The First Vision of Christ. Seven Stars for Seven Lampstands. To Ephesus. To Smyrna. To Pergamum. To Thyatira.
“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later…”
Revelation 1:19 (NIV)
Global warming used to be this hot button topic in the stratosphere of abortion or gay marriage. I remember a time when taking a stance on it could spell controversy. Thought global warming was some true-to-life phenomenon in the mid-90s? Almost assuredly, you were labeled as some sort of liberal hippie – or worse, an environmentalist – hell bent on destroying the economy with some unnecessary laws.
It was Thanksgiving of my 16th year when I came out. Not as gay, oh no, I held onto that one for a long, long time. No, I came out as a global warming believer. I was shocked my parents felt strongly the other way about it. My father had taken me camping every year of my life, and he had always taught us to be extraordinarily careful with the environment. Only use dead trees as hiking sticks. Leave no trace of our tracks. Never disturb nature. And yet here I was, arguing with them about whether human activity had any effect of on the efficacy of the global ecosystem. It seemed so ridiculous.
On the eve of high school, I spent a weeklong vacation in Atlanta with my aunt and uncle. They were extraordinarily liberal in comparison to my parents and completely non-religious. It is a wonder my parents let me stay with them at all. On my last night of the trip as we prepared to go to sleep before my early flight the next morning, my aunt wanted to know why my mother was so fervent in her disbelief about global warming. This was in the mid-2000s, and the science had begun to meet up with the hunches of the masses. She just could not believe that Christians (as a majority) thought global warming was a myth.
Then I told her about Noah and how God promised with the rainbow to never subject his people to a massive flood ever again (the most likely result of global warming back in those times). Also, many believers in global warming thought that inaction would mean the death of humanity in catastrophic fashion. Christians, I told her, could never believe that. There was a book called Revelation that detailed exactly how it would unfold. There would be horsemen of the apocalypse and ancient broken seals. The antichrist would rule the world, and then Jesus would come back to destroy him.
No global warming. No giant flood. No weird weather patterns. Their reason for disbelief was simple. It wasn’t in the Bible.
We have reached the End folks. Here is the last book of the Bible, the one that filled me with the most anxiety growing up (but more on that later). In the last two weeks of this blog, we will explore exactly how the End is laid out in the Bible.
To start, it is fairly tame.
John has a vision of Jesus, who says, “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches.” (1:10) With that, we get the frame for the book. This is meant to be a warning to all who read it – a vision from John to be delivered to the rest of the church.
Let’s see what it says, shall we?