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Will We Have a Reason to Celebrate During the End Times?

Will We Have a Reason to Celebrate During the End Times?

I sometimes joke that my little round tummy is my apocalypse belly, something I nurture in the event of food shortages or an end-of-the-world emergency. I’m only being silly; this is my way of being goofy about weight gain and aging. It’s my way of finding humor in the midst of chaos.

Sometimes, it has felt like the last two years were the preface to the end of the world. Often, people at my workplace (who are not Christians) talk about the zombie apocalypse, and how when the sirens start wailing, they’ll stuff their Christian friend (me) into a backpack, so they have some kind of leverage with God.

This is ridiculous, of course, plus our understanding of the word “apocalypse” is wrong. There are definitely no zombies in the original Greek.

The Unveiling of Christ

Bible Study Tools says the word apokalupsis actually means “a manifestation, an appearance.” Thus, the word apocalypse, which is derived from this Greek word is only partially a reference to the end of the world. The return of Christ is our central concern — we look forward to the great revelation.

Christ will come in glory to defeat the forces of darkness. He will come on a cloud, and everyone will see him revealed for who he really is.

“After that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory” (Mark 13:24-26).

Tribulation is dark and terrible, but tribulation precedes the unveiling of our Lord, in splendor, majesty, and power.

Christ’s Return in Power

This is such a beautiful picture: “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man [...] on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:27, 30).

When Christ returns, he will come in his power. He will not come as the suffering servant, and Satan will not be able to withstand him. Christ will raise the dead and bring believers home.

There is no chance we will not recognize him — everyone (including those who denied him) will see him for who he is. “Every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him” (Revelation 1:7). He will be revealed to the unseeing heart.

Uncovered, Made Bare

One meaning for apokalupsis is “made bare.” I’m taken back to the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve hid from the Lord. They were naked and unashamed, but then they ate the fruit and realized they were naked.

Their nakedness was a source of shame, but also represented spiritual nakedness before God. The Lord always knew what they were doing and thinking. His people could not and cannot hide from him.

1 John 2:28 says, “And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.” When Christ is revealed, uncovered, there will be no more shame.

Even now, we are covered in the blood of the Lamb. When Christ returns, we won’t want to try and hide from him. We will see him as he is and will not die from seeing him.

No more hiding, as if that strategy was doing any good anyway. Even we will understand that, but this realization — this revelation — will feel safe to us, and perfectly right.

Revelation of Tenderness

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Christ is tender. He feels for us and feels with us.

I don’t think about it often enough — this attention to our emotional suffering. God doesn’t have to be this kind to us or this personal. We nailed Jesus to a cross, and still, he is touched by our suffering. Yet, the Lord knows we are broken and lost.

He doesn’t just snap his fingers and say, “The pain is gone, be happy.” There is a point at which we will all know that his hand has touched each of our cheeks, softly wiping those tears away; addressing and then abolishing pain. We face pain, Jesus faces it with us.

He doesn’t expect us to pretend we don’t suffer. Because we feel it, we also see the magnitude of the Lord’s power to overcome suffering. At the Revelation, we will all meet this tender Messiah.

For anyone who ever thought he was disappointed in him or her, or distant and disinterested, this will be an incredible unveiling.

Revelation of Light

“And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:23). Chris is light, and in him is no darkness (John 1:5).

If you, like me and many of my friends, dread the gray skies of winter, you’ll know what I mean when I say that light is beautiful. Not only does it reveal beauty, but it is gorgeous in its own right.

Jesus is the Light of the World, and his light is beautiful. And that picture of Jesus as light brings us full circle to the Revelation itself: the unveiling; the exposing; the shedding-light-onto. Light will expose itself. I wonder what that will sound like when in the heavens?

Perhaps like all the world’s volcanoes erupting at once! Perhaps this collision of light with light will create the “sea of glass mingled with fire” where those who fought with God against the beast will stand “with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!’” (Revelation 15:2-3).

Light meeting light will sound like music!

Nothing to Dread

I am nervous sometimes because the Revelation of Christ will follow tribulation, and that could all start at any time. In fact, some argue that we are already in the tribulation, depending on where you live in the world. Many thousands of Christians are detained or are being tortured for their faith.

Every day, he gets a little closer to bringing us home and I always wonder “will I stand strong?” And his answer is that the Holy Spirit will tell us what to say when the time comes (Luke 12:12). But the word “revelation” and its root apokalupsis should evoke a glorious image, not a scary one.

Yes, the Lord is both terrifying and beautiful at the same time, but the terror of the Lord, reverence, is right. Those who love him will tremble at the sight of him coming in glory. Believers have nothing to fear.

They will see the image of God, the image they were all made in. Much has been concealed from us, but at the Revelation, we will see the One we have loved and who has always loved us. Everything that matters will be unveiled.

For further reading:

When Is Jesus Coming Back?

Should We Fear the End Times?

What Does the Bible Say about the End of the World?

What Is the Rapture?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/OksanaTkachova

Candice Lucey is a freelance writer from British Columbia, Canada, where she lives with her family. Find out more about her here.