I was blessed to be in the seats at Baptist Church of the Redeemer for the six months or so that Jim Hamilton preached through the book of Revelation. I was new to the church and fairly new in pastoral ministry. I remember thinking: “I can’t believe he’s preaching on this!” Don’t get me wrong, I believed that all of the Bible was true and profitable for the body of Christ. But, admittedly my interaction with friends and other pastors on Revelation had always produced more fear and confusion for me than edification.
But, I was struck by how clear and powerful the sermon series proved to be. Jim did not overwhelm us with theories, positions or charts. He simply explained, with passion and gravity, this very important book of the Bible. I remember coming away from those sermons and being more impressed with the beauty, strength and majesty of Jesus than ever before. The “crucified, risen, ascended, reigning and returning” Lord seemed to peer directly at us from the pages of John’s letter on those Sundays. There was expectation for the future, yes but not the kind that leads to speculation and calculation. It was the kind that made obedience in the present all the more attractive and logical. Jesus was real and was coming again. We were confronted with His power and the futility of resisting it.
I’m so thankful that Crossway has seen the blessing and value that these sermons and Jim’s careful study offer for the wider Church. So, I couldn’t be more excited to now hold Revelation, The Spirit Speaks to the Churches in my hands. Pastors, if you’re not familiar with the Preaching the Word commentary series, edited by R. Kent Hughes, you should quickly familiarize yourself. This series has been helpful to me in my preparation through the book of Acts and the gospel of Mark. I know that this latest edition to this reliable series will serve you very well, both as an encouragement to preach on Revelation and as a resource as you go about explaining this glorious book to your congregations.
When Jim stood up to begin the series on Revelation, I admit to having doubts about how applicable this apocalyptic work would be to our church full of normal people with normal needs, too many to mention. Then, near the beginning of his first sermon, he said something like this:
“We have been lulled to sleep by the ordinariness of our lives. Our senses have been dulled by the humdrum of one day after another. We need to see God as he is. We need to be convinced that Jesus is reigning as the risen King. We need to have him speak to the situation in our churches. We need to know that God is right now on his throne, in control in Heaven, worshiped by myriads upon myriads of the heavenly host. We need to see the way that God will pulverize wickedness, obliterate those who oppose him, and set up his kingdom. The book of Revelation has exactly what we need.” –Pg. 18
The book of revelation is exactly what we need. I hope that you will benefit greatly from this new volume and that through it, our confidence in and worship of our reigning and returning King will soar!