July 26, 2014

Spoiler Alert: God Wins!

Revelation 21:1-5

I am making everything new!
—Revelation 21:5


Have you ever had someone tell you how a story or movie was going to turn out before you had a chance to read or see it yourself? Some people call that a spoiler. A poorly timed spoiler can take the fun out of watching a good movie or TV show.

However, in the middle of a scary story it can be comforting to know that things will turn out well in the end. Then, even if part of the story is distressing, you know that things will be resolved later.

The same is true in God’s big story for us and his world. It begins in a perfect world, but we’re in the middle now, and a fierce battle is raging around us. When the forces of evil bring suffering or fear into our lives, it can be reassuring to know how our story will end.

I think that’s one of the main reasons why God included the book of Revelation in the Bible. Sometimes Christians mistakenly treat the last book in the Bible as a collection of end time trivia over which we can speculate. But the real purpose of the book is to give a credible response to the request “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). Jesus summarizes the entire book of powerful visions and apocalyptic imagery with these simple promises: “I am making everything new,” and “I am coming soon” (22:20).

We’re still in the middle of our stories, but we can trust that, in Christ, the end will be amazingly good!

Lord Jesus, help us to look ahead and see the end. May we eagerly wait for your return. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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