My favorite book in the New Testament is Revelation. No other book can hold a candle to it, not even the Gospels or Acts. Do I love the seals, trumpets, and bowls of divine judgment? Do I love the mystery? No. I’m not sadistic, so I don’t enjoy reading about or watching human torture. I also have questions about too many passages, some of which may never be answered. So here’s what I love: the revelation, the worship, and the New Jerusalem. Lyrics to some of the finest songs in Christian music today have come from this book. [See my YouTube playlist.]
“One God, one law, one element, and one divine event, to which the whole creation moves.” – Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam (1851)
Creation and human history are moving toward the final revelation of Jesus Christ, even though the unbelieving world today refuses to acknowledge it. Jesus won’t return to earth as the humble Lamb of God (John 1:29).* He will be revealed instead as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 19:16). Heaven will open with Jesus riding a white horse, “clothed with a robe dipped in blood” (Revelation 19:11, 13). He will appear in all his glory – white hair on a white head with “many crowns,” “eyes like a flame of fire,” feet “like fine brass,” and a voice like “the sound of many waters, with a two-edged sword coming from his mouth (1:14-16, 19:12). “Every eye will see [Jesus], even they who pierced him” (1:7; cf Matthew 24:27, 30).
The revelation of Jesus Christ as Lord and King is why we inwardly groan, eagerly “waiting for … the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23). So we purify ourselves in hope; when Jesus is revealed, “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2-3). We rejoice at the thought that “the kingdoms of this world” will become “the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever” (Revelation 11:15). Creation also groans in expectation, waiting to be “delivered from the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:19-22).
Unbelievers are different. They hate Jesus and scoff at “the promise of his coming” (2 Peter 2:3-4). If they were honest with themselves, they’d admit that the idea of Jesus reigning forever fills them with fear. When he is revealed, they’ll quake in fear and tell the mountains, “Fall on us and hide us … from the wrath of the Lamb!” (Revelation 6:17) Then they’ll be forced to bow their knees and confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10-11). Unbelievers have no hope of redemption, just the Great White Throne Judgment and a lake of fire (Revelation 20:12-15).
“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” – Revelation 19:10
One test of a professed believer’s Christianity and the fervor of his relationship with Jesus Christ is his or her attitude toward the Second Coming. Devout believers earnestly wait for this event, worldly ones ignore or fear it, unbelievers scoff, and wolves in sheep’s clothing refuse to preach it. Wolves founded China’s Three-Self church, since Communists hate this doctrine. The reason is simple. Satan fears divine judgment and he knows he has a short time, so he tries to deceive as many as he can (Revelation 12:12, 20:2-3, 10). If we aren’t preaching the Second Coming of Christ, eternal heaven and hell, and the certainty of judgment, then we’re spreading a false gospel.
Does the revelation of Jesus Christ fill you with hope or fear? If the latter, you must repent and believe. Jesus is coming soon. Maranatha (Revelation 22:20)!
“Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore you!”
– “Revelation Song” (YouTube)
* All Scripture verses are NKJV, unless otherwise noted.