OK, so we've begun teaching a class on the Book of Revelation to the lay people of our church. It's going well for being the second week. So far the turn out has been much better than expected, and it's supposed to be even better this week.
Over the course of 11 weeks, we will cover the entire book of Revelation. This past week, we touched on the Starting Points of reading the book (genre, date, author, structure, etc.). This week we will cover ancient apocalypses and how they work and are to be read. Then we will cover the Seven Letters to the Churches, and the remainder of the time, we will cover the Seven Visions of the Shift of the Ages.
On the last week, though, might be my greatest challenge. We will cover the various abusive interpretations of Revelation that have become popular in American mainstream evangelicism. We will cover the issues of the rapture, the Great Tribulation, and the Antichrist. I am placing this at the end of our study to establish a scholarly based understand of Revelation first, and then going back to dissect how the traditions came to be regarded as truth.
But I am so excited to teach the Book of Revelation. It has a most important message to the Church in America today. When we see past the apocalyptic symbolism, we find that Revelation is written to encourage Christians to not assimilate into an alien culture whose teachings are counter to those of Jesus Christ. I've studied Revelation very extensively over the past two years, now I have a passion for sharing what I learned with others, especially the lay people within the Church.
Please pray for that God speaks in this Bible study this fall...