If there were one book of the Bible that raises my hackles, it’s the book of Revelation. (At least after Chapter 3.)
It’s a book I read through when it comes time on the reading schedule, but as to going to a Bible study on it or listening to a seminar or a sermon on it, I don’t have much interest.
Over my life, I’ve seen the book of Revelation and related apocalyptic scriptures turn into battlegrounds for the most absurd fights imaginable as grown men have driven churches apart over a difference of a few days in magic timetables of the Lord’s coming. The debates are continued often without humility as battlelines are drawn and we hear the most far-fetched theories. For example I’ve heard it expounded that the locusts in Revelation 9 are actually helicopters. There’s something about the book’s elaborate imagery that tends to bring out the worst in even the most sensible people.
With all the nitty gritty details, it seems we’ve sometimes forgotten the most important point of the Revelation that’s stated right at the beginning which was read in my church:
John, To the seven churches in Asia: Grace be unto you and peace from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first-begotten of the dead, and the prince over the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so. Amen. “I Am Alpha And Omega, The Beginning And The Ending,” saith the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.-Revelation 1:4-8 KJ21
The coming of the Lord is not some puzzle meant for end times novelists and amateur eschatology experts to unravel, it is the blessed hope It is the victory of Christ and of his church over evil.
Whatever our efforts in culture, politics, and for the betterment of humanity, they are invariably corrupted if not in our lifetime than after at. Yet, that all ends when the king comes.
When I was younger, I often thought older people were so eager for the coming of the Lord for purely selfish reasons: they had lived the best part of their lives and the coming of the Lord would certainly be convenient for them. Though for us younger folks, it would mean missing out on a lot of life experiences such as marriage and our chance to make an impact on the world.
As I’ve grown up, I see how shortsighted and immature my own viewpoint was. Our best efforts are often weak and feeble. The coming of the Lord is what the Apostle Paul said, “all creation groaneth and travaileth in pain” for. (Romans 8:22)
The Second Coming of the Lord is the great Hope of the Church. And it is because of that reality that we can lay down to sleep in peace even if our efforts on this Earth haven’t succeeded like we would like.
I’m still not really interested in time lines and the fine details of eschatological debates. But “Marana’tha” (O Lord come!) is the prayer of my heart.