Scripture: Isaiah 24:1-6; Genesis 1:28-30
This past Wednesday was Earth Day and I thought I would preach about something that I’ve seen popping up again and again online—the apocalypse. People have been talking about how we are living through the apocalypse. Given that I have seen so much chatter about this online, I think that it’s time we talk about the concept of apocalypse, what it means in the Bible and what it means for us.
The apocalypse is connected to the notion that Jesus will one day come back from heaven to rule the earth has been part of the Christian faith since the earliest days of the Jesus movement. Jesus’ followers believed that God was going to send Jesus back from heaven and have him rule over all the nations of the earth. Indeed, this belief was central to how the apostles convinced people to become part of the early church. Jesus is coming back any day and you want to be ready when he arrives!
The Apostle Paul uses the phrases destruction, labor pains, and no escape when describing Jesus’ return. Not exactly positive imagery. It gets even worse when you examine the book of Revelation, which is also known as the Apocalypse of John. The word apocalypse in Greek simply means to reveal. So Revelation is a letter written to the seven churches of Asia in which John details a vision revealed to him concerning the second coming of Jesus.
Now this letter is filled with a lot of interesting imagery and allusions, much of which is very hard to understand and, the truth is, we’re mostly guessing at what it means. But you don’t have to be biblical scholar to get the gist of what’s happening. God is starting over by putting right all the wrongs in the world by hitting the reset button. The question I would like us to consider is whether these words are true? Are these images actual things that will happen to us at some point in the future or are they just the imaginings of a group of oppressed people?
This Sunday we will explore the history of apocalypse and what it means for us today. Should we be scared? What are the signs we should be looking for in this day and time? I continue to pray that all of you would stay isolated and safe with all the Corona virus fears. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any concerns. I’ll see you on the live stream on Sunday!