Keys to Understanding The Revelation- Part Two
If you missed Part One of Keys to Understanding Revelation, you can read it here.
2. The Reality of Evil. This does not nullify the sovereignty of God. Revelation actually gives us some insight into Satan’s fall. “Then there was war in heaven. Michael and the angels under his command fought the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle and was forced out of heaven. This great dragon — the ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world — was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.” (Rev. 12: 7-9)
Satan’s sin and mankind’s as well, has been the sin of wanting to be god. The enemy told Eve, “If you eat this, you will be like god.” Ever since then, this desire has plagued mankind. The irony is that God wants us to be like Him. He created us with a capacity to connect with Him and have many of God’s characteristics. The problem comes when we pursue trying to be like god apart from god.
This desire to be god has caused wars, poverty, devastation, and heartbreak throughout history. Revelation highlights the fact that evil is real and a powerful force in the world. At the same time, Revelation shows us that there will be a day when God’s goodness will overcome evil, once and for all.
3. Judgment. Judgment is never a pleasant topic. Thankfully, we are not living in the time when God is actively judging the world. Unfortunately, the Church often forgets this and does pass judgment on those who are away from God or not living according to that particular church’s standard. These are the days of grace when we should do everything we can to help people connect with God.
The closest thing we see today to God’s judgment is the fact that he allows people to go their own way. Paul mentioned this several times in Romans One. Because people choose to pursue a life of sinful pleasure, God gives them over to their lusts. The judgment aspect comes in because those who choose life apart from God will have to bear the consequences for their lifestyle.
Make no mistake, however, about the reality of God’s judgment. John wrote, “And I saw a great white throne, and I saw the one who was sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to the things written in the books, according to what they had done.” (Rev. 20:11-12)
There will be a day of judgment in which everyone who has ever lived will pass before the God’s throne. Revelation even indicates that God’s people will somehow be involved in this judgment. “Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge.” (Rev. 20:4) Paul elaborated on this as well in 1 Corinthians: “Don’t you know that someday we Christians are going to judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we Christians will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disagreements here on earth.” (1 Cor. 6:2-3)
To be continued…
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