THE Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
Revelation 1:1,2 NKJV
After the events of the past few weeks, I wonder if you have heard the word “apocalypse”, or “apocalyptic” as many times as I have while listening or reading the news? At least once in every report you find yourself hearing the reporters use this word to describe the events which have occurred in just the past few weeks. I especially hear it a lot while watching programs on the History Channel that concern the end of the world. Yet, if you look up the meaning of apocalypse in the Greek, this is what you find;
1) laying bare, making naked
2) a disclosure of truth, instruction
a) concerning things before unknown
b) used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto
withdrawn from view are made visible to all
3) manifestation, appearance
Now do you see anything there that talks about the end of the world? How about disasters that threaten the existence of mankind as we know it? Nope, not there. So how or why does the use of this word always seem to be referring to events of this nature? Consider the possibility that the world knows more about the last book of the Bible then they would like to admit, and it's continual use proves the awareness of what the message contained in the Revelation of Jesus Christ is really all about.
If you choose to study the Bible at all, you soon realize that it is a history of how God chooses to reveal Himself to mankind, and at intervals directly exhibit His omnipotence in the affairs of this world. Although the Bible makes it clear that man has the freedom to choose his own path, God certainly does not hesitate to assert His power when the occasion demands. When I stop to consider this, I can't help but think back to the time I taught my daughter how to ride a bicycle. Now if that sounds strange to you, let me try to explain my thinking.
If you think about it, learning to ride a bicycle for the first time is really not that much different than many other things we learn as we grow. It is a process where you first instruct, then assist, and then allow to perform all on their own. When they fall, or appear to be headed for danger, you assert your power by interfering with the process by correction and instruction, then begin the cycle again. If the individual demonstrates the competence to perform, you don't interfere. However if it becomes necessary, you have the power to do so.
Can you now look at the history of man that we find in the Bible and see how God has done this very thing? The Bible is full of examples of how God has instructed, allowed to perform, and then had to interfere to correct when man makes their inevitable mistakes. The book of Revelation is the revealing to mankind by Jesus Christ the previously unknown particulars as to how God plans to assert His power for one last time in order to not only judge, but to allow the world an opportunity to accept Him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
Revelation 1:8 NKJV
The Bible begins with God creating this world, and ends with the judgment of this world followed by the creation of a new one. The book of Revelation is simply Jesus telling us what God revealed to Him about how He is going to accomplish that. Yet the book of Revelation also reveals something else as well, and that is the role played by Jesus Christ in the history of this world.
and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 1:5,6 NKJV
Before He even begins to reveal the fate of this world, God reminds us that because of the sacrifice made by His Son, Jesus Christ, we can escape what is to come.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:16,17 NKJV
The book of Revelation, or “apocalypse” is only the story of what happens to those who choose NOT to accept the salvation God has provided. As Paul tells us;
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 5:9 NKJV
Why does the world choose to use the word apocalypse when describing catastrophic events which seem to be occurring with greater frequency and intensity? I'm not exactly sure, but there is certainly no reason why it can't be a reminder to those of us who believe and choose to watch that not only do we know what to expect, but we can also expect it much sooner than others might think. There is no question in my mind, and that of many others, that what we are witnessing right now is the beginning of the process whereby God chooses to once again exhibit His power as the God of all He has created.
If you have never taken the opportunity to receive Christ as your personal Saviour, I would encourage you to make that decision right now. The events we see happening all over the world at this very minute were predicted by Jesus two thousand years ago as a sign for us to watch for. The time for God's final judgment is rapidly approaching and the deliverance of His believers from that judgment could happen at any moment. Simply pray to God and acknowledge your sin, ask Him for His forgiveness, and then ask Jesus to come into your life and receive the gift of salvation God has provided for us.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
John 1:12 NKJV