REVELATION MESSAGE 28 – Planet Earth-The Epilogue
“And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
- An epilogue is a concluding section that wraps up the loose ends. It is the closing scene, the final chapter, the series finale. The epilogue tells us how things turn out as it reveals the fate or the destiny of the characters in our story.
- And this is where we find ourselves in our Revelation study this morning. Could we find anything more final than these words? “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Today we arrive at the final chapter of the history of Earth; the very last movement of over 6,000 years of the drama of life on the planet.
- If we were watching a movie or reading a book, this is the part where we squirm in our seats as we follow the ebb and flow in the battle of good versus evil. Who wins? Who loses? Will the hero of our story rise up against all odds and save the day? Will we even survive the great conflict and the roller coaster of our emotions?
- Well, yes, we will survive because it is only a book or a movie. It isn’t real. Inside the theater aliens may have just blown up half the planet, or some sociopath with a chainsaw may have reduced the population of a small town in western Illinois by a third, but when we walk out of the theater, nothing has changed. It was just a story. Maybe a great story, maybe fascinating, entertaining, even enlightening, but only a story nonetheless. Fiction.
- But one day it will no longer be fiction. One day it will no longer be merely a sci-fi thriller. The devastation will not be confined to the movie screen. The entire planet will not just resemble a war zone but will be a war zone. And one day every person who has ever lived—from Adam and Eve to the very last person born in a hospital in the middle of New York City or in the Serengeti in Africa—will stand before God and give an account of his or her life.
- The coming judgment of God should be a keynote, a prevailing tone, a central theme of those who keep the testimony of Jesus in pulpits across our country and the world. The message itself stands on its own and is prominent throughout Scripture, from Genesis, through the prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Joel and on to the New Testament with the Apostle Peter who tells us: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed” (2 Peter 3:10 ESV)
- God’s message of judgment in the Bible is not some hazy, mysterious doctrine, vague and cryptic. It is not some unclear, uncertain, unknown, dubious doctrine hidden away in the pages of the minor prophets.
- Think about it. God’s last interaction with billions of people, the last (and maybe the first) time they see God, his final involvement with those who have refused his salvation will be at this event which we have come to in our study this morning—the great white throne judgment.