A photo depicting an open Bible, its pages turning towards the final book of Revelation, symbolizing the anticipation and mystery surrounding how the Bible concludes.

How Does The Bible End? A Detailed Look At The Book Of Revelation

The ending of the Bible has fascinated and puzzled readers for centuries. The cryptic apocalyptic visions in the Book of Revelation have spawned endless debate about how exactly the world will end according to scripture.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible ends with the Book of Revelation, which describes a series of disastrous events and plagues preceding the second coming of Christ, followed by the final defeat of evil and the creation of a new heaven and earth.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the key events, figures, and interpretations of how the Bible ends, as portrayed in the prophetic book of Revelation. We’ll examine the various tribulations, judgements, battles, and resurrections depicted, as well as the new holy city of the New Jerusalem that represents the advent of a newly restored creation.

Overview of the Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament and perhaps one of the most complex and controversial books in the Bible. It was written by the Apostle John while he was exiled on the island of Patmos.

Revelation provides a stunning vision of the end times and the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Authorship and origins

The Book of Revelation starts with a clear statement of authorship: “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place” (Revelation 1:1). The author identifies himself as John, a servant of Jesus Christ.

Most biblical scholars conclude that this John was the same person as the beloved disciple of Jesus and the author of the Gospel of John and three epistles in the New Testament.

Revelation was likely written in A.D. 95-96 while the Apostle John was exiled on the island of Patmos by the Roman authorities. This was a time of intense persecution of the early Christian church under the Roman emperor Domitian. Revelation reflects the struggle and suffering of the early believers.

Apocalyptic literature

The Book of Revelation belongs to a genre of prophetic and symbolic writing known as apocalyptic literature. Apocalyptic works reveal hidden truths through vivid symbols, cryptic numbers, and foreboding cosmic visions.

Revelation is filled with complex and sometimes mystifying imagery, including fantastic creatures and epic cosmic battles.

However, the fantastical imagery has a purpose – to impress upon readers the urgency and gravity of the spiritual battle between good and evil. The visions of Revelation remind believers that despite tribulation and suffering in the present world, God’s kingdom and eternal life await those who remain faithful.

Key themes and images

Some of the major themes and images in Revelation include:

  • The second coming of Jesus Christ – Revelation depicts Jesus returning as a conquering king to defeat evil and establish God’s eternal kingdom.
  • Judgment for sin and evil – Unrepentant sinners face condemnation, while the faithful are rewarded.
  • Cosmic battle between good and evil – God and the Lamb (Christ) defeat Satan and the beasts.
  • A new, perfected creation – A new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem signify the restoration of all things.
  • Worship and praise – Scenes of heavenly worship emphasize the majesty and worthiness of God.
  • The millennium – Satan is bound and saints reign for 1,000 years before a final rebellion and judgment.

Rich in symbolism and vivid imagery, Revelation offers a grand, dramatic vision of the climax of history when Jesus returns to usher in God’s eternal kingdom. It continues to inspire end times speculation and fascinate readers 20 centuries after its writing.

The Seven Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls

Breaking the seven seals

The seven seals described in Revelation represent God’s judgment being unleashed on the earth. As each seal is opened, a new judgment is released. The breaking of the first four seals brings forth four horsemen – the horses symbolize conquest, war, famine, and death.

The fifth seal reveals the cries of martyrs killed for their faith. The sixth seal brings a great earthquake and other cosmic disturbances. The seventh seal introduces the seven trumpets.

Sounding the seven trumpets

The seven trumpets are sounded by angels and bring forth even more judgments on the inhabitants of the earth. The first trumpet brings hail, fire, and blood that destroys much of the plant life. The second trumpet sees a great burning mountain thrown into the sea.

The third trumpet brings a star called Wormwood that poisons the fresh waters. The fourth trumpet darkens the sun, moon, and stars. The fifth trumpet unleashes demonic locusts that torment people. The sixth trumpet releases four demonic angels who kill a third of humanity.

The seventh trumpet signals the final stage of God’s wrath.

Pouring out the seven bowls

The seven bowls contain the last plagues God will inflict on the earth before the final judgment. The first bowl causes painful sores on those who worshipped the beast. The second bowl turns the seas into blood, killing all sea life. The third bowl turns the fresh waters into blood.

The fourth bowl scorches people with fire. The fifth bowl plunges the kingdom of the beast into darkness. The sixth bowl dries up the Euphrates River to prepare the way for the kings of the East. Finally, the seventh bowl triggers an enormous earthquake that levels cities and changes the geography of the world.

The bowls represent God’s final judgments before the earth is destroyed and remade new.

The Second Coming of Christ

The battle of Armageddon

The battle of Armageddon refers to the final war between good and evil mentioned in the Book of Revelation. It will take place in the end times after the rise of the Antichrist and his war on the saints.

Armageddon comes from the Hebrew word Har-Magedon, meaning the mountain of Megiddo, which is an ancient city located in northern Israel. This valley has historically been a place of key battles, making it a fitting symbolic location for the battle between Jesus and the forces of Satan.

According to Revelation 16:16, Armageddon gathers demonic forces aligned with the Antichrist in one place for a final showdown. Popular eschatology commonly depicts Christ leading an army of angels and raptured believers against the Antichrist and his global army.

While the Book of Revelation itself does not give specifics about the battle, many believe it will be brief yet decisive as God wipes out evil forces, culminating in the victory of Jesus Christ over the Antichrist and Satan.

The imagery of Armageddon underscores that while evil may appear strong for a time, Jesus Christ will return in power and glory to overthrow the kingdom of darkness and establish his eternal kingdom. The Bible consistently depicts God as sovereign over human history and assures us that no matter how intense evil and tribulation may get, Jesus is coming back to make all things new for those who place their faith in him.

The defeat of Satan and evil

After the battle of Armageddon, Revelation 20 describes Satan as being bound and thrown into the Abyss for 1,000 years. This abyss represents confinement and restraint of his power during Christ’s millennial reign on earth.

After being released for a time, Satan gathers unbelievers for one final battle (Revelation 20:7-10). Fire from heaven consumes them, and Satan is thrown into the lake of fire to be tormented forever.

This epic defeat of Satan completes the downfall of evil that began at the cross. While sin and evil still exist today, Christ broke their power through his sacrificial death and resurrection. His Second Coming will finalize the judgment of Satan, demons, the Antichrist, false prophet, and all the wicked.

The Book of Revelation shows good ultimately triumphing over evil. Those who follow Jesus are on the winning side and will experience eternal life with him in the new creation.

Christ’s return is pictured as both a rescue and revenge. For believers, it is rescue from persecution and entry into Christ’s kingdom. For unbelievers, it is the terrifying day of God’s wrath and judgment (Revelation 6:15-17).

But for both groups, Christ’s return means the end of evil’s terrible influence and the dawn of a new era of righteousness, justice, and peace.

Judgment and Resurrection

The first resurrection

The first resurrection described in Revelation 20 refers to the resurrection of believers in Christ. According to the passage, those who are part of the first resurrection will reign with Christ for 1,000 years.

This resurrection is connected to the Rapture that Paul describes in 1 Thessalonians 4, when believers will meet Christ in the air at His coming.

The first resurrection includes all those who have put their faith in Christ for salvation, both those who have already died and those still living at the time of the Rapture. These believers will receive their glorified bodies and will rule and reign with Christ during the Millennial Kingdom.

This resurrection signals the beginning of the eternal state for believers in glorified bodies.

The concept of the first resurrection provides hope for believers. It reminds us that in Christ we have victory over death and will someday receive perfect, immortal bodies to live with Him forever. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:54-55, “Death has been swallowed up in victory.

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The first resurrection guarantees our triumph over death through Christ.

The last judgment and second resurrection

The last judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15 refers to the final judgment of all the unbelievers after Christ’s millennial reign on earth. The passage depicts a great white throne where Christ, the righteous Judge, will sit. The earth and heaven will flee away from His presence.

All those who refused to put their faith in Christ will be resurrected to stand trial before God. The book of life will be opened, containing the names of those who received salvation. The unbelievers’ names will not be found in the book, and they will be thrown into the lake of fire, which is the second death.

This somber scene underscores the vital importance of receiving Christ’s salvation by faith in this life. The last judgment delivers final justice and punishment to those who rejected God’s mercy and grace. Their resurrection will not be unto life, but unto eternal separation from God.

The last judgment reminds us that we are all accountable before the holy God who “will judge the living and the dead” (2 Timothy 4:1). This future reality of perfect justice should motivate us to live godly lives and share the gospel while there is still time.

The New Heavens and New Earth

The New Jerusalem

The book of Revelation describes a magnificent city called the New Jerusalem that will come down from heaven at the end of time (Revelation 21). This city is portrayed as the dwelling place of God and a place of perfect peace and rest for God’s people.

Some key features include walls made of precious jewels, streets of gold, twelve gates each made from a single pearl, and the river of life flowing from God’s throne. Many Bible scholars believe the New Jerusalem represents the presence of God dwelling intimately with his people for eternity.

Eternity with God

The Bible promises that one day God will make all things new and death, sorrow, and pain will pass away (Revelation 21:4-5). Believers will live face-to-face with God and reign with him forever in a world free from sin’s corruption.

Eternity with God is described as a never-ending, joy-filled marriage celebration for Christ and his bride, the church. There will be no more wars, no hunger, poverty, crying, pain, or tragedy.

  • As one pastor has said, “When the Bible ends, life really begins.

  • God’s people will inhabit a renewed world where they are free to worship God and enjoy loving fellowship with him.


    The vivid descriptions of disasters, battles, judgements, and resurrections in Revelation have inspired many interpretations over the centuries. While the metaphorical language makes concrete predictions difficult, most agree Revelation depicts the ultimate triumph of good over evil and the creation of a perfect new order centered on the presence and glory of God.

    The Bible’s final book leaves readers with a powerful vision of hope, as sin, suffering, and death are eradicated and God comes to dwell with the redeemed in a restored creation. For Christians, it’s a profoundly inspiring ending that points to the everlasting kingdom and joy that await beyond history’s end.

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