I move on now to discuss Revelation’s view of ruling the world. If at the end of time God destroys everyone other than his followers, whom will they rule? I begin by picking up my final question in the last post.
Where does the book of Revelation stand on the morality of domination? There is really not much doubt. When the catastrophes have run their course, Christ’s followers are granted world dominion.
To understand what that might mean for John of Patmos we have to consider one of the stranger anomalies of his narrative. After the wrath of God has been satisfied: what remains of the population of earth? At the last judgment in ch. 20 everyone whose name does not appear in the “book of life” – that is, anyone who is not a follower of Jesus – is sent to the second death in “the lake of fire” (20:11-15). Doesn’t “everyone” mean everyone? John stresses that it does: after earth’s entire non-Christian population is cast into the fiery lake, so too are Death and Hades themselves. There will be no more death, no more realm of the dead, no more people to sin and die. Only those who follow the Lamb are left, and immediately the prophet sees the new heaven and new earth appear, the “holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God” (21:1-2).
So that is that. Except it’s not. In the next chapter, when John describes the glorious new city of gold, we learn that “the nations will walk by its light” (21:24). But why are there nations? We also learn that
Here is one of the least-understood features of the book of Revelation. Wanna read more? Join the blog! Click here for membership options