday, we were working through Revelation 1:9-20. When certain people speak, we listen. The voice we hear from the pages of Revelation is the King and Judge of the universe and He still speaks today.
Our pastor focused in on verses 12-16 which provide a description of the one who is talking. He proceeded through each description something like this:
vs 13 - long robe & golden sash is a priestly image evoking reverence
vs 14 - white hair - same description seen in Daniel 7:9 for Yahweh
vs 14 - eyes like blazing fire signify power
vs 15 - feet like bronze refined in a furnance and a voice like rushing waters demonstrate purity and unrestrained power
vs 16 - sharp double-edged sword from His mouth reminds us that He is coming in judgment
vs 16 - face like the sun reminding us of radiance and power
This is our Jesus, who reigns today, that we believe in, that I believe in. Seeing this Jesus ought to provoke fear, reverence, awe and trembling as we see in vs 17.
He ended by asking us this question: given this image of Jesus, how might our lives be affected as a result? He encouraged us to discuss this around our tables. A guy at my table, Matt, began by saying that he didn't think this would make much difference in our group. He believes that we already hold a good view of Jesus, not as just a nice guy, but as the King and Judge of the world. The only difference he could see was possibly through evangelism but he couldn't really explain more than that. Opinionated as I am, I proceeded to disagree with him. I said that I don't think that most people there truly see God as King and Judge. If we did, if we truly believed that, then we would be much more passionate about reaching the lost. If you honestly believe that one day Jesus will return, judge all and condemn some, then you wouldn't be able to keep yourself from evangelizing your friends, family, coworkers, etc. How can you justify sitting on Good News that could save the people you love?
What keeps me from openly sharing my faith with my family? Why do I struggle to be completely open about the nature of my job when I am with non-Christians? How is that loving? When something exciting happens in my life, don't I jump at the chance to share it with others? I want others to rejoice with me. Shouldn't it be the same with the Good News we have in Jesus?