When it comes to eschatology, there are two types of people that I do not want to be numbered among. There are those who avoid reading the book of Revelation because they are convinced they will never understand it, and there are those who think they have mastered it, and a mere mention of something like the weather turns into a “signs of the times” discussion.
I remember reading the book of Revelation for the first time. It was seventeen years ago when I cracked open that big, old, dusty Bible in my grandmother’s bedroom. I am not even sure I was a Christian. I was scared to death. I had never heard of all of the popular eschatological arguments. I could not understand most of the imagery described in its pages, but after my first cursory reading, it became crystal clear that something big is going to happen – Jesus is coming (Rev. 1:7; 22:7, 12, 20).
Another unmistakable observation is the way He is coming back. At the first advent, Jesus came as a baby, lowly, meek, and mild, and relatively unnoticed by the world. The next time will be majestic (Rev. 22:3) and universally obvious (19:11). When Jesus returns, He will not come empty handed. His recompense is with Him (22:12). As a result, there will be a lot of wrath, weeping, blood, death, and even a second death (20:14). Wherever your mind’s eye takes you when you read such passages, one thing is perfectly clear: the return of Jesus Christ will truly be an awful and dreadful day for the enemies of God.
Yet that same day will be a wonderful day for the people of God. On that day, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes…” (Rev. 21:4). But the greater part of the blessing for the people of God is that “He will dwell with them, and they will be his people” (v. 3b). This has been the promise all along (Lev. 26:11–12). Only now, all things will be made new.
But the great day of the Lord’s return is not only about the just rewards for the wicked and the gracious gifts for the righteous. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself will receive what the Father has promised. On that day, He will be united with His Bride, the church, and there will be a great supper (Rev. 19:6–9). On that day, all eschatology debates will cease, and we will be happy to be numbered among one another. “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (22:20).