For whom was the book of Revelation written and why?

by Richard D. Draper

In Revelation, John finishes what Luke set out to do in Acts. In the Evangelist’s history, he indicated that what motivated him to write his Gospel was his desire to preserve all that “Jesus began both to do and to teach” (Acts 1:1). The key word here is began. The Gospel of Luke is the story of what Jesus began to do. The Acts of the Apostles is the story of what Jesus continued to do after his resurrection as he worked through his servants via the Holy Spirit. Revelation continues that story through the end of time. It shows the active involvement of the Lord in the ongoing progress and, unfortunately, regress of his Church and its people. Fortunately, it also tells of its restoration and describes its mission in the last days. Thus, Revelation was not just for John and the Saints of the seven Churches but for other Saints then and now. Indeed, as we will see, the book speaks to our period even more than that of the seven churches.

As with Acts, Revelation shows how the Lord works with and through his servants. Its long view shows that he will continue to operate that way through the entire course of history, that is, until he moves directly onto the stage when he stands on Mount Zion with the 144,000. John’s book, however, shows him working not only through the Holy Spirit but also and more directly through inspiration to the church leaders whom he symbolically lovingly cups in his hands. The revelation of the Lord in chapter one also teaches us much about the nature and qualifications of the one who heads the church and drives history.

This is an except from The Revelation of John the Apostle, available here.