“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”
and those who hear the words of this prophecy,
God blesses those who “hear” prophecy. It is one thing to “read” prophecy but it is another thing to “hear” prophecy.
Revelation is not history; it is prophecy. Revelation is essentially prophecy. All of us take interest in the future. God is gracious to reveal to us something of the future.
John repeats this pronouncement of blessing at the end of the book as well.
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:7).
No prophecy of the past deemed to fulfilled already has failed to come true. Scores of prophecies of the first coming of Christ came true in full detail. Not one of the thousands of prophecies of Scripture has ever failed to come true.
God not only blesses us if we read Revelation but He blesses us if we “hear” this prophecy.
God expects us to listen to prophecy, not render it into oblivion.
We live in a day that minimizes prophecy. There are many reasons for the demotion of God’s prophecy, but whatever the reason, they are the opposite of John’s point.
There are those who obsess over prophecy. That is a different kind of distortion. However, do you have a heart for God’s prophetic program? This passage is a command to “listen” to prophecy. Can you perceive that it will have great impact on your spirituality? Is there positive volition in your heart toward the message of Revelation?