Chapter 9

The End of the Story Is Much Like the Beginning

Eventually, every story must end. And God’s quest throughout the Bible is no different. The pages of the Bible are filled with hints and pictures of what the world will look like when the hero returns, having successfully solved the problem and restored life back to its original state. The New Testament, in the book of Revelation, gives us the most poignant vision of the future.

As the fullness of those who willingly follow Jesus is gathered in, the kingdom of darkness—those humans who, like Pharaoh, refuse to bend in submission to God along with the host of angelic beings who also refused to submit—will grow increasingly strong. Unrepentant humanity’s hardness throughout the Bible and history will ultimately lead to a confrontation unlike any other.

In every story, after the hero succeeds fixing the problem whatever it is, there’s always a journey back home. At some point on that journey, the hero faces one last stand by the enemy—a final confrontation that puts everything to the test. And in the prophecies of Revelation, we find that confrontation.

As the final chapters of the Bible’s story unfold, God’s people must trust increasingly in the hope that God will raise to life all those who die trusting in his promises. The weapon of the kingdom of darkness is death, and it wields it well. But those who embrace a martyr’s end will find the same renewal Jesus demonstrated in the tomb. For death cannot truly kill what cannot truly die.

Though the end of all things remains a hotly debated topic within Christianity, there are some parts of the story that are clear. The kingdom of darkness won’t be able to withstand God’s final press to restore what was lost in Eden. And when he achieves the victory, he will remake not only humanity in its original glory, but all the earth with it. Everything will be as it was intended to be: In trusting submission to a loving God, humanity will reign over the earth, sharing the throne of Jesus himself. It will be a very happy ending indeed.