What is your biggest struggle right now?
Do you ever feel like things just aren’t going right? Like things should work out, in theory, but then something happens and you’re back to square one. Things and people just don’t do quite what you want them to.
Actually, this is how things are really meant to be at the moment, because we’re living in the middle. We’re living in the time before the Kingdom of God comes into all it’s fullness. Some things work out, lots don’t. Because, things aren’t as they should be yet.
In this passage we see some of the mess working out. There are two witnesses, prophesying powerfully. In the Old Testament, two witnesses were needed for everything legal to take place – that’s why there are two of them here. They are overcome by the beast, but after three and a half days (sound familiar? hint, think resurrection!) they come back to life, and unsurprisingly, people are a little bit terrified. They are drawn up into heaven, but people realise something amazing has happened and turn to worship God.
Then the final judgement comes, as the seventh trumpet sounds and the Kingdom of God comes fully, the believers bow down in worship of God. People who have destroyed others and been destructive will themselves be destroyed.
Sometimes I think that judgement sounds harsh, and that surely everyone should be forgiven for what they have done. I mean, most people aren’t that bad, are they? The reality is that forgiveness is available to all who ask and who choose to turn to Jesus. But at the same time, those who have done terrible things to innocent people should not go unpunished for those things. This is part of the hope that we have – the knowledge that one day, all suffering and those who cause suffering will be no more, and Jesus will return and that he will reign for ever.
Lord God, thank you for all that you have done in Jesus. Thank you that we can have hope in you and that you will one day bring an end to all suffering. Help us to worship you fully. Help us not to be people who cause more suffering to others. Amen.
Who can you bring hope to today?