Bible Bookends

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), December 31

imagesThe final two chapters of the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ mirror the first two chapters in Genesis. These four chapters are bookends to the entire story of the Bible.

In the beginning God walked with man in a beautiful garden, in the cool of the day. In the end God dwells again with His people—“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev. 21:3).

In the beginning and in the end there is no serpent, no sin, death, or curse: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (21:4).

The peace in the garden of Eden was broken when the serpent entered the garden to provoke man’s rebellion and to seize his inheritance. God promised that a Redeemer from the woman’s seed would crush the serpent’s head. God made the first sacrifice to cover man’s nakedness. Adam and Eve believed God’s promise of redemption, lived in light of the picture of redemption, and taught their sons to follow their example. One believed; the other did not. Since then two types of people have filled the earth: those who hear and respond to God’s promise and the fulfillment of redemption that cost Him His Son, and those who refuse to believe. Jesus refers to these two groups as the narrow gate with the narrow way, and the broad gate and the broad way, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Mt. 7:13-14).

The story between the beginning and the end chronicles the lives of the few who have entered the narrow gate, who have believed God’s goodness and His promises and have lived accordingly, and the many who have chosen the wide gate and the wide path and have lived accordingly. The names of the believing are written in the Book of Life.

The story records the fulfillment of God’s promise of redemption and all of the various pictures of redemption in the person of Jesus Christ. The story concludes with a final judgment of the serpent, his demons, and those of the wide gate and wide path—the unbelieving.

Isaiah summarizes the role of the prophecies throughout the Bible’s story, “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure’” (Is. 46:9-10).

What a story! God has fulfilled every promise that He has made, those regarding redemption and those regarding judgment.

This story, however, differs from all other stories which conclude with an ending. This one ends with a new beginning for man, where all things are made new.

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Rev. 19:1-22:21):
Describe the results of the final battle and the final judgment.
What warning concludes the Book of the Revelation? What does this reveal about the book’s contents?