Summer Newsletter Excerpt
Revelation Bible Study
By Rudy Ratzlaff and Lead Pastor Steve Berkenpas
I grew up with an understanding of the book of Revelation based on fear – fear of an end time apocalypse since that was preached during my formative years. I feared that I would be left behind in the rapture because of sin. Losing one’s salvation was possible in the theology I grew up with.
For a long time, Revelation was one of my least favourite books of the Bible. Studying Revelation has helped confirm the opposite of what I used to fear. The opposite of fear is now encouragement.
Now I can rejoice that all is in God’s control even in the midst of worldwide chaos of politics and climate change; God will defeat the forces of evil, not with violent battles but with the same Word/Spirit that created this world in the first place. I still have not resolved the circle of life issue, but it is not keeping me up at night any longer.
Thank you Pastors Ben and Steve, Rudy Ratzlaff
Context from Pastor Steve…
From January to May, a group of a dozen or so gathered on Sunday mornings to discuss the book of Revelation together chapter by chapter. One of the reasons Pastor Ben and I wanted to study the book of Revelation was because there is so much misunderstanding around it. Depending on how we read it, it can be used to scare others, it can be wielded to intimidate or confuse us. However, this couldn’t be further from the intention that runs all the way through the book as noted by one of the regulars in our group, Rudy Ratzlaff. When I asked if he would be willing to write some of his reflections for the newsletter, he wrote what you saw above.
Thank you to Rudy and to the others who joined us. It was great to wrestle through these passages and hear the different insights and connections everybody was making as we worked our way through Revelation. We are glad that it was a place of encouragement even if not everything was fully resolved. It seems there is always more for us to learn and consider.
When we wrapped up, we asked the question of whether we should do something like this again – which was met with enthusiasm. So the question I want to bring to you as we consider what to do next: What would you like to study? A book of the Bible? A Subject? Let us know by emailing us or by scanning the QR code on the left.