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Key Themes Of Revelation

Here are three key themes that I think are central to the book of Revelation. There are many others that could be added, but I think that these three provide a good overall summary of the book. These themes set the book of Revelation in a light that make it accessible to us and applicable to our lives. Some of the mystery is removed and we are able to see and discern some important aspects of this wonderful book that demonstrate its relevance to us.

Sovereignty – The main theme of the book of Revelation is the Sovereignty of God. This is seen in His judgments, his reigning over history, his being the Creator, his defeat of Satan, and the unfathomable greatness of His glory. “Revelation particularly emphasizes God’s sovereignty and Jesus victory over death.”[1]

Perseverance/Endurance – Another theme of the book of Revelation is the idea of perseverance or endurance. This is seen in the emphasis upon the need to be faithful in the midst of persecution. It is also seen in the waiting and longing expressed for the final consummation of all things. “…perseverance is naturally one of the key themes of Revelation.”[2]

Witness/Mission – Closely connected to the perseverance theme is the theme of witnessing to God’s salvation. God is not only the Supreme judge in the book of Revelation, but He is also the source and means of Salvation. Thus Revelation calls all to salvation in light of the coming judgment of God upon those outside of relationship with Him. “In this book [Revelation] God has a great interest in reaching the lost.”[3] “Therefore, the focus of the book is exhortation to the church community to witness to Christ in the midst of a compromising, idolatrous church and world.”[4]

[1] Thomas Schreiner. The King In His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments.(Grand Rapids: Baker Academic a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2013), 620. See also Grant Osborne. Revelation. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2002), 31. And D. A. Carson and Douglas Moo. An Introduction To The New Testament. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 721.

[2] Grant Osborne. Revelation. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2002), 42. See also Thomas Schreiner. The King In His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2013), 619.

[3] Ibid., 41.

[4] G. K. Beale. The Book of Revelation. The New International Greek Testament Commentary. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999), 33.

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