How many crazy End Times theories have been concocted over the generations out of the book of Revelation, I wonder? Probably nearly as many as the stars in the heavens.
And how many of those have proven to be right so far? I’m guessing about as many as the stars in the oceans. But still, we can’t help ourselves. Every major earthquake, every war, or plague we try to tie to some verse or chapter in Revelation. Thereby hoping to work out a timeline of the Last Days.
It certainly would be convenient to be able to link these events to specific passages in Revelation. Then we could look at this Coronavirus and know how close we are to the end of all days.
But that’s not why Revelation was given to us. And many people have stubbed their toes on this book by trying to use it for the wrong reasons.
For I’m convinced Revelation was given to us for an entirely different purpose.
It is my considered opinion that the book of Revelation – God’s unerring word to us – is given to encourage us in our faith, in our commitment to Christ, in our determination to stand strong in the face of any and every trial.
And ultimately, it is given to us that we would worship the one that this book is written about – Jesus Christ.
How does it do that? In a strange way, to be sure. The first 85% of the book is almost relentless in revealing the misery and woe that is poured out from heaven on the earth.
Every plague, famine, earthquake, and more, is released when scroll seals open, or trumpets blast, or bowls of wrath are poured out. The destruction to human life and the planet is incomprehensible.
And its all accompanied by strange creatures that have wings and eyes all around; dragons; beasts with multiple horns, and multiple heads wearing crowns; serpents, prostitutes, locusts with human faces and women’s hair wearing crowns, witnesses that breath fire…
Hollywood has never produced a movie like this. This movie would so assault your senses that it would leave you cowering in your seat, traumatised for life.
Then how is all this violence and misery and woe meant to encourage us? Because it doesn’t end on that note. Rev 21 tells us “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…”
This world, this broken world, is not the final product. When the Lord has finished the work He is doing, it will be remade, restored back to the original glory it had before Adam took that fateful bite, before the serpent decided to rebel.
And this new heaven and new earth will be indescribably glorious. And the dwelling place of God will then be there with man. And there will be no death, no mourning, no crying, no pain. God will Himself wipe away every tear, “for the former things have passed away…And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new” [see Rev 21:2-5].
That, friends, is what we have to look forward to when God has finished. That is what Revelation is all about. Jesus Christ, the Lion who looks like a slain Lamb who will conquer every enemy. The Alpha and Omega who will quench the thirst of all who put their trust in Him.
And the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who will finally receive every ounce of glory and worship that He deserves. Have you put your trust in Him? Won’t you put your trust in Him – today?