This month we are finishing up our journey through the New Testament. I pray it has been a year of incredible growth for you in the Lord as you have spent time in His Word, and I pray you will continue to read with us in 2018 as we work our way through the first half of the Old Testament. Our final book this year, of course, is Revelation. Ironically this book simultaneously holds the distinction for being the most discussed book of the Bible, as well as the most avoided. As you will find out this month, Revelation is not an easy read by any means. Yet, I believe the message of Revelation is very applicable to our lives today. I say that not because of trying to discern whether or not we are living in the end times. Rather, I believe Christians should regularly read Revelation to be reminded of the following: heaven and hell are real and Jesus wins in the end. First, we need to be regularly reminded that heaven and hell are in fact real places, and how we respond to the gospel determines where we end up when Jesus returns. Far too often, our interactions with others fail to show them that these places are in fact real. In regards to hell, avoiding sharing the gospel with the lost and being complacent with sinful behaviors both communicate to the world that hell is not real. In regards to heaven, storing up treasures on this earth, complaining about suffering, and a general lack of hope all communicate to the world that heaven is not real. Let’s not let that either be true of us. Rather, as Christ’s love works through us, let us be quick to warn others of the perils of hell, while also pointing them to the joy and hope found in the gospel. Secondly, Revelation reminds us that in the end Jesus wins. Satan will claim victory to several battles in this life: disease, body decay, abuse, neglect, sin, pain, and death to name a few. However, the ultimate victory belongs to the Lord. God will bound up Satan and the rest of His enemies for all of eternity, pain and suffering will be no more, and those who follow Jesus will reign with him forever. Therefore, even in the midst of all of life’s trials, temptations, and sufferings, there is great reason for hope. A little while longer and Jesus will have His victory. A little while longer and we will be able to see Jesus and worship Him forever. So as we read through Revelation this month, I pray that, more than confusion, this book would bring comfort to us all in the midst of suffering, as well as clarity in regards to our need to share the gospel with others. May we find great joy in the conclusion of God’s story to rescue sinners through Jesus. And may we also look forward with eager anticipation knowing that Revelation 22 marks the beginning of another story, one in which we remain in the garden with God…forever.