We have come to the conclusion of our Story of the Bible series. It has been an amazing journey. We started in Genesis and have worked our way through the entire Bible, pointing out the big and small storylines and how it all connects to Jesus. As we have worked our way through the New Testament, we see that the story is not over. There is a second coming of Christ that all of creation awaits. It is the time when creation is restored to the Eden like state and evil is destroyed forever. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have this future hope to look forward to, as we await our Messiah. We have now come to the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. This will not be a complete answer guide to this book, but it will show how this book points us to our future hope in Jesus.
The book of Revelation is actually titled, The Revelation of Jesus Christ. It starts out with the words of Jesus talking to certain churches in Asia about being strong and things they can improve on. The book then quickly moves into visions that John has while on the island of Patmos. Let’s break this down to get a better understanding of all the time frames in this book. The first 19 chapters takes place around 70-90 A.D. depending on who you ask. Starting in chapter 4, John starts to see all these strange visions of heaven and of the spiritual world and they can be quite disturbing and down right confusing to a modern reader like me and you. There are angels, dragons, and beasts that pop up all over this book and none of it seems to make any sense. Revelation is full of figurative language. In other words, these images of beasts and dragons and all these different characters are often symbols that represent something we know of. In Revelation, the dragon often represents Satan and Babylon represents Rome during the time this was written. Jesus is described as a Lamb and the throne of God is just as beautifully described as one could imagine. The first 19 chapters have already come and gone in history but it is the last 3 chapters (20, 21, and 22) that I want to focus on the most. These chapters have not yet happened and are awaiting their fulfillment.
Chapter 20 is the day of judgment. It is the day when all evil and sin is destroyed and God’s people win. It is the day when all of the wrongdoing in the world is finally justified and justice reigns. The next two chapters describe heaven. Chapter 21 describes “a new heaven and a new earth” and the city of Jerusalem comes out of heaven in this vision with all its splendor. John describes that God is now it’s temple which is a sign that God reigns with His creation completely.
Chapter 22 is a vision of getting back to how the garden of Eden was like in Genesis. There’s the river of life and the tree of life and we will reign forever with God, just as it was supposed to be all along. We win in the end and the book ends with the warning that Jesus is coming and that we should be anticipating his arrival.
Creation has never been the same since Adam and Eve ate of the tree. Jesus finally came onto the scene to allow us to be restored back to God and to share heaven with the people we encounter. God is in us now through the Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us. We are now awaiting the time when Christ comes to fully restore creation as described here in Revelation. We are awaiting the time when heaven and earth are reunited completely once again and that love and peace will reign forever. When Christ comes, we will be restored to our position as co-rulers with God and we will reign with Him forever.
The book of Revelation points us forward to Christ’s return and the fulfillment of all restoration. It points us to the fulfillment of the entire storyline of the Bible when all creation is restored. This concludes our series of the Story of the Bible.