Thursday, December 25. Revelation 10 – 12

There’s a grand old hymn that begins with these words: “When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more . . .” In Revelation 11, “time” is finally “up.”

The martyrs wanted to know how much longer the faithful would have to endure the slings and arrows of their persecutors (Revelation 6:10). God said: “A little while longer.” In chapter 10, after a magnificent but failing attempt to get mankind to repent, an angel warns that time is about up. There will be no more delay. When the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, time for repentance will be over. The time has come for judging the dead, rewarding the servants, and destroying the earth.

Chapter 11 ends this long section of Revelation 4 – 11 and you are intended to see, but not in detail, that God has brought our reality to an end. The story of these eight chapters will be repeated in more detail in chapters 12 – 16 and you will note that both sections end with the same image: that of lightening, thunder, earthquake and hailstones.

The temptation here is to parrot the old and somewhat dismissive summary of Revelation: “We win in the end!” Yes, that’s true. But there’s more than the end. Until that time, God’s people (the holy city) will be abused by the world (gentiles). The period is described as 42 months (3 ½ years). Many of God’s people (seen in a microcosm of two witnesses) will be killed. But after this period, they will be raised from the dead (the period is said to be 3 ½ days but simply notice the recurrence of 3 ½. You’ll see it again in this book). Then, the end will come.

Yes, we win. But we win only if we overcome, and overcoming is tied directly to perseverance, specifically perseverance in witnessing for God. Winning will not be a walk in the park.