Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Apocalypticism


But thanks be to God, who always leads

us in triumphal procession in Christ and

through us spreads everywhere the fragrance

of the knowledge of him.


For we are to God the aroma of Christ
among
those who are being saved and
those who are perishing.

To the one we are
the smell of death;

to the other,
the fragrance of life.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16


Honest: I did NOT make that word up - apocalypticism! It harks back to the ancient Greek, where it meant to uncover, to reveal, or to take the lid off.

For movie producers, it means mayhem and devastation; great gore for the sake of the box office draw.

For the average man on the street, it's associated with hideous & terrifying global devastation - be it natural disaster or cosmic warfare - ostensibly the wrath of God.

Even for my dear friend Merriam the connotation is clear: the expectation of an imminent cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil and raises the righteous to life in a messianic kingdom.

From movie-makers and Merriam's perspectives, it is the classic Star Wars epic: The Force will triumph!


So what is an apocalypse, anyway? Is it ...
  • something hideous to avoid?
  • a man-made bogeyman to disbelieve?
  • the stuff of fable & lore meant to keep the masses in check?
  • the unique domain of the authors of the scriptural text?
  • the dementia of a by-gone culture?
  • all of the above?

And whatever it is, does it have anything to do with me personally ... and why should I care anyway?

Yes; because it's the good news about The Good News.

I believe it's safe to say that everyone loves the Gospel. The saved are humbled and awed by it; and even unbelievers find the love & grace it offers a sweet consideration (though for someone else).

Yet no Gospel-giving account is complete without the true and certain knowledge that God has a bigger plan than the saving of individuals (as amazingly marvelous as THAT is!). The story and it's implications are huge, and hopeful.

Anything apocalyptic from the scriptural text - whether we understand it completely or not - is meant to encourage people and nations - personally and collectively. We can stand in the face of every form of trouble - even cosmic cataclysm - and know that the best is yet to come. Oil spills and political folly leave us looking up, not down our noses.

I know there are some that consider this subject too difficult to understand, or even to bother wasting one's time in attempting to understand. They might even assess my writing, blogging or views as being too deep at times.

The latter may be true, but certainly the former is not. There's a fragrance associated with it - the very knowledge of Jesus - that is ...
  • To the believer, the aroma of life.
  • To the unbeliever, the stench of death.
Either way, it is anything but enigmatic.

While we much prefer the Star Wars telling of anything apocalyptic, the fact remains: there's a story that's bigger still; one that is yet to be told or, rather, revealed.

One Source tells us us the apocalyptic form was "used to describe the use of symbols, images, and numbers to depict future events... The purpose of such symbolism, however, was not to cause confusion, but rather to instruct and encourage followers of God in difficult times.

The Apocalypse will be the ultimate revealing of God, His wrath, His justice, and, ultimately, His love.

Jesus Christ is the supreme apocalypse of God, as He revealed God to us ."

I call that Good News!

... testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."!
Revelation 19:10


P.S. Did you catch that: the ultimate revealing of God, His wrath, His justice, and, ultimately, His love? Yes, there's wrath involved, though it's hardly the tantrum-tossing-nose-thumbing action of an angry God Who's lost control of His temper. It's worth a post of it's own: What wrath is, and isn't. Another day ...

16 comments:

Diana said...

Enjoyed your post this morning!

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

A great lesson Kathleen. I always wondered what apocalypse really meant.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I visit this blog and I say to myself, "how is it that she ever visits my blog? Hers is deep, full of meat, makes me think and creates in me a thirst for more. Mine...well, opposites do enjoy each other's company sometimes." I keep coming back to your blog because I enjoy how you write and how you interpret God's Word. This post was another one of those well written masterpieces. Why is it that the world would much rather hear this message through Star Wars than through the Bible?

Tammy@If Meadows Speak said...

Oh Kathleen you said it so eloquently! I'm jumping in "Yes! Yes!"s to this whole post. I especially loved:

"Anything apocalyptic from the scriptural text - whether we understand it completely or not - is meant to encourage...and know that the best is yet to come. Oil spills and political folly leave us looking up, not down our noses."

He is our hope and fragence of better things to come. Apocalypticism reveals more and more of Him and what a treasure to behold.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

What an ultimate that will be. I imagine we've only scratched the surface of understanding on this one, at least I'm counting on it.

I need the mystery and more; don't you?

Love you.

peace~elaine

Rita said...

Thank God He revealed himself to us. Without Him, we are nothing.

Debbie said...

Kathleen, you seem to take on interesting subjects and I mean that in a good way. Bravo...

Greg and I watched a movie the other night about the year 2012. It was a documentary on the end times which brought up an interesting discussion.

Tiffany Marcotte said...

Your writing Amazes me... Seriously!

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

Good post!! Loved the scripture referring to the "fragrance"....

Good stuff!

~Beth

Terri Tiffany said...

Amen! You explained this in one of the best ways I've read before:)

LisaShaw said...

This is MEATY...I had to sit back literally and start at the top again because I wanted to HEAR GOD in this and I DID!

I am going to share this message on Twitter and Email it to my husband it blessed me so much!

Your P.S.-- I hope you do tackle it another day dear friend. The love of GOD is just as real as the wrath of God.

I love you and thank you for taking me deeper. I love growth and the Holy Spirit gives you growth messages at least for me (smile).

Bless you my friend!

P.S. Can I bring a tape recorder and get the nuggets of wisdom of the LORD through Kathleen for Sept? (BIG SMILE)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

A friend and I were discussing this subject the other day. It's so easy to fear, but scripture has an answer for us:

1) Occupy until I come.
2) When you see these things coming to pass, rejoice for your redemption draws nigh.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sonja said...

You are a verbal genius!... I am amazed every time I read your blogs... you are challenging my brain and my heart! Keep em coming!!

Love & hugs...

Sonja

LittleWomen21 said...

Discovered you from Teri Tiffany's blog. Loved this post on apoco - I'm not even going to try to reproduce that word. But it reminded me how it's bizarre but I always feel REFRESHED after reading Revelation. It does inspire hope and excitement for the future - God's ultimate victory!

Karen Lange said...

This is good news. May we stay alert.
Blessings,
Karen

Technonana said...

Oh My Wonderful Friend... you are really laying it down HERE!!
It IS ALL SO MUCH BIGGER THAN US!!!
But we know the end result!! We Win... and we will Glory in His Victory!!! Hallelujah!!!..My word for verification??? Wareake!!