Revelation 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who obey what is written in it, for the time is near.
The Revelation to John was given to him in about 90 AD. He was on the island of Patmos because he was actively living for and testifying about Jesus Christ and the gospel of salvation. He was banished to island of Patmos because he obeyed God rather than men when he was told to quit speaking about Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. Would you obey God rather men if you were going to be imprisoned on an island for proclaiming the gospel?
The revelation of Jesus Christ was given to John to write down because God wanted His servants to know what was going to take place in their lives. God revealed His will to the seven churches and to all the Church throughout all time before the return of Christ. This revelation is not in chronological order, but is rather a slide show presentation that takes us to the time just before the return of Christ and then back to cover a shorter period of time in more detail three times. The revelation includes the history of the battle with Satan, the fall of the one world government established by a satanically empowered leader, the details of the coming of Christ the King and Judge, and the creation of the new heavens and earth. In the content of the revelation, we find teaching that is to be obeyed by the Church throughout the ages.
John saw the revelation and recorded it for the benefit of the Church. Those who read the revelation to the church (or teach it) and those who hear and obey the revelation will be blessed. With all that is going on in our world today, this is a very relevant book to know. It teaches us what is going to happen and how to live until all that will happen occurs.
I encourage each of you who will go through this devotional trek through Revelation to read through it as many times as you can to get a more complete picture of what is now and what will be as we move closer to the coming of Christ. Note the blessing comes to those who obey. This is not a mere intellectual exercise, but rather motivation to live obedient to Christ now, even if it means persecution.