(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
Well, I am a bit sad that we find ourselves in the final one of these gospel summaries. It has been an amazing thing for me; I feel incredibly blessed that I have been able to spend my time tracing that golden cord of the gospel through every book of the Bible. We’re at the final book, the book of Revelation, and I would title this, “The Great War and the Final Victory.”
Revelation begins with the past, present, and future gospel. Let me read:
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, (There it is: past, present, and future.) and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
“I am the Alpha and Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
What a way to begin! But hear how this passage ends in (Chapter) 22:
Then the angel showed me the river of the waters of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on the foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
I love that this gospel book, this Bible that's not a collection of stories but is one story, ends in this triumphant note.
Well, Revelation, in the middle, is this great war. John, in the midst of his own trials, in the midst of struggles in the church, is given this amazing vision of the throne room to see the conquering King Christ setting up His kingdom, opening the scrolls of judgment. John wants us to have that scene in our minds as he then turns to this great war, this war of Satan on the church and the triumphs of the Kingdom of the Lord and of his Christ. This is a triumphant book!
Yes, you see the horrors of life in a fallen world. Yes, you see the evil of Satan. But you see the triumph of the King of Kings and of His Kingdom. Revelation is a celebration of God's final victory, sealed by the blood of the Lamb and His ultimate reign. Isn’t this a wonderful way to end this study with The King on His throne reigning, gathering His children around Him of every tribe and every nation of every tongue, celebrating His grace forever and ever?
We should eavesdrop on eternity and have our values clarified. Those people on the other side don't say, “Well, we lived in such great houses, we had such great jobs, so many people loved us.” They just celebrate The King and His final victory against sin, death, and the devil. There is a Victor; He is our Savior, Jesus!