I don't like over-simplifying things. And I don't like preaching with three, neatly packaged points. But recently, I have found a need for some simplification in regards to the book of Revelation, the Bible's concluding text. I have recently addressed two different Bible studies in our church that were confounded by John's Revelation. I heard things like "Revelation scares me." As you may know, much of the contemporary Christian literature on Revelation is meant to literally "scare the hell out of people." (Certain individuals have made a lot of money doing this. They should be scared of judgement.)
I found that many missed the forest for the trees. "Who's the beast? The great prostitute? The seals? What's with all the eyes?" It's important to note that Revelation is "apocalyptic literature." It was a vision - highly symbolic, vivid, and image rich. While we believe it is truth, it's best not to read it like a newspaper.
So at the risk of over-simplifying, I will offer a simple summary of Revelation.
1.) Things are bad and will get worse. (1;1; 9:20-21; 12:9; 13; 17). Sin, death, and the devil are nasty.
2.) But Jesus wins. (1:5-8, 17-18; 5:5; 17:14; 19; 21; 22). King Jesus is the manly, kick-butt ruler of the entire universe. He is the king now and forever. There will be a day when he'll finally judge all evil and death, and fully set the world right again.
3.) So hold on. (3:11; 13:10; 14:12; 17:14). Cling to Jesus. Hope in God. Fear not.
4.) And pray this prayer: "Lord Jesus, come quickly." (22:7, 12, 20).