There’s a formula, you know. A brilliant scientist holds the solution to a world-ending problem but is often ignored when he/she first tells of impending doom. He or she is separated from his or her spouse/fiance and if a male, has been a distant father, thus allowing for funny kids/surly teenagers and bonding moments.
If it is really good, there is a dog.
In order to survive a disaster, I’ve decided that I need to look a little better in a tank top. You can always tell which woman is going to live all the way through. Her button-up shirt usually winds up as someone’s bandage or pillow, allowing her to spend the rest of the movie looking fabulous in a tank top.
The last two nights, I’ve been reading the ultimate apocalyptic tale. There is war that leads to unheard of food prices. Murder is rampant and a pandemic spreads. With 25% of the population killed, an epic earthquake hits and people everywhere try to escape into the mountains and caves. With the terror and pandemonium comes more killing and other brutal crimes. A massive meteor hits and part of the earth is also devastated by a giant volcano.
There is no triumph. There is just vicious, unrelenting harsh reality. This is like those harsh apocalyptic movies that I have no interest in watching – the men rape the women and kill old people for their food, dogs are rabid or eaten and women kill their babies rather than watch them starve.
And unfortunately, a true story.
When I set out to read The Book of Revelation this time, I decided to read it rather than study – I set aside much of the symbolism, quit trying to focus on scrolls, seals, basins and horsemen and focused on Jesus.
But you can’t read the book of Revelation without seeing words like EARTHQUAKE, FAMINE, DEATH and WAR. There isn’t a whole lot of human triumph and there is a whole lot of hardcore repulsive nastiness.
And as I read, I thought: If I knew an earthquake was coming, wouldn’t it be my duty to tell people about it? If I had knowledge that would keep everyone in my neighborhood from dying, wouldn’t it be my responsibility to do everything possible to get the word out?
In the midst of the ugliness of Revelation is a beautiful Jesus.
And He brings triumph. (It is even better than the president’s speech in Independence Day.)
A loud voice shouts across the heavens:
“It has come at last –
salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God,
and the authority of His Christ.” (Revelation 12:10 NLT)
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Then He who sat on the throne said,
‘Behold, I make all things new.’
And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’
And He said me, ‘It is done!
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the Beginning and the End.
I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.‘” (Revelation 21:4-6)
How can I know this and not tell?
I know of the coming horror and I know the beautiful ending through a triumphant Christ.
What right do I have to keep the escape plan to myself?
Shouldn’t I spread the word of impending disaster to those who do not hear the sound of the siren?