The revelation of Jesus Christ...(Revelation 1:1).
A number of years ago I wrote a book that attempted to explain the final book of the Bible: Revelation. Needing an update, I set out recently re-writing the book. Today's text and thoughts come from the first chapter of the rewrite:
The end of the world is coming. The only question is when. I imagine this sounds like pessimistic fatalism, or religious fanaticism. It isn’t. It is pre- determined realism. The world as we know it is going to end. History is teleological. It is heading somewhere, and the future of the planet is guaranteed.
In the bigger scheme of things, the end of this world is actually a good thing. It is part of a much bigger event that will change the entire universe. But even beyond that, the future of the physical universe is part of a much larger reality that has been playing out in a dimension that is not restricted by time and space. In that reality a conflict has been raging since before the beginning of time and space. The bigger battle in the universe has already been won, and the part planet earth plays in this larger drama is almost over. The end is near.
This is the message of the last book of the New Testament. Revelation contains an unveiling of the future destiny of mankind and planet Earth. These facts cannot be known by human reason or scientific inquiry. They are revelatory in nature.
The human author of Revelation did not speculate, nor did he use pure reason to communicate the message of this book. He became a vehicle of divine revelation. He wrote what he saw and heard. In a sense, he is simply our tour guide on an end-times odyssey. The true source of this information is identified in the very first verse of the text.
The Apocalypse is “the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1). Jesus revealed “the things which must soon take place”. Through a series of visions Jesus unlocked the mystery of the future. He instructed John to write it all down. John did. Two thousand years later, we not only can study the message, we can watch as the things revealed in it take place all around us.