Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Today I want us to notice that there are three blessings associated with this book. The three blessings are for those who read it, those who hear it, and for those who keep those things which are written in it. We will discover that while the first two are quite simple, the third is not.
Let’s look at the first blessing that is for those who read this book. That sounds pretty simple, uh? Unfortunately, because so many feel that the book is a closed book and can never be understood by mere mortals, they do not even bother to read the book and therefore lose this first blessing. I have a hunch that many who are reading this article right now have never even read through this precious book. If you haven’t, do it as soon as you finish reading this article!
Did you notice something else about this first blessing? It doesn’t say, “Blessed is he who reads and understands this book.” Many times when I take a group on a study through this book, they do not quite understand everything that is in it. I know because I can see the glazed look in their eyes! It’s because their knowledge base of the Bible is limited. However, that’s no excuse for not reading it. Lord knows, that when I was in school, I read a lot of things that I didn’t understand! As a matter of fact, I was “glazed” most of the time! My encouragement to you is that you just read it and at the same time get into a church that teaches the Bible in such a way that you can understand it a little more each time you go through it. We’re all learning every day. It just takes time and study.
I’ve found in ministry that many times the Lord doesn’t show us things because He knows that we are not ready for them. We are all in a growing process. Some of us are further along than others, but that’s okay; as long as we are all searching and trying to understand what God has for us. The Bible says that we grow from faith to faith and glory to glory. That means that we grow a little bit at a time. It doesn’t happen overnight. God knows when and how to reveal things to us as He knows that we are ready to receive them.
The second blessing is quite simple in that it only requires that we “hear” the words that are in this book. Of course, there is more to hearing than just being in the same room as the person who is speaking. You wives know exactly what I’m talking about!
Finally, the third blessing is just a little different in that it is not quite as simple as the first two or as easy to obtain as that it is only for those who “keep those things which are written in this book.” Now that implies more than reading and hearing. It implies obedience. The Bible says in James 1:22 that we are to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” As a matter of fact, it is by doing what God says that we know that we love God. John 14:21 says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me…”
Sadly, I know many people, as I’m sure you do, who say they love God with their mouths and yet there is no proof of it in their lives. Unfortunately, they are only deceiving themselves. They have convinced themselves that they are something they are not. That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”
So, it’s not enough to just read and hear the Bible, but we must also do those things that are commanded in the Bible. God wants our life, not just our lip!