Friday, January 5, 2018


While we are in the book of Revelation, it's important to talk about an idea that the world could not have gotten more wrong, as a show of just how willing we are to create a narrative that does not have God in it at all. The idea is called Armageddon.

Armageddon has on and off been a popular topic for Hollywood, at the very least; popular culture in some other respects. We are all enamored, it seems, with the end of the world as we know it and what happens in a desolate place. Most of us have seen the clips of the images of man's imagination, with dust-covered streets, bombed-out cities, not a single man in sight except, of course, for the one who somehow survived the end of everything. (This has never made sense to me.)

It's Armageddon!'s not.

Contrary to what Hollywood would have us believe, Armageddon is not an event; it's a place. And it's one of the most beautiful places we could never imagine.

The word itself shows up only once in all of the Scripture, in Revelation 16:16, where John tells us that the kings were gathered at the place called Armageddon in Hebrew. That means that the place itself is ancient in Judeo-Christian culture, for Hebrew was the language of the Jews, not of the Christians; the Old Testament, not the New. It is the oldest-fashioned language of God, and in Hebrew, words had profound meaning.

The word Armageddon in the Hebrew is drawn from two words combined into this one. The first word is a word meaning "mountain" and the second is a word meaning "strong." Thus, when John talks about the kings being gathered to Armageddon, he is not at all saying that they are brought to dust, destroyed, laid waste. Rather, he is saying they are brought to the strong mountain.

Anyone who has spent much of any time at all in the Old Testament knows that mountains are strongly associated with God. There was Moriah and Sinai and Ararat, just to name a few, and the people of God sojourned quite a bit around Sinai. Zion, which is associated with Jerusalem and the City of David, is often referred to as a mountain, and Jesus prayed at the Mount of Olives. There are a lot of strong mountains in Scripture, and they all have one thing in common; they are the places where the Lord Himself dwells.

So when we're talking in the end about Armageddon, we're talking about being brought to this strong mountain, to God Himself, to the place where He dwells among us. 

Which means that these completely-destroyed, barren, hopeless images of the end of the earth that Hollywood would have us buy into are missing one key element of the true end of time: the steadfast love of the Lord that never ceases. The eternal presence of our God, our solid rock. What all these movies seem to be missing at the end of the world as we know Hope. When all else fails and falls away, there is but One that remains, just as He always has, just as He promised always to do. 


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