Revelation

The Story of the Bible: The Final Revelation

Today’s post is the tenth installment in a series that breaks the story of the Bible down into ten ‘chapters’. Read Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, and Chapter Nine.

There is something very satisfying about coming to the last chapter in a book. It is always nice to find out how the story turns out and how the issues and conflicts are eventually resolved. And that is what we have in the final chapter in the story of the Bible–the Book of Revelation. Here we learn how God’s kingdom rule on earth will be reestablished after Satan’s challenge. We are reminded how salvation has been provided through the redeeming work of Savior Jesus and that many have embraced His wonderful gift. And we finally learn in Revelation how Satan and his followers will be ultimately and finally judged. It is at this point in the story of the Bible we can say, “Mission accomplished!”

A comparison of the first three chapters of Genesis with the last three chapters of Revelation illustrates how the problems that came about because of sin are eventually resolved:

Genesis 1-3                                                                           Revelation 20-22

God created the heavens and earth God prepares a new heaven and earth
Satan appears as deceiver of mankind Satan disappears in the lake of fire
Sin and defilement enter the garden Nothing defiled will enter the city
Walk with God interrupted by sin Walk with God resumed by grace
Initial triumph of the serpent Ultimate triumph of the Lamb
Pain multiplied because of sin No more tears, pain or death
Paradise closed because of sin Paradise open to all believers
Access to the tree of life lost Access to the tree of life regained
Fallen people driven from God’s presence Redeemed people shall see His face
The ground is cursed because of sin There shall be no more curse

If you enjoy a story with a happy ending, then the last chapter of the Bible won’t disappoint you. The Great Story ends with the removal of the effects of sin and an end to the curse that resulted from mankind’s fall. With the curse of sin removed and God’s blessing restored, God’s people will be able to enjoy His presence and blessings forever.

As one of my students once wrote as the conclusion of her essay on the last book of the Bible, “Revelation shows us that the bad guys lose, Jesus wins, and we get to be with God in the new heavens and earth forever.” And we as New Covenant believers living in the 21st century can join the Apostle John in saying, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

 

About J. Carl Laney

J. Carl Laney teaches Biblical Literature at Western Seminary and is an instructor for Western's Israel Study Program. Carl has authored numerous books, including most recently, “Discipleship: Training from the Master Disciple Maker” (2018).