Know Where We Are
“Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short (Revelation 12:10b-12)!”
For these next few posts I want to take a wide-angle lens look at the message of Revelation as a whole. What should we learn from this book that is often filled with strange images? Here’s one thing we should learn: Revelation tells us where we are.
If you are ever going to make sense of a map at a park or mall, you will need to find the star that tells you: “you are here.” As believers, it’s good to know this on a cosmic and eternal scale. Otherwise, we will often find ourselves confused and disillusioned.
The passage above demonstrates something of this truth. There we are told great things: the kingdom of our God has come and the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down. These are reasons to rejoice. But the end of the passage should sober us, for it reminds us that the devil has come down in great wrath, because he knows his time is short.
The book of Revelation reminds us that we are standing between two realities. Theologians often say that we live in an “already, but not yet” reality. There are secure and eternal truths about our current life that should encourage us, but we have not yet arrived at our true home. If we close our eyes to Revelation’s realistic reminders that the church will know suffering and martyrdom, we will be caught off guard when tough times come our way. If we focus only on the troubles and fail to see that we are a secure people who are sealed by our God and marked with his name, then the world will rob us of our sure and certain eternal hope. Revelation, thankfully, reminds us where we are: between two worlds.