There is a secret in the book of Revelation. It’s not my secret, mind you. I’m just as in the dark as you are. But there is a secret. As if it wasn’t enough to attempt to comprehend what everything written down means, there is a secret that is being kept from us.
It’s found in Revelation 10. John is faithfully taking notes on everything he hears and sees. This, in itself, is a miracle. My apologies to everybody else, but if I get swept up to a vision from Heaven, I probably won’t be taking along a pen and paper. I won’t even care to jot down notes using whatever piece of tech in my hand just became inconsequential to being in God’s presence.
But John is taking notes. Copious notes in fact. Somehow this guy remembers 22 chapters worth of Heaven. Meanwhile, if I’m shown a picture for 30 seconds and then asked questions about what I saw, I would likely fail.
In Revelation 10, we read of God telling John to put his pen down for a moment. A mighty angel stood and roared like a lion. When he did, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. Being the good reporter he was, John was about to write what he heard, when the voice from Heaven said to hold on. Scholars will tell us that thunder is connected to divine judgment and what the thunders spoke, like scrolls which have been sealed, will not be revealed until the proper time.
To be honest, this is what I like about God. Just when we get a bit saucy, thinking we know about Him and His plans, He does something like this to remind us there is plenty we do not know. See, God has been gracious enough to pull back the veil ever so slightly. “We see but a poor reflection”, to borrow the words of the Apostle Paul. “We know in part.” “We prophesy in part.” Paul, for all his knowledge and his great role in the New Testament Church, admits he only knows in part (1 Corinthians 13).
It shouldn’t surprise us that the future is a mystery. We deal with the unknown every day. Even as I plan all summer for a school year’s worth of mystery, I am left with many questions. What will this year bring? What students will accept Christ for the first time? Which teens or adults may reject Him?
And no matter how much you may wish for it be different, you have no more control over the future than anyone else. What will happen to you and I is a secret that is being kept from us until we need to know. Rather than leave us apprehensive, this should cause us to worship God all the more. After all, He is the only one who knows it all.