A janitor would wait patiently each week for a group of seminarians to finish their basketball game before cleaning the gym. While he waited, he would sit in the stands and study his Bible. One particular day, as the seminarians were exiting the gym, they noticed the janitor engrossed in bible study. One of the young budding pastors asked which biblical book the janitor was studying. The old man answered, “The Book of Revelation.” The ball player was surprised and further asked the janitor if he understood the complicated book. “Oh, yes!” the man replied. “I understand it. It means that in the end Jesus wins!”
That is a great answer and an accurate analysis of the book of Revelation. It has been well said that the books of Genesis and Revelation act as two bookends that hold the entire Bible together. In Genesis we have the story of man’s fall into sin, while in Revelation we have God’s complete and final victory over sin (Rev. 11:15-18; 12:10-12; 19:11-16; 20:1-6). As the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, God in Christ restores His rule, and returns the earth to its original design (Rev. 21:6; 22:13). In the beginning Satan deceives humanity, but in the end he is bound to keep him from deceiving the nations (Gen. 3:1-7, 13-15; Rev. 20:2-3). In the beginning death enters the world, but in the end death is put to death (Gen. 3:3; 4:6-8; 6:3; Rev. 20:14; 21:4). In the beginning sinful mankind hides from God, but in the end they will look into God’s face (Gen. 3:8-11; Rev. 22:4). In the beginning sinful people are banished from God’s presence, but in the end God lives among His people within a new heaven, and a new earth (Gen. 3:24; Rev. 21:3, 7, 22; 22:4). In the beginning creation deteriorates, but in the end all things are made new (Gen. 5:6, 8, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31; 6:3; Rev 21:5). Bottom line, in the end heaven wins (Dan. 4:26; Rev. 19:6)! That is the grand story of the Bible and the main point of Revelation.
In the midst of a world where Christ is a swear word, where Satan is hard at work, where sickness and death plague our everyday lives, and where God’s people are despised and persecuted, it is easy to forget that in the end we win with Jesus. That we are on the right side of the argument, that though we might lose some battles along the way we will win the war. The book of Revelation was written to comfort the persecuted church of Asia Minor and to remind them that God sees their tears, hears their prayers, assures their victory, and will avenge their blood. Christ, who is the Head of the Church, will have the last word (Rev. 19:15-16). God, who is the Sovereign over all the nations, will have the last laugh (Psa. 2:4). They needed to be reminded that all is well that ends well, and so do we (Eccles. 7:8)! Remember, we can’t lose for winning (2 Cor. 2:14)!