Everybody loves an apocalypse. Whether it’s Left Behind or the latest zombie thriller, people like to imagine how it will all end. How will the world and humanity finally be brought low? Probably by some massive calamity that is of our own making. The Christian version of this tale is the Revelation to John. This book is filled with seals and serpents, blood and bowls, whores and horses. And angels.
The angels in Revelation announce the judgment of the world. In many cases they enact that judgment. When they blow their trumpets, there is fire and blood and poison. There are locusts the size of horses. And more angels who kill a third of humankind. These are not angels we want to see.
Don’t worry. The story ends well. One very special angel named Michael kills a dragon, which is great. Then some more bad stuff happens. But, finally, there is a new heaven and a new earth. There is a new Jerusalem that is somehow made of gold, yet transparent like glass. It is never night there and nothing bad ever happens.
Did I mention the list? Yeah, there’s a list. Anyone can live in New Jerusalem, except the people that were burned, diseased, poisoned or thrown into the lake fire. They weren’t on the list. Those people are just gone, which is probably why New Jerusalem is so nice. All the bad people are gone.
I think the reason people like an apocalypse so much is because they imagine themselves as the hero, one of the ones on the list. So let’s look at who gets on the list. Are you living in Babylon? Or building New Jerusalem? Maybe, just maybe, Revelation isn’t really about some dystopian future, but about the choices that we make every day.
Please join us this Sunday, 11am at the Kessler, when we will talk about power, money, and the world we build around them.
Grace and Peace,