I am beginning the Book of Revelation with some fear and trembling. I’ve read it before and I know of its mysteries as I am aware of the promised blessings for reading it. I pray for fresh eyes. Let me start then with this: the time was near? Not really. Is it near today? It can be, if we so choose.
Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
Of course, there is always the issue of what is time to God? Near in time to God is a type of nonsense since there is no time as we know it in God’s realm. This is all a human interpretation of the message. John sensed urgency and for him, that meant the “time” would come posthaste, soon, and in short order. But that didn’t happen.
Some writers interpret this “nearness of time” as the start of the prophesied events. they say the milestone events were merely drawn out over the millennium and while the end may not be near-near, the beginning of the end was near enough to mention then.
But again, I cast aside anything dealing with time. I think humans spend too much energy on interpreting the time and the times. For this reason, we have a plethora of prophecies and kooks in abundance. And yet, human has managed to live through the “end of time” several years over, from the rise of Hitler in the 1930’s to October 21st (or 28th), 2011 (the predicted dates of Harold Camping and Family Radio). To make things even more interesting, we now have the secular world in on the “end of time” party as we enter into 2012, the year that the Mayan calendar ends.
I am not saying there is no Judgment Day … I’m sure there is, but I am saying that we are incapable of predicting the time. Our world is always in a state of flux, either through the unpredictability of nature or the power of prayer. The way is morphing. Our relationships with God are changing. Our “times” are transforming, lengthening and shortening as God wills.
This is the only element of God that is truly near: the Holy Spirit. The nearness, the very indwelling, of God through the Spirit is the most significant nearness factor. And this nearness depends on human to embrace the truth of Presence.
When Jesus walked the earth, he spoke of the “nearness” of the Kingdom of Heaven as within us [Luke 17:20-21]. This is where the true revelation is now and will be, no matter what events happen or don’t happen. The salvation of humankind is within.