When the apocalypse comes, will you be ready? What if the apocalypse is already here? This question might sound strange if we judge an apocalypse by catastrophic events. An apocalypse, however, could be the revelation of something unknown. An apocalypse, therefore, could be trivial or life-changing.
When we talk about the word apocalypse or the Apocalypse, people usually think of the final destruction of the planet Earth. Such a view comes from interpreting the book of Revelation as a document that outlines God’s wrath against sinful humanity. This view of the Apocalypse has led to the thought of the word apocalypse as the destruction of the world. A movie called The Apocalypse, for example, was about an enormous asteroid headed for Earth. This asteroid could kill all humanity.
The Mystery of the Apocalypse
However, the word apocalypse has another meaning. Apocalypse means the revealing of something unknown. Scripture defines apocalypse as a “mystery which was kept secret since the world began” (1). Scripture also describes apocalypse as the good news of Jesus Christ (2). Therefore, Scripture describes apocalypse as the revealed mystery of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, unlike the threatening asteroid, is the savior of the Earth. Jesus—as the apocalypse— differs from the common perception of apocalypse as destruction. Apocalypse has a less catastrophic and older meaning that points to Jesus Christ.
Technology today helps us calculate many things like the weather, movements of planets, and the condition of our heart, brain, and lungs. Such knowledge results from advances in science and state-of-the-art instruments. This technology can predict what we are thinking about. The Akinator app, for instance, guesses a real or fictional character that a person has in mind. Using this artificial intelligence, the app asks “smart” questions to discover who a person is thinking of. This new knowledge, according to Scripture, is apocalyptic. Apocalyptic knowledge comes through apps like these, artificial intelligence, scientific instruments, and search engines, but they cannot compare to the apocalypse of Jesus Christ.
Apocalypse of Jesus
The secret mystery in Scripture was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was unknown to the prophets who wanted to know the identity of the savior they prophesied about (3). This savior did not become apocalyptic until Jesus’ resurrection after being dead for three days. Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection is the apocalyptic sign for us to repent and turn to God. As Luke records, “As Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites so shall also the Son of man (Jesus) be to this generation” (4). As Jonah told Nineveh that destruction would come because of their wickedness, Jesus warns us today. Nineveh listened to the apocalypse of Jonah. It is up to us to take heed to the apocalypse of Jesus and turn toward God. Jesus says “whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (5). The Apocalypse of Jesus is not about destruction but redemption.
(1) Romans 16:25.
(2) Galatians 1:12.
(3) Luke 10:24, John 8:56, Hebrews 11:13, 39, 1 Peter 1:10, 11.
(4) Luke 11:30.
(5) John 3:16.