Category Archives: Eschatology
Heaven is God’s abode and those who endure to the end will be with their Creator, Savior and Friend forever, continually basking in perfected glory. Those who, by faith, completely trust in the completed works of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins will be made whole. There will be no more need of the sun or stars or moon for Christ will illuminate each moment. Day and night will cease and all tears shall be gone, evil erased and punished and this present life forgotten. Nothing will remain as it is for Christ will make all things new. (Revelation 21:5) God’s elect sin no more and the Israel of God will sing songs of beauty and praise in harmony with angelic choruses.
The scene of heaven given to us from Scripture is both brilliant and vague as John’s visions at Patmos were recorded mostly as similes. We are told of the erasure of the old and the inauguration of the new; each symbol referencing capstone completions of Old Testament prophetic visions. These symbols in motion point us to the victory of the Lamb of God over sin and death and the final security of each member of the New Covenant.
Like most biblical truths, our heavenly estate is frequently misrepresented. More people seem to find their theology in jokes and bubble gum wrappers than they do from the Word of God. For example, no where in Scripture are angels ever described as anything but male yet buttons, medals, plagues and other supposed depictions present them constantly as female beings or chubby little babies. The same type of fiction is true for heaven.
The truth of the matter is that there is much talk about heaven in the bible, but those discussions are described to us through intense symbolism. One must first know the Old Testament well before they dare dip their sensibilities into John’s final bookend epistle lest they end up in a deep vat of fantasy and false presumption. Another added dimension is the complete disconnect between this life and the next, the finite and the infinite, material to immaterial. Our entire earthly construct including our language and cognition is wrapped and forged through a sin-cursed veil. We cannot understand this side of glory what awaits us in a perfected state.
As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “…EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” 1Co 2:9
What we do know is that we will be in a “place of utter felicity that is filled with the radiant majesty and glory of God.” Justice will have been rendered and His people will have been vindicated. All blasphemy and mockery and deceit and danger is gone. There will be no more sickness, hatred or anxiety. The curse of sin has been reversed. Isn’t that enough for us?
 R.C. Sproul, “Now, That’s a Good Question!”, p. 285
From the preaching of the text in Revelation 19, verses 17 – 21:
The graciousness of God’s love, even in merely not casting us away into darkness immediately, only becomes amazing in front of a canvas of understood evil. His purposed affections towards mankind are made ever beautiful only when displayed before a backdrop of hopelessness… before a canvas of coming wrath and right judgment.
The Babylonian mural galleries, where snapshots and paintings dishonor the imago dei, capture and promote our vanity, rebellion and utter helplessness. This exhibit provides a vivid outline of worldliness for the light of grace to reveal. Without the contrasting balance of shade and tone and scaled character, God’s love becomes mere duty and the gospel’s radiant purity and shalom becomes simply another option on a religious Ferris wheel; carrying off visitors in pretty circles and lights.
However, the cross of Christ envelopes the darkness and destroys death and hopelessness for it is the Father’s decreed desire to save His people for His own glory and pleasure.
It is the truth of this display of judgment, the truth of this carnage, the truth of this destruction, the truth of righteous repayment; the truth of awaiting birds of prey… it is the truth of a real hell and just punishment that should reinforce for us the need to speak the Words of Life to all men from every nation, tribe and tongue…to speak them loudly and to speak them well, to speak them often, to tell the world of its fate, to call all men to repentance and pray that the Spirit opens their blind eyes.
Hear the full sermon here. Click this.
Reflecting upon the beauty of creation draws me closer to the One who made me and the promise of restoration. Even in their fallen state, autumn leaves and sunsets bring awe and wonderment. All around the skyline, His paintbrush colors in hues. Bright-blue and golden clouds are alive, drifting in paced succession. At each turn of my head I see water vapor sculptures floating like parade balloons overhead, stretching across a stationary canvas. Beneath my feet, the ground bristles with active paintings. Sometimes the dirt floor seems alive. Scurrying insects, amazingly designed for specific purposes, crawl over and under shelter and food; each micro-functioning organism a display of greatness and artistry.
If this is the groaning creation that longs to be redeemed into a new fullness, then what will the renewed lilies and life be like when we live in perfected radiance? If the fallen beauty of this present age brings in intense awe, then what unimaginable incredibleness awaits us in the New Jerusalem valley?
While we wait for the final consummation, God’s mosaic patterns swirl and breathe before us each day displaying His glory for all to see. His power and majesty are seen in the forms and features as the time line moves closer and closer to the end of the End. Each day we are one day closer to His coming. Each day passed is another move forward to the grand day of completeness where all of our tears will be erased and grace’s abounding pleasure reigns forever. God has loved us with an unending love! Oh, the great things the Lord has in store for us, His people!
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
God has set His judgments in motion as famine and pestilence and out-of-control economies pulse and swirl and undulate throughout the interadvental age. The four horsemen ride daily until the culmination of all things reminding us that Judgment comes like the unexpected thief in the darkness, but Christ is still triumphant.
The Lamb who was slain is victorious over His enemies and nothing, nothing can overcome His people.
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. – Revelation 6:9-11
Patience is the response given to the martyrs’ questioning as they see more death and persecution from their heavenly perspective. When the full number of slaughtered saints has come, Christ will descend and claim His own.
Hear the full message here – The Cry of the Martyrs
And explore this website when you can – The Voice of the Martyrs
On this day, June the 6th in the year 2006 (6/06/06) many are grabbing their pitch fork radars and scanning the landscape for the Beast. I would like to propose today that we already know who the Beast was and that we should abandon our radar screens and trade them in for gospel preaching megaphones. Here is a mini-argument for the identity of Mr. 666.
“Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.” Revelation 13:18
The apostle John gave the numerical concealment of the Beast as 666 in order to disguise the identity during a time of intense persecution. This was not an uncommon practice as we know of many examples of this technique in both Jewish and Greek society. Cryptograms have even been excavated in ancient cities including graffiti love notes such as this one – “philo es anthmos phi mu epsilon" (I love her whose number is 545.) found in the ruins of Pompeii.
So we know that encrypting identities was a well known practice in John’s time when he wrote the Book of Revelation and we know that John wrote the book to the contemporary audience of his day – Rev. 1:1 – “… the things which must soon take place”; Rev. 1:3 – “…for the time is near.” John’s cryptic reference was written to those churches of his day.
Also, the identity of the Beast is a real man. An actual person of history for his number concealment is “that of a man “ (Rev. 13:18). So we know that he is a human and not a system of evil or a political movement. And we know that this person must be someone of evil, a person of blasphemy and he must be a powerful political figure. (Rev. 13:2,7) Given what the text tells us we have a limited number of candidates particularly when we examine the alpha-numeric possibilities combined with those character traits.
A Hebrew spelling of the Roman Emperor Nero’s name is Nrwn Qsr (Neron Kaiser). This name’s numerical value is 666.16 according to Jastrow’s lexicon of the Talmud. Even those who bring up the textual variants of 616 being listed in verse 18 as the number of the Beast (eg. Metzger) have noted that 616 is the numerical value of Nero Ceasar in Latin. It makes sense that perhaps this change was done by certain copyists as to aid in the broader understanding of his identity beyond a purely Jewish reading.
So on this day of the Beast I would draw your gaze away from Bush and Madonna and Ellen and Rush and set your gaze upon the real Beast.
Be wise and calculate the number of the Beast. His legacy lives on.