21 The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass. 22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (Revelation 20:21-22, NLT)Even before becoming a Christian, I was fascinated by the Book of Revelation. I believe it's the first book of the Bible I read all the way through. I read a good post by "He Lives" regarding Revelation; take a look at my "Shared Feeds" to the right to see it (titled "Doesn't Soon Mean Soon?"). He mentioned that teenage men tend to want to learn about Revelation.
Why do we find Revelation so fascinating? I think, for one, it's a mystery. I think, as far as my own fascination goes, this incredible mystery surrounding it. While there have been many people who've tried to understand and share exactly what John's vision means, you won't find much agreement on what the exact meaning behind the various symbolism and imagery in it. You have dragons and beasts and creatures with many horns and mouths, locusts that have the heads of men and tails of scorpions that are allowed to sting the people on earth. It's unlike any other book of the Bible, and I think that's why there's such a draw there. That, and it talks of future events. For me, that was another draw.
But for the Christian, Revelation is much greater than just an interesting study in future events. As I've read it through several times, I've come to realize that the images in Revelation will probably never be "decoded" -- no one will ever be able to say what the images mean. BUT, to focus on those things is not seeing the forest for the trees. That is, we shouldn't be so focused on the little details, but instead should focus on the larger picture. And, the larger picture is 1) there is a spiritual battle going on and 2) Christ has, is, and will always be the ultimate Victor! It doesn't matter what the Beasts are, what the mark means, or who the 144,000 are, what matters is, which side of the battle are you on? One day all the things of the world will burn and go away, but the things of Christ's Kingdom will last forever! It doesn't matter what happens, Christ and His followers will be victorious and we will share in His inheritance when He comes to claim His bride!
20He that testifieth these things saith, "Surely I come quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. THAT'S hope!