The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.
• “Revelation” (apokalypsis; GK G637) means to expose in full view what was formerly hidden, veiled, or secret. In the NT this word occurs exclusively in the religious sense of a divine disclosure. It may refer either some to present or future aspect of God’s will (Lk 2:32; Ro 16:25; Eph 3:5) or to persons (Ro 8:19) or especially to the future unveiling of Jesus Christ at his return in glory (2Th 1:7; 1Pe 1:7, 13). In the only occurrence of this word in John’s writings, the meaning is not primarily the appearing or revealing of Christ—though certainly the book does this—but rather the disclosure of “what must soon take place.”
• This book contains truths that were concealed/hidden but are now revealed.
o It warns the church of the danger of sin and instructs it about the need for holiness.
o It reveals the strength that Christ and believers have to overcome Satan.
o It reveals the glory & majesty of God and depicts the reverent worship that constantly attends His throne.
o It reveals the end of human history, including the final political setup of the world, the career of the Antichrist, and the climatic Battle of Armageddon.
o It reveals the coming Glory of Christ’s reign during the millennial kingdom, the Great White Throne judgment, and depicts the eternal bliss of the new heaven & the new earth.
o It reveals the ultimate victory of Jesus Christ over all human & demonic opposition.
o The book of Revelation describes the ultimate defeat of Satan and sin, and the final state of the wicked (eternal torment in hell) & the righteous (eternal joy in heaven).
• In short, this is a front page story of the future of the world written by someone who has seen it all.
• But this book mainly reveals the majesty and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. It describes in detail the events associated with His second coming, revealing His glory that will one day blaze forth as strikingly & unmistakably as lightening flashes in a dark sky. Matt. 24:27
• “what must soon take place” implies that the revelation concerns events that are future (cf. Da 2:28-29, 45; Mk 13:7; Rev 4:1; 22:6). In eschatology and apocalyptic literature, the future is always viewed as imminent without the necessity of intervening time (cf. Lk 18:8). “Soon” does not, in other words, preclude delays or intervening events, as Revelation itself suggests. In ch. 6 we hear the cry of the martyred saints: “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you . . . avenge our blood?” They are told to “wait a little longer” (vv. 10-11). Therefore, “soonness” means immanency in eschatological terms. The church in every age has always lived with the expectancy of the consummation of all things in its day. Immanency describes an event possible any day, impossible no day.
• This should motivate us to live a life holy and obedient. 2Pet 3:14