used to believe that Revelation was all about the future...until I
started studying my bible!
Revelation was written to Jewish Christians living in the First Century, specifically, to seven congregations in Asia Minor. It was written to provide comfort during a time of persecution and uncertainty. What good, or what comfort would these folks have gotten from a prophecy dealing with the far future? Not much.
The book opens up with the sentence, “The revelation (literally, revealing) of Jesus Christ...” Doesn't sound like, “the revealing of the end of the world” does it? It's a book that reveals our Savior, and how God reconciles sinful mankind back to Himself. It speaks of God's redemptive purposes, just like the rest of the New Testament does. The only difference is that it uses poetic language and style.
The early Jews had little trouble understanding Revelation, since the language and symbolism comes straight out of the Old Testament. The Gentiles, steeped in paganism, knew nothing of the Jewish scriptures. To them, Revelation seemed like a weird fantasy. People who don't know and study the bible perpetuate this same ignorance. Revelation describes how God overcame Evil with Good, namely, through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Stay away from all those bogus books you see clogging up an entire aisle in the bible bookstore. Revelation's interpretation can come only from the bible, not by what the morning newspaper says, and certainly not from what most denominational preachers will tell you.