“Apocalypse” sounds like a mysterious and frightening word. Even in secular media we read about “apocalyptic events.” But what does it mean?
Revelation of the end times
First of all, the word “apocalypse” (“apokalpsis” in Greek) means “revelation.” When we think about revelation, we can think in two ways; the first is the book of Revelation – the last book in the Bible – and the second is revelation about the end times. We can connect these two elements – the book of Revelation and the revelation about the end times – because the book of Revelation teaches us about the end times.
“What” is far more important than “How”
When people think about the apocalypse, they have in mind great catastrophes that will eventually lead to the end (or even the destruction) of the world. According to the Bible, we don’t expect a sudden end of this planet; Christians do expect a close of this age (time-frame). The earth will not be destroyed, but renewed. Be sure of this: when you read these words, it is far more important to know what the Bible says about the end times, than how everything will take place and how everything will be fulfilled. That is not to say that it isn’t important to know what we are to expect, but it is far more important to know what is going to happen and how we will live in light of that knowledge.
“Come, Lord Jesus!”
For Christians, the Apocalypse is the blessed hope of the revelation of Jesus Christ in glory. The suffering and striving Church on earth cries out: “Come, Lord Jesus!” We do not live with doubt and uncertainty regarding the future. The apostle Peter writes that “we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). In other words, when Christians read or hear of “apocalypse”, they shouldn’t be frightened. The should be encouraged and filled with hope. The day of Christ’s return will be the glorious fulfillment of God’s redemptive promises. Sin will be punished, suffering will be ended, and faith will be exchanged for sight.
What matters today
The apostle Paul writes that all people will appear before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ (cf 2 Corinthians 5:10). The question that is most urgent today, is this – if Jesus Christ will return today, and you will be called to appear before Him, what will He say to you? Will He publicly allow you entrance into His eternal Kingdom, because you have trusted in Him? Or will He publicly shut the door of His Kingdom, because you did not want to be reconciled to Him?
The answer to this questions is of eternal importance. Therefore, when you read or hear about apocalyptic events, receive it as a God-given message that urges you to be reconciled with Him by faith in the Lord of Glory, the One Who is to be expected – Jesus Christ.