There is also an important pastoral emphasis in the Book of Revelation as well. John is seeking to offer hope and comfort to the persecuted Christians to whom he is writing. This becomes especially clear as we draw closer to the end of the book. Beginning with the bowl judgments of Revelation 16, and then moving on to the account of God’s judgment upon the harlot in Revelation 17, then to the reaction of heaven and earth to the destruction of the city in Revelation 18, to the introduction of the bride of Christ and his second coming in Revelation 19, to the thousand years and final judgment of Satan in Revelation 20, to the establishment of the new heavens and earth in Revelation 21-22, John gives us a glimpse of how the great drama of redemptive history is coming to its final and glorious climax.
In these final chapters of Revelation, we are given a glimpse of the back of the book–so to speak–which would not only have brought tremendous comfort to those in John’s original audience who were facing both the sword of the beast and the seduction of the harlot on virtually a daily basis, but which also serves to remind us of the central theme of this vision. Jesus Christ wins in the end! Although to unbelievers, it may look like the beast triumphs when he wages war on the saints and kills some of them, to believers, on the other hand, who see these things through the eyes of faith, the martyred saints come to life and reign with Christ for a thousand years. Even when Christians are forced to face the point of the sword, we know that we will inherit the riches and treasures of heaven no matter what the beast may do to us. We also know that the dragon, the beast and all who serve him will get exactly what they deserve. They will be cast into the lake of fire and suffer eternal torment.