In the previous post we explored how people interpret, or explain, the Book of Revelation. On one side you have those who interpret the Book of Revelation using an allegorical method. This method is finding the hidden (or spiritual) meanings within the words themselves. On the other side you have those who use what has been known as the literal-grammatical method. This method describes Christians who take the words of the Book of Revelation, in their context, and their normal, and plain sense. After examining some of the characteristics of the Book of Revelation it was shown the Book of Revelation demands to be read using the literal-grammatical method.
How would a Biblical counselor use the Book of Revelation in counseling? Let me share four ways that a Biblical counselor could use the Book of Revelation in a counseling session.
The Book of Revelation can be used to instruct repentance of active sin: In the Book of Revelation, Jesus gives John a message concerning seven churches. Jesus rebukes each of them regarding their sin and tells them each to repent. Jesus then tells five of the seven churches about the discipline they would receive if they did not repent (Rev. 2:2-5; 2:13-17; 2:20-23; 3:1-4; 3:15-17) and the rewards they would receive if they did repent (Rev. 2:7; 2:17; 2:26-28; 3:5; 3:20-21). A Biblical counselor can examine how sin places one at risk of being disciplined by God for the purpose of encouraging repentance and restoration. The Book of Revelation can also be used to show that repentance can lead to eternal rewards.
The Book of Revelation can be used to show that God is sovereign in a troubled world: John gives an account of God holding a book that no one is worthy to open, and John begins to weep that no one is found worthy to break the seals, due to the unworthiness of creation as a result of men’s sinfulness (Rev. 5:1-4). One of the elders proclaims that the Lion from the tribe of Judah and the Root of David is worthy to break the seals (Rev. 5:5-9). A Biblical counselor can explore, and share, with a counselee that the struggles one has will not last forever because Jesus has taken on sin and the punishment for sin in place of mankind, has been exalted, and has been given the authority to judge mankind.
The Book of Revelation can used to show that God is merciful: Also in chapter 5 John tells the reader that the elders sang to the Lamb a new song. This song mentions that the Lamb that was slain and purchased (through His blood) for God His people from every tribe, tongue, language, and nation (Rev. 5:9). A Biblical counselor can investigate and explore the truth from sacred Scripture and what it means that God has purchased the counselee with His own blood.
The Book of Revelation can be used to comfort one who is troubled and grieving: John, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes about the coming Millennial Kingdom, and the New Heavens and New Earth (Rev. Chaps 20-22). For a counselee who is struggling with adversity, or is hopeless in their present state, pointing them to the reconciliation of all things. This can also be used to comfort the heavy heart of those who have lost loved ones in the faith, with the wonderful promise they will be united with them forever.
The Book of Revelation is a great book that tells us about God’s holiness, justice, wrath, and righteousness and peace. It is also a book that reminds us God will restore all things. A Biblical Counselor can use this book to highlight the severity of active sin, the mercy of God, and the blessed future for all those who trust in Him. The Book of Revelation can also be utilized as an example to show the mercy of God found in the gospel of Christ that was given to all tongues, tribes, languages, and nations. In addition, the Book of Revelation can be used to show God is in control of all the things that take place under heaven. Lastly, the Book of Revelation can be used by the Biblical counselor to highlight the fact that the future is bright for the Christian. May we observe the eternal truths found in this glorious book, and guide the counselee as they are corrected, strengthened, and encouraged to see God more clearly. Amen.
Until next time…
Soli Deo Gloria!