With the 40th session we arrive at the end of Revelation. John wraps up and reiterates his main themes in this Epilogue section. He does this by echoing words and phrases from the Prologue at the very beginning. What we learn is that everything between the Prologue and Epilogue is explanations and descriptions of themes that were first introduced in the Prologue.
In summary here are the main themes that we discovered during our journey through Revelation.
- Jesus is God
- Israel is the Church (not ethnic or national)
- The Church is the New Jerusalem
- The description of the New Jerusalem is not heaven, but the Church
- The New Jerusalem is the Holy of Holies, where God dwells, and where his people now dwell
- Blessings are given to those who keep the words of Revelation (i.e., keep the commandments) and hold on (remain faithful) to the testimony given by Jesus in the book (the two phrases, “keep the commandments” and “hold to the testimony” are really the same thing)
- Revelation compares and contrasts two opposing systems – one based on coercion and force, the other based on love and liberty
- Revelation warns Christians against accommodating and approving the use of coercion and force, even for ends that may be good
- Babylon and New Jerusalem are two counterpart cities that respectively embody the principles of their masters
- Babylon will be destroyed; New Jerusalem will last forever
- Jesus’ coming is already here, in part; the rest of the story is just as certain
- Revelation is not so much about the future as it is about how Christians are to engage the world while awaiting the full arrival of God’s kingdom