Friday, February 08 2019
As a parent, I find myself instructing my children in the hearing of other children not so much that my kids hear the same teaching again but so their friends and peers hear how to behave respectfully.
Sometimes, a Christian may need to correct false beliefs even when the opposition will likely dismiss it so that those who are listening can know the truth of God’s Word. However, Paul taught Timothy,
The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. (2 Tim 2:24–26 NASB)
Much of the New Testament is for Christians to read other Christians' mail. The prophets wrote the Scriptures addressing people in foreign and distant times. However, God’s words to Moses from the burning bush and His commandments to Israel from the cloud of Mount Sinai are God’s words intended for the teaching of all (cf. Rom 15:4; 1 Cor 10:6, 11).
John wrote all that he saw of “the revelation of Jesus Christ” that would soon take place (Rev 1:1). God gave John’s Revelation for all servants of Christ to read aloud and hear (Rev 1:3). However, John wrote to the seven churches of Asia. God spoke to John by the Holy Spirit, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea” (Rev 1:11). The apostles often wrote to specific churches, but the apostles also intended the epistle for all. For instance, Paul wrote, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:” (1 Cor 1:2; cf. 2 Cor 1:1).
Therefore, the Scriptures were for various people whether separated by distance of land or time. Peter wrote his first epistle to churches among five different nations, yet he wrote the same churches in his second letter and informed them that Paul’s writings were also to them (1 Pet 1:1; 2 Pet 3:15). However, Paul never wrote a letter addressed to any church in Pontus, Bithynia, or Cappadocia. Peter noted that Paul’s writings were for and to all Christians throughout the nations. This practice makes sense when one reads numerous writings in antiquity and sees the ancient practice of publishing letters written to specific people was a common form of writing in the ancient classical world (IVPBBC).
For this reason, the Book of Revelation is for all Christians. God has blessed all Christians to read the Revelation to John. John recorded, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Rev 1:3). God revealed the Book of Revelation for every Christian to have endurance in the victory of Jesus Christ.