“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.”
Thoughts… If you have taken the time to read Revelation over the past few days, you probably got to the end of these chapters and said, “Huh?” Don’t feel bad, so have I. I’ve actually had to reread some chapters two or three times, and even then, I’ve needed to consult some of my commentaries just to make some semblance of sense out of them. That’s one of the reasons why, on the one hand, some believers are completely intimidated by Revelation specifically, and Bible prophecy in general, and on the other hand, why some believers come up with such far-fetched ideas about the end times. It is not the easiest book in the Bible to wrap your brain around!
Obviously, an extraordinary amount of symbolism is used in these chapters. Likewise, the Apostle John, the human author of this book, was trying to find language to describe future events for which there had been no previous human experience. Can you imagine someone in 90 AD in exile on the Island of Patmos seeing into the future during the year 2008 and trying to describe computers, the Internet, cell phones, airplanes, electricity, Costco, and so forth? No wonder John’s language here in Revelation seems pretty strange!
Suffice it to say that what John is describing in these chapters is the final knock-down-drag-out battle that occurs between God and Satan. The object of Satan’s murderous rampage is the complete and utter annihilation of Christ and his people. God’s objective is to bring evil to an end, and launch a fully redeemed and recreated universe. And even though we may not be able to accurately discern the details of John’s writing, we can certainly grasp his bottom-line regarding this cosmic conflict:
God rules, Satan loses, and we win!
I like that, don’t you? If you have any doubts about that, just go to the end of this book and you will find that Jesus wins. And if Jesus wins, so do we.
We’re going to win, my fiend. It won’t be easy, but the outcome of the final battle has been predetermined. Now that you’ve been reminded that you’re on the wining side, get out there, exercise some patient endurance, and bring this victory home for Jesus!
Prayer… Lord, it is not always easy. You never promised it would be. But you did promise to be with us always, even until the end of the world. Be with me today, and empower me to live out my blood-bought testimony in a way that honors you—even to the point of not loving my life so much as to shrink from death.
One More Thing… “He who burst the bars of death was thereby declared to be the Son of God with power. Since the resurrection morning there has never been–there could not be–the slightest question as to His final rulership of the world. Death was conquered, Satan was conquered, and He proclaimed the wearer of the name above every name. His final triumph was hence merely a question of the fullness of time. And He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, from henceforth expecting till His enemies are made His footstool. This Easter morning certifies us of that approaching day, and with, as it were, the foregleams of its glory on our faces and the stirrings of its mighty joy in our hearts, bids us watch and pray and look for the coming of the King.” —E.P. Goodwin