November 1, 2005

after all is said and done

As a kid, I was really interested in all that end-of-the-world speculation: plagues, dark forces, doom and gloom, demons, and the anti-Christ.

But if my personal experience was any indicator, it seems that many people tend to just look at the “juicy”, “meaty” parts of the book of Revelation instead of understanding it as a whole. (This is like dwelling on the crucifixion and death of Jesus over and over again, without ever remembering that He rose again.)

The Revelation was given to the apostle John, and he was appointed to make it known to all the people. (Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. – Revelation 1:3). And yes, though it does contain the most graphic details of doom and gloom on a cosmic scale, it doesn’t stop there!

The entire Revelation deals with events that will happen “shortly” --- “shortly”, of course, being a relative term. (Relative to God’s view, not ours. In Genesis, God created the universe and mankind in seven days. In my opinion, the Creationists and the Evolutionists can be in harmony if they see that there is the same sequence of events for both theories; and if the ‘seven days’ is not a literal week of (24 x 7 =) 168 hours, say, ‘seven eras’ or such.)

Aside from being a warning to those who continue in their sinful ways, the Revelation is meant to encourage the ‘saints’ --- people who were and still are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. (I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. --- 2 Timothy 4:7) It is an exhortation to continue doing what is good, for goodness will prevail in the end.

God is already victorious! Is He not all-knowing, and all-seeing? He can see the future because for Him, who is eternal, “the future” has already happened! God is not like you or me, who experience time moment by moment. There are seasons in Revelation, as they are in the present, when evil (the dragon, the beast) is given power and authority and cause the world to follow him (Revelation 13). But it does not end there.

Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.
A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has come into the world.  
Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. And in that day you will ask Me nothing.

And after all is said and done:

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also, there was no more sea.
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.
And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Then one of the angels came to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.
But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
          (words from Revelation 21)

When that day comes, there will be no more temple or church or synagogue, for God will dwell forevermore with His people. :)

No more books, no more blogs too!

All the writings I keep now, are just for this life. At the end of the age, we will come face to face with Truth itself. :)

About a year ago, a friend of mine asked some kids, “If today the world were to end, would you be afraid?” I realized I still was. But after having an idea of God’s love for me (every day I’m still in the process of comprehending it! :) ), I would now just be echoing some of John’s last words, some of the last in the entire Bible:
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


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