Tuesday in the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time

Revelation 1:9-11

In the Spirit on the Lord’s Day

The Apostle John is writing this “letter” to seven churches in Asia Minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.  These were real churches in that time (roughly A.D. 95) and what he says to each church is specific to that church.  But as I have previously said, the number seven indicates that John is addressing the universal Church the world over, which at that time centered around the Mediterranean Sea and eastward. 

And why is he writing these churches and the Church as a whole?  The Book of Revelation sugarcoats nothing but describes in graphic though symbolic language what is coming upon the whole world, and, indeed, is the very nature of the world which is ever at war with God.  And though God’s people win in the end, their victory is not without great tribulation and suffering.  Though I believe in a rapture, I see nothing in Scripture that even hints that Christians will be taken up before any tribulation described in this Book.  Christians have been persecuted the world over throughout history and the fact that we in America have yet to experience such is an anomaly and not the norm.  And we should not expect that we of all people shall miss out on any tribulation or persecution yet to come.

Indeed, the Book of Revelation suggests that tribulation is the modus operandi of a Christian’s life.  That is why John calls believers “partner(s) in tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance.”  John’s readers already know this; they have already suffered.  He writes to tell them that more is coming (and it did over the course of the next two centuries plus) and that they must remain faithful by refusing to compromise and by mortifying remaining sin in their lives.  Their patient endurance through suffering is their victory (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, NIGTC, 201-2).

Note that John received his revelation when he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.”  It is so important that we prepare ourselves for worship the evening before through prayer and meditation, and that our time in worship is profitably spent listening intently to the proclamation of the word—not so that we may receive a vision, but that we may commune with God, which is the believer’s greatest reward.  And while in the Spirit—listening, meditating, praying—he heard behind him “a loud voice like a trumpet” commanding him to write what he saw in a book.  Revelation now begins.  But it begins with John ready to receive.  Be sure to be in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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