Why do some Christians spend their whole lives talking about how they are happy to die and live in heaven?
During New Testament times, Christians were a small minority who were often mocked, hurt, shunned, and killed for their beliefs.
Yet they held to what Jesus’ earliest followers had said about God’s soon coming kingdom.
They believed what Paul and others were professing about how the kingdom had really been God’s ultimate promise all along—all throughout the Old Testament . . . that God’s messiah would come and set everything right, ushering in an age when believers would live free from death, pain, sickness, hatred, selfishness…
That tradition has now been carried down from generation to generation for millennia.
Believers still see God’s coming kingdom as the answer to all of the problems they face in life—a place where they’ll be with God and their loved ones forever, and be rewarded for their faithfulness.
Why should the Book of Revelation be taken seriously from a critically thinking Christian’s point of view?
John watched his beloved fellow believers get treated terribly and killed for their faithfulness to Jesus.
He believed what all Christians then believed: that Jesus would come very soon to set everything right, to destroy their evil tormentors, and to establish God’s kingdom on earth, ushering in a new age free from war, death, crying, pain…
I think you have to work very hard to make Revelation about anything other than the experience of those believers at that time, and what they believed was in store for them in the very near future.
The same is true for what Paul writes about believers being caught away at Jesus’ appearing, and what Jesus predicts in Matthew 24 about the coming kingdom.