– Billy Graham
Have you ever cheated and jumped to the end of a book to see how it turns out? I know I have in the Bible–and specifically the Book of Revelation–to see how God’s redemptive plan turns out. We win in the end (Rev. 22). Paul wrote to a suffering church at Rome to give them hope, writing, “… in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37). The Greek word Paul used for “conquerors” is the verb “hypernikaō,” which means “to be over,” “to be more than a conqueror,” and “to gain a surpassing victory.” Paul said we are more than conquerors because we’ve already had victory through Jesus Christ, so “… thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).
Paul was “… sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39). Paul left nothing open to the possibility that we could be separated from God’s love since “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Since our condemnation has been lifted by Christ’s death, He knew everything would turn out all right. Do we?
Even though we’ve read the end of the Bible and know with certainty that God’s children will enter into the kingdom, we might still have doubts. However, Paul wrote, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12). We can see only some of what is to come, and it’s like looking through a dark-paned window and seeing a shadow of some of the things to come but not yet with full clarity. However, Paul was certain that someday we will see our Lord face to face, even though we only see Him in part right now. It didn’t matter to Paul because he was so sure that he could confidently say, “then I shall know fully.” So will the children of God.
When the disciples of Jesus returned from their mission, they rejoiced that even the demons were subject to them, but Jesus reminds them of what they should really be rejoicing over: “… do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Paul spoke of the reward of those who have helped him greatly, writing, “… these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life” (Phil. 4:3). We should rejoice, too. For all who are the children of God, Jesus “will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels” (Rev. 3:5b).
There is a blessing for those who read the Book of Revelation (Rev. 1:3), and we should rejoice over the fact that we’ve had victory in Jesus, that we know we can’t be separated from God’s love, that someday we will see our Master face to face, and that our names are written in heaven. As Mr. Graham said, “It’s all going to turn out all right.”