So I've been thinking about the book of Revelation so much recently that I came up with a list.
Top Five Misconceptions About The Book Of Revelation
1. That it is "The Book Of Revelations." There is no such thing as the book of Revelations. It's Revelation, singular.
2. That Revelation 4:1 -- "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, 'Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.'" -- indicates the Rapture of the entire church and therefore the next 15 chapters (chapters 4-19) are all about the Great Tribulation that true believers watch from heaven. It looks to me like the voice says "come up here" to John only, but I'll get more into that on Sunday.
3. That it is a calendar of events for the end of the world, which as we now know will occur sometime after May 13, 2008. That interpretation would come as quite a surprise to the first readers of the book, who knew that it very much had something to do with their lives and their churches in 95 AD.
4. That differences of interpretation on the book divides believers. Well, no. Though I've got some strong opinions on the details -- and my opinions differ from what many people are taught these days -- on the essentials all evangelicals agree: Jesus really is coming back to judge the quick and the dead. (How great is the way the Creed says that?)
5. That Barney the Dinosaur is the 666 from Revelation 13:18. OK . . . maybe that's not a misconception.
Tomorrow: five excellent resources to help you dig into Revelation.