Friday, October 03, 2008

Apocalypse Now

I was interviewed this week by a college student doing a film on somebody's interpretion of the book of Revelation. I'm not going to do this somebody the honor of posting a link or even giving the name; but guess what, this somebody has done all the right calculating and it seems that 666 is a code for China.

It's as clear as mud.

I said in the interview that trying to squeeze John's apocalyptic vision into our exact world circumstances is a lot like me thinking that Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son is about my friend in Plattsburgh who has two sons. One's a good boy. The other's a mess. The mess went off to Vegas and gambled his money away and then came back groveling. And upon his return my friend gave his son his Cadillac. Well, obviously Jesus was talking about my buddy in Plattsburgh.

Him and billions of others like him.

The book of Revelation is less about predicting than it is about describing. It describes the nature of the church's struggle against the powers and principalities of the world for every generation - whether for the first or century church as it suffered beneath the terror of Rome, or for the Confessing Church in 1930s Germany as it spoke out against Hitler, or for the Baptist Church of the Republic of Georgia as it struggles against the cruelty of Russian oppression at this very hour.

And what the book of Revelation has to say to each of these contexts is always the same: Do not grow weary; for in the end the peaceful and just cause of our Lord Jesus Christ wins out. Good triumphs over evil.

The Word of God is dynamically alive; therefore it has something meaningful to say to every generation. Let us stop pretending it speaks only to us right now, and recognize it speaks to all of us all the time.