Surely the purpose of the book can be summed up in this one short statement -- "It is not over until it is over" or as one would say in the Afrikaans language "Vasbyte", being interpreted "Hang in there it is worth your while in the end." The optimism that is depicted by John is not arrogant stupidity but rather one that comes from the strength and the knowledge of the Power of the King that we serve.
I believe that this attitude toward a portion of the Inspired Word of God to be un-acceptable to God and to all those who profess to be children of His. There is the ever on going conflict of war present. Armies clash either to suffer defeat and destruction of winning in Victory. The word of God is given for many different reasons: "(16) All Scripture given by inspiration of God, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2Timothy -17) "as His divine power has given to us all things that to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue," (2Peter 1:3) From these two scriptures alone I believe that the child of God today must reach a decision that the message contained in the book of Revelation is as important to us today as it was at the time of its writing. As one looks at the plight of the First Century Christians one cannot help but wonder what their state would have been, had such a book as Revelation not been written. 95 a Roman Law was proclaimed that it was a crime to be a Christian and that such was punishable by death. In the minds of these Christians the overall result they foresaw must have been that they stood to be defeated and totally eliminated from the face of the earth by Rome who, at this point in time, was well armed and was recognized to be the mightiest army in the world. How hopeless their plight must have looked to them and to others whom they were trying to persuade to believe. Emperor Worship was at its pinnacle and allegiance to the Caesar was demanded of all Roman subjects. To many without the words of comfort in the book of Revelation the cause for which they stood must have seemed hopeless.
Yet in the visions of John the message is clear that the conflict which "soon is to come to pass" 1:1 the Christian is admonished and is comforted in knowing that the Lord Christ is God and is victorious over the Evil forces in the end.
One empire subjected its subjects by physical force while the Kingdom of Christ subjected its followers with the spiritual message of God.
The vast difference can be seen in the method of subjection: 1.
(6) In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, to His ears." Psalm 18:1-6 The message and purpose of the book for Christians living today is basically the same.
Though our enemy is not the Roman Empire and paganism, and though we are not subjected to bow the knee to any man by force, the enemy remains the same.
(2) The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.