How do you define apocalypse in the Bible? What do you imagine when you think about the word apocalypse? Do you see the ground burning like molten lava? Perhaps demons, torment, nuclear war and destruction? What if I told you that these are part of a ‘definition’ created by man, leaving out some important parts of the Bible‘s message. It is true, one day the prophecies from Revelation will come true. But just spreading fear is not the Book’s full intent. So, let’s discover the truth through Christian eyes and define apocalypse! Hallelujah!
Apocalypse (Apokalupsis) Defined
In Greek, the word for apocalypse is ‘apokalupsis;’ we can easily see how we get the word we use today. Did you know there is a book in the Bible called “The Apocalypse of John“? Today, we call it Revelation, but the word in the Greek text is Apokalupsis (the ‘Apokalupsis’ of John). In middle English, apocalypse is defined as “the complete final destruction of the world, an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale.” But in Greek, apokalupsis actually means “disclosure, unveiling, appearing, revealing and manifestation.” Not the negative indo European meaning we have come to believe.
So, what was God’s intent to inspire the book of Revelation? Many Christians and non-believers both see the book as the prophecy of destruction and death, but is that what it really is about? The events of destruction, war, and evil are all inevitable events for a world full of humans. We have feared these things since 200 bc (well before actually.) We do not need God to destroy the Earth, we are doing a great job of that on our own. Perhaps Revelation is more about the unveiling of the prophesied events that will happen before the true intent of the book. It is about the uniting of the bride and bridegroom, Christ’s eternal reign. The moment when we will see our Savior, face-to-face, and finally feel His physical embrace.
The Revelation of God
For Christians, the apocalypse should be a celebration; it is the appearing of God Himself. It is a time of joining, rest, completeness, and mercy. Let the movies and books create their negative outlook to make sales through fear; but as followers of Jesus, we should only see the unimaginable beauty and peace to come. So, let’s change the true meaning of apocalypse. Let’s give it a more positive connotation for those who walk in the confidence of salvation. For us, the apocalypse will be one of the greatest events of mankind. Jesus will fulfill His promise and we will reside with Him, forever. There should be no fear for those who know and trust in Him.
Revelation 21:3-4 I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “See, the tent of God is among humans! He will make his home with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won’t be death anymore. There won’t be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared.”