Hope. This is what Revelation ultimately provides the seven churches and us. It’s easy to be overwhelmed at times by the hardships of life. If you add in the turmoil taking place in our nation and our world, our feelings of being overwhelmed can quickly turn into hopelessness. This leaves us wondering— Has God forgotten us? Has He abandoned His kingdom mission? Is He really coming to restore the kingdom so that we can live with Him forever?
The book of Revelation reminds us that God has not abandoned His mission and that one day the victory claimed by Jesus’s death and resurrection will be felt permanently and holistically. Shalom will return in full, and we will reign with our Lord Jesus Christ forever! Hope wins!
But before we can have a full dance party to celebrate our forthcoming eternity with Jesus, we have to cover a few more events in God’s kingdom plan.
When it comes to discussions about the end times, there tends to be a lot of debate about what will actually happen. But despite the difference in eschatological views, there are three key events that all Christians agree on—(1) Jesus Christ returns in a physical body; (2) the dead are resurrected; (3) believers and non-believers are judged.
Let’s jump into the first event.
In Revelation 19:11-16, we see that Jesus will return in power and strength and with an army! The King of creation will make the kind of entrance that Israel was hoping for when He first came to earth—not as a vulnerable baby, but as a mighty warrior who will crush the enemies of God.
Friend, this story is not a myth or a fable. It is the true story of the world.
The return of Jesus will not only be physical (John 14:3; Acts 1:11), but it will be sudden (Matt. 24:36-44) and glorious (Titus 2:11-13)! His return won’t be a glorious experience for everyone, though. Before Jesus restores the kingdom, He will vanquish the enemies of God once and for all!
In Revelation 20, we learn that the kingdoms of this world, led by Satan, go out to battle against the Lord.
Verses 11-15 mention the book of life. With God’s judgment of creation complete, God’s plan of salvation will be complete. Sin, evil, death, and Satan’s schemes will be no more. The intruder is gone, and his control over humanity has been broken! The kingdom, God’s divine plan by which He would dwell in perfect harmony with creation and humanity, can finally and fully be restored.
The way the story begins matters. The Bible does not start with sin but with our triune God creating an earthly paradise so that He might dwell with His creation. And as we close this final page of the story, where do we end? In a paradise recreated by our triune God so that He might dwell with His creation forever.
Friend, this story is not a myth or a fable. It is the true story of the world. It gives us purpose, meaning, and value, answering all of our core life questions of identity, purpose, and belonging.
But for now, sin has not been permanently vanquished. We still live in a broken world. This means that the true story of the Bible is not the only story that you will be given the opportunity to believe and order your life by. Amid the noise of all those competing stories, I hope and pray you choose the only story that goes from beginning to forever.
In From Beginning to Forever, Elizabeth Woodson guides you through the story of the Bible, showing how all 66 books combine to form one unified narrative. Weaving together the rich theological truths found in Genesis through Revelation, this 8-session study shows the eternal significance of what God is doing in the world and how he invites us to be a part of it.