Last week Bruce led us in an excellent discussion of the first chapter of Revelation. I admitted that I don’t like Revelation, but not because it bothers me like James does. James bothers me because it points out the flaws in my life. It says to me,”So, you have faith in God. Prove it by how you live.” It is definitely a portion of scripture, for me, that cuts sharper than a two edged sword.
Revelation, on the other hand, bugs me not because of what it says, but because of what everyone says about it. It is one of those portions of scripture that everyone has an opinion on and are willing to fight over. Are you pre-trib or post-trib. Premillennial or postmillennial? Just what do all the symbols in the book mean? And it drives me nuts because most people are reading the book to find out the answer to one question: when is Jesus to return and what will be the events leading up to His return.
So is this kind of attempt bad? Well not per se, its just a waste time. Let me be clear, all scripture is valuable, including the parts that make me feel uncomfortable or bugs me or that I find just plain boring, and this applies to Revelation. The problem does not lie in Revelation, it is in us. Jesus knew this and he had the answer to the problem. Frankly the answer is more of the same sort of stuff I find unsettling in James.