Book of Revelation - What Does the American Public Think?
What does the Book of Revelation mean to the average American? A TIME/CNN poll in 2002 found that 35% of Americans say they are paying more attention now to how the news might relate to the end of the world, and have talked about what the Bible has to say on the subject. Fully 59% say they believe the events in Revelation are going to come true ("Apocalypse Now," Time Magazine, June 23, 2002).
Book of Revelation - What Does the World Think?
The Book of Revelation tells us, "When Christ returns, every eye shall see Him." Until CNN and the Internet, it was impossible to imagine the fulfillment of such an event. Walter Russell Mead, Council on Foreign Relations, predicts that our century will be remembered as the Age of Apocalypse. "The word apocalypse," he observes, "comes from a Greek word that literally means 'lifting of the veil.' In an apocalyptic age, people feel that the veil of normal, secular reality is lifting, and we can see behind the scenes, see where God and the devil, good and evil are fighting to control the future." To the extent that more people in the U.S. and around the world believe history is accelerating, that ancient prophecies are being fulfilled in real time, "it changes the way people feel about their circumstances, and the way they act. The grays are beginning to leak out of the way people view the world, and they're seeing things in more black-and-white terms" ("Apocalypse Now," Time Magazine, June 23, 2002).
The Book of Revelation speaks of the coming world leader known as the "Antichrist." Revelations of the Antichrist seem to be coming frequently. When U.N. Secretary-general Kofi Annan tells the World Economic Forum that globalization is the best hope to solve the world's problems, when the forum floats the idea of a "united nations of major religions," when privacy is sacrificed to security, the news headlines are listed on the prophecy websites as signs that the Antichrist is busy about his business.
Book of Revelation - What Do the Theologians Think?
The Book of Revelation declares, "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." (Revelation 1:3) "BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen" (Revelation 1:7).
Time Magazine looked at apocalyptic theology, and declared that religious "scholars" tend to treat this area as a sociological tradition. "They see End Times interest rising and falling on waves of cataclysm and calm. Masses of people became convinced the end was nigh when Rome was sacked in 410, when the Black Death wiped out one-third of the population of 14th century Europe, when the tectonic shudders of the Lisbon earthquake in 1755 caused church bells to ring as far away as England, and certainly after 1945, when for the first time human beings harnessed the power to bring about their total destruction, not an act of God, but an act of mankind" ("Apocalypse Now," Time Magazine, June 23, 2002).
Book of Revelation - God's Word on the End Times
The Book of Revelation is not grounded in religious, social or mythological tradition. The Book of Revelation is God's Word to us, packed with prophecy that will be fulfilled in the End Times. Many declare that the End Times have already begun. A significant prophecy was fulfilled when the Jews reestablished their homeland in 1948. Thereafter, another tick on the End Times "prophecy clock" occurred when the Jews retook Jerusalem in 1967. Do we know when the end will come? No. However, we do know that the clock is ticking a little bit faster these days. "Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book" (Jesus Christ; Revelation 22:7).