When it comes to the book of Revelation and any mention of end-times in the Bible, many choose to differ on deep translation or theological interpretations on verses that can lose their relevancy and message due to over analysation. Ask any theologian what their summary of the book of Revelation is and they will answer something along the lines of it serves as a warning. Whereas, much discussion of end-times today is overshadowed by someone interjecting with their own thoughts on when that time may be or the legitimacy of the events that are to take place instead. I would argue that if I was deliberating on these things I would’ve missed the point entirely, and that the book’s meaning has very little to do with specifics of the timing, that its meaning is enhanced by its ambiguity.
For example, if your boss left the office and said the exact time they would return is 12:30, you, the worker, would make sure that your boss returned to find you still working at 12:30 even if you had taken a short Facebook break while they were gone. Now let’s say your boss just left the room and never clarified the time they would return, you would hopefully work diligently in case they came back at any moment.
With this in mind, trying to decipher revelation for accuracy would prove to be a misguided attempt at being prepared when God wants our hearts continually cleaned by our repentance.
I’ve heard a lot of people say recently that every generation has thought it was the one to welcome the second coming of Jesus, as if to say that the likelihood of Jesus returning to this generation is slimmer because it hadn’t happened to the previous. Most of the time these excuses come across as an ignorant deference of responsibility for the state of themselves and their community. It seems that the biblical relevancy of the timing of the rapture has been lost on people as the symptoms of the end of times become the culture of our current world.
In Matthew chapter 24 verse 36, the timing of the Lord’s return is revealed in the most accurate manner;
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”
This ambiguity doesn’t give way for people to cast off restraint because they don’t know the hour or day, but rather it should serve in the opposite respect which reflects the essence of Jesus coming to earth in the first place; that we shouldn’t live in sin or shame. The very thing that he died on the cross for is often used as a get out of jail free card for our sin and when mixed with the confusion of His final return, many cast off restraint out of comfort and the absence of the necessity for salvation.
The only thing we can be sure about is that we can’t be certain on the timing of His return which serves as a gentle yet firm reminder that we must live as if it could happen at any moment.
1 Peter chapter 5 verses 8-10 says:
‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the god of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.’
Jesse Moore draws from the Bible and classical literature for insight into life’s tough questions. He is currently studying at university to become a film-maker.
Jesse Moore’s previous articles can be viewed at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jesse-moore.html