Sunday (Nov 11, 2012), we begin a two-week series on the tribulations out of Revelation. It’s been an extra-ordinary task to internalize and prepare to engage these messages. Several moments over the past couple of weeks, as we’ve been working through our God’s UnFailing series, I have felt in some measure like the Apostle John, who had to eat a bit of the prophecy he was being given. He described it as “sweet on the lips but sour in the stomach.” I’ve had that sour stomach feeling more than a few times lately.
Especially now with looking at the Tribulations. There’s obviously a mountain of material written on Revelation (sometimes I assume that all the commentaries are the mountains that will be thrown into the sea on the last days…). In prep for and through this series, I’m reading a lot of it. Everything from the most conservative perspectives that essentially position the Apocalypse as a past event that was all fulfilled (except for the new heaven/earth part) at the close of the Roman empire, to some (fairly) wild stuff that looks to trace Revelation through history, which ultimately places us (you, me, this culture and often our country) at the most critical juncture (how convenient!)
I want to offer a faithful, balanced and wonderfilled exploration of vision of the End of Times that brings us deeper into God’s bigger Story. The book of Revelation is stretching my mind, my heart and expanding my sense of hope in God’s UnFailing plan to restore all things to Himself.
Every Sunday, I consider it a privilege to teach. I really enjoy pouring over the Word and seeing how the Story speaks fresh today. I’m a former broadcast television writer/producer–that was my first career and my passion for journalism is rooted in reading the news as a young boy. I’d sit and read the newspaper on the floor and was always drawn in by the fact that the headlines and stories were about real people living real life.
Often difficult. Sometimes tragic. Real Life is going on both here in our time and back then in at the time God’s Word being lived out first hand. This perspective is what I try to bring that into each and every message. “How do we fit in God’s unfolding Story?”
So back to the Tribulations? How do we fit? What’s is our role and place in the difficult days are the foretold. Did they happen already?
Is it all happening right now?
Or, is it a time that is to come?
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)