“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,” Revelation 1:1 ESV
It was the day after Christmas. We were snowed in at my in-laws house in Kentucky, with nothing to do and nowhere to go. It was a perfect afternoon, and we found a football game on TV. Louisville versus Wake Forest.
In the first quarter, things were not looking good for the Cardinals, playing at home in their stadium, which is just about an hour down the road. It seemed like every penalty was going against them, and Wake Forest went into the locker room leading by a touchdown.
However, my brother in law was not worried. For one thing, he’s not a Louisville fan. But more than that, he wasn’t worried because he already knew the outcome.
That’s when I noticed that even though we were snowed in and the temperature was 21 degrees outside, the people in Louiville (a hundred miles away) were in their shirt sleeves, watching the game beneath a cloudless sky. And I finally realized we were watching the replay of a game that was played two months ago. A game the Cardinals won 48-21 after scoring 35 unanswered in the third quarter.
Even a hardcore Louisville fan could sit back and relax, knowing that at the end of the day, their team would be victorious.
And that’s how to read the book of Revelation. There are strange, scary things in this book. And for those who are on the earth when the events foretold take place, things are going to look really bad at the half. (If you believe that there will be a literal seven year tribulation, pay attention to what happens at the midpoint!)
But whatever else can be said about this book, however you understand or interpret it, and whatever will still have you scratching your head at the end of it, understand this:
God wins at the end. In fact, if you look closely at the much-feared battle of Armageddon (see Revelation 16), there’s not even that much of a battle. God shows up, and it’s game over.
So if you are a Christian reading this epic, mysterious book, watch it unfold the way you would the replay of a home team victory.
But if you are not a Christian, roll the tape, and watch what happens to the forces of darkness arrayed against the Lord.
And then, enter the transfer portal.