What is the significance of the Apocalypse?

The Apocalypse- the end of the world, the coming of judgment day, the day of reckoning! The word Apocalypse has held a series of ominous meanings for hundreds of years now. It is not unusual to hear some “fire and brimstone” TV evangelist telling us that this day is coming very soon.

“The term was first used among Hellenistic Jews to refer to a number of writings which depicted the future state of the world in a parabolic way (e.g. Apocalypse of Baruch). The whole class is now commonly known as ‘Apocalyptic literature’. However, the Apocalypse technically refers to the unveiling of God, and not to the destruction of the world, just of our preconceptions” (Wikipedia).

The writing of the Apocalypse that comes to mind for many Christians is the last book of the New Testament. This is the Apocalypse of John or the Book of Revelation. The book is a somewhat mystical treatise on the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Much as with the writings of the prophet Nostradamus, people are able to read many things into this work. It is often invoked to imply the damnation of the world as we now know it because the world is full of sinners and they will need to be purged before the rest of us can go to heaven. In the Book of Revelation, John writes: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end… But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

There is a deeper message here that can be implied regardless of your faith or religion. This message is that we all need to keep our houses in better order, because we never know when the end, our end is near. I would give long odds that I will meet my end, many decades before the world comes to its end. Looked at this way, the Apocalypse that is coming will be mine. Will I be ready to meet my last days? Will you be able to face your final moments on earth knowing that you were kind and charitable to all people? If you had to be judged today, would you be found guilty or innocent? Is your house in order? Would you be ready and able to meet your maker today?

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