We began NUMB3RS yesterday with the teaching that “Revelation is a letter. It’s a letter to churches.”
We wanted to begin there because it prevents so much mis-reading of the book. Think about it: have you ever gotten a personal letter written by someone you know and love but that letter had nothing to do with you? Probably not. Or have you ever sent a letter to someone you know personally but the letter had nothing to do with that person? I doubt it.
Yet that’s what too many people do with Revelation. Although it was written and delivered to seven specific churches in the first century, a lot of 21st century American Christians have decided the book is all about us. As Ben Witherington of Asbury Seminary has said, “Revelation means now what it meant then.”
In other words, before Revelation means anything to us, it meant something to them — them being those seven first century churches. Our goal in NUMB3RS is to figure out what it meant then and then apply it to now.
By the way, our Discipleship Pastor James-Michael Smith working with Joe Jackson has put together an amazing set of sermon intros. Here’s the one from yesterday that shows just how the book of Revelation was written and distributed:
It’s really good to work with people like that . . .