Q&A: Hope and Love in the Book of Revelation

Hope and Love in the Book of Revelation

What comfort can we find in the Book of Revelation?

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Answer

Well, in the book of the Revelation, when we're told that in the final culmination of all things God defeats every enemy that has raised its head against God and also every enemy that contends against his people on earth. The great comfort for us should be this, that whatever we suffer right now at the hands of whomever, it is not the final word about our lives. It doesn't mean that the suffering is any less intense. It doesn't mean that the pain is any more bearable as pain, but it does remind us that what we suffer in this moment, at the hands of those who are the enemies of God, is not the way our lives are going to turn out. There is a promise, there is a fulfillment. The kingdom of God will come upon the earth. The New Jerusalem will descend upon the creation and it will be renewed, and every enemy — the last one being death — will be destroyed. That should give us a great hope.

But it should do a second thing for us as well. It should remind us in the midst of all of our struggles against sin, against wicked men, against every power and principality that raises its ugly head against God in this world, ultimately, those enemies are God's enemies. We leave the ultimate judgment, we leave the ultimate victory up to God. We don't need to take things into our own hands. We don't need to be bitter, angry, hateful, resentful. We can trust all judgment to God, which is exactly what the psalmist does in many instances, in crying out for God's judgment against his enemies. And we, Christians, have a greater knowledge in Jesus Christ of the ultimate coming of God's kingdom in all of its fullness than the psalmist ever could have had. So, those two things, a great hope and an ability to love our enemies even when we suffer at their hands.

Answer by Dr. Steve Blakemore

Dr. Steve Blakemore is the Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wesley Biblical Seminary