||Revelations is one of the most complex, symbolic books in the Bible. It draws on so many thematic and structural parallels from the Old Testament that you almost need to read the entire OT before even considering to study Revelation to any level of depth. You also need to do a pretty thorough exegesis of Revelation and the OT to understand some of the intent and meaning behind the language used. That's why nearly every religion has a different interpretation of Revelation, some of them directly opposed.
I'm currently going through a set of tapes on Revelations from a guy who has studied it for 20 years (Dr Jon Paulien) and the tapes go for 45 hours, with an analysis of every single verse of Revelation! It's amazing stuff but not something you want to spend the majority of your time studying or you will go crazy -- literally.
If you truly want to learn about Christianity, there's no better place to start than with the gospels, particularly the gospel of John, and Romans. Romans is my favourite book of the Bible, behind Psalms and the 1,2 Corinthians.
At the time I didnt realise that only a third of the world are christians - a fact which made me doubt..i mean if in group of 9 people only 3 said it was right and 6 said it wasnt then id be inclined ot believe the 6.
I'd highly doubt that a third of the world are Christians (yes I've googled it and seen some stats), I think it would be a lot less than that. And it isn't a case of 3 being right and 6 being wrong because the 6 aren't all in agreement with each other, then again, neither are the 3.
I believe God reveals himself to everyone (see Romans 1:20, as I mentioned in another post in this diary) and yes I believe that there will be Hindus, Muslims, you name it in the kingdom of God. I believe that God judges people according to the light they are shown, of course, I have no way of understanding the mind of God.
First line I read mentioned that apocalypse would happen soon and that the time was at hand. This would rather imply a far shorter amount of time than between the resurrection of Jesus and the creation of the book.
I believe you are referring to Revelations 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads the words of prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near". There are many ways to interpret "the time is near":
1) That John is urging people to be ready at all times for the Last Judgement and the establishment of God's kingdom. We do not know that these when these events will occur, but we must always be prepared. They will happen quickly, and there will be no second chance to change sides.
2) Jesus had said about the end times, "For many will come in my name, claiming, "I am the Christ," and will deceive many. You will hear wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:5-14)
So Jesus gave many signs of the end of time - antichrists, wars, famines, earthquakes, persecution of Christians, false prophets, the gospel being preached to the whole world. Guess what? All these things had happened in the time John was alive (I can explain if you like)! so of course he was thinking that the time was near. Guess what? All these things, apart from the spreading of the gospel to the whole world, are happening today. I believe that when we see the gospel goes to the whole world, then the time is near, it could be in our lifetime, but of course I could be wrong, no-one knows the time nor the day.
3) 2000 or even 2.5 million years are an insignificant period of time to an infinite God, so from the perspective of God, the time is near.
Why doesnt God just kill the bad people and send the Good people straight to heaven and destroy the universe? Why bother with all the horses and monsters?
Who are these "bad people"? What if a "bad" person is capable of changing and accepting God into their life? Shouldn't they be given that chance? I believe there will come a time where everyone will have to make a definitive choice - accept or reject the gospel (that goes to the world). There will be no sitting on the fence - not that there is any such thing as sitting on the fence now.
As for the horses and the monsters, it would take far too long to explain, it is symbolic, let's just say that they are not literal horses and monsters being referred to.
"6:13 The stars of the sky fell to the earth, like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when it is shaken by a great wind." Now, why would God make all the stars rush at the earth while shrinking so that it looks like they are little specs falling to Earth? Because as we know something as big as a star is going to burn the earth to pieces before it even gets near it...on that matter why doesnt God just throw Earth into the Sun? Who knows.
Again, one word: symbolic. You problem is that you are taking Revelation literally. Same with your points on 6:14, 8:12 and 9:5. I would love to explain the meaning behind these verses but I just don't have the time. I can direct you to a couple of good links that attempt to explain the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation.
"He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads;"
Do you really think it will be a literal mark of the beast that people have? Do you really think that people are going to have 666 engraved on their heads or foreheads? I don't think so.
The mark of the beast is symbolic, symbolic of those who have chosen the Beast (satan) as their master. Based on my study, the forehead represents the mind. It means those who accept the teachings in following the Beast. To receive the mark in the right hand means to give cooperation. Again, I don't have the time to give an adequate explanation of the mark of the Beast.
lol noone in their right mind would blaspeme God if they knew he existed and was throwing fire at them.
But if you knew that God existed and was "throwing fire at you", if God appeared to the whole world every day, if God created a huge 1000 foot fiery mark in the night sky just to really, really confirm to you that He existed, would you truly have free will? Or would you be a mindless robot, worshipping God out of terror, not love? Free will is the greatest gift God has given us and it is with that free will we can accept or reject God.
Anyway thats just my take on it. Im not too intelligent in this subject so see my comments more as humor than arguments.
Revelation is heavy going man. You don't just dive into Revelation and start coming up with ideas. You have to approach Revelation the right way or you will end up with wacky ideas about it like David Koresh did.