Revelation #12 – Study Questions
Revelation CGS – Week 12
The opening of the seals.
INTRODUCTION: As we survey the picture revealed by the opening of the seals, we may be a little surprised. The picture is a grim one, but it is not particularly new. War, bloody conquest, famine and pestilence are found in many apocalypses. We begin to wonder why John wept at the prospect of such well-known contents remaining undisclosed (5:4). But there is something new here, the church. The martyrs are singled out in 6:9–11, and chapter 7 is given over to the great multitude of the redeemed. God is in control of the whole process and God is concerned for his people. So, though apocalyptic judgments be loosed against all mankind, believers included, God’s people need never be dismayed. They will be preserved no matter what the tribulation.
Here we are again in Revelation; we are given a reminder of the brokenness of our world as if we needed any additional help remembering that fact. But it isn’t just the grim reminder of that reality. It is also a clarion call to also remember that God is in control. The question that lingers in this section (and the book as a whole) is, how will we respond and live? Will we shrink like those confronted by God’s power because of their sin (vv. 15-17)? Or, will we live with the courageous faith that marks the martyrs (v. 10)? This chapter continues to remind us that not only is God in control, but that we are to live as Christians with courageous faith. Why? Because our victory is secure in the Lamb. And with that, courageous faith is rooted in the Lamb.
GETTING STARTED – One of the aspects we talked about with courageous faith was trust. As you begin your group time, talk about how you have learned to trust God and how you are continually growing in your trust in God.
IN THE WORD – Let’s dig back into the passage. It is important to strengthen our muscles in reading God’s Word. On Sunday, we walked through the passage in the sermon. Hopefully, that helped you to see the landmarks of the passage with fresh eyes. Now, with your group, go back through it and see what God is saying to you specifically.
First, before you read the passage, take a moment to ask God’s Spirit to quiet your mind and heart and to illuminate the text to you. Second, read the passage aloud to the group. Then, follow the simple method below. (O.P.A)
Observe: Make 8-10 observations from the passage. Pay close attention to observe and note repeated words and phrases, names, places, and themes.
Principles: From your list of observations, what patterns or big ideas do you see emerging? Can you distill it down into 2-4 big idea truths?
Apply: Moving from your list of principles, it is time to apply God’s Word. Remember, we believe that God’s Word is living and active and that it can change the way we live Monday- Friday. What is one tangible way to apply a truth from your list above?
Note: Revelation can be a tough book. Here are some questions that might help with discussion.
- One of the things we have said repeatedly over this series is that faith is not blind, and that includes trust. If God doesn’t ask us to trust him blindly, how has he demonstrated himself trustworthy to you?
- What are some practices in your life that help grow your trust in God? How do those impact your everyday faith?
- When you think of the phrase courageous faith, what comes to mind? How would you define it? If courageous faith doesn’t mean without any fear, how can we have courageous faith even in the face of really difficult circumstances?
- How does this chapter prompt you towards faithfulness? How does it reorient your perspective on your circumstances (both positive things and challenges)?
- What consolation is there in these chapters when it feels as if history is spinning out of control?
 Leon Morris, Revelation: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 20, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987), 103.
 Questions adapted from: Chester, Tim. Revelation For You: Seeing history from heaven’s perspective (p. 60). The Good Book Company. Kindle Edition.