If you have ever tried to get a line of books to stay up on a shelf on their own you understand the importance of bookends. They are the supports that you place at the end of a row of books that keeps the row from falling over. If you remove one or both, the books that had previously been in such a precise tidy row immediately begin to fall apart and it takes great effort to keep them together. Such it is with the Bible bookends, Genesis and Revelation, the first and last book in our Bible. Remove or ignore one of them or even worse both in your belief system and things immediately begin to fall apart. Yet, there seems to be a great concerted effort even in the church today to remove Genesis and Revelation from importance in the life of a Christian. This makes sense in a world that is dominated by the same sin that caused the original fall way back in Genesis chapter 3.
Starting with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, man has been consistently been attempting to put himself on the throne of the universe in place of God and replace God’s rules with those man fashions for himself. As part of this pattern, man has attacked the central teachings of Christianity and substituted them with ones that are more acceptable to his sinful nature. Doctrines that have been unchallenged for centuries, such as creation, the fall, Jesus’ return for His people, the judgment of God on sinners and hell as the ultimate destination for those who do not accept Jesus’ sacrificial atonement are all under sustained attack by enemies outside and within the church.
For example, a former presidential candidate beloved by many Christians recently gave an interview where he stated he found the idea of hell unfair and unjust and the idea of the Rapture as borderline silly. People who believe in Biblical creation are regularly mocked as ignorant and holding up the march of humanity into the future and the idea that there was an actual Adam and actual Eve who allowed sin into this world is thought to be the stuff of children’s books. Yet, these and other core beliefs of the Christian faith are very clearly laid out in Genesis and Revelation. When Jesus references the Old Testament He does not speak as if they were fables or metaphorical. Abraham and Abel are real people to Jesus and they should be to us as well.
What would our understanding of creation or the nature of sin be with Genesis? How about judgment and eternity without the Book of Revelation? Much more than children’s stories and dreams of an old man, these books are central to our faith. Read them just as a you would the Gospels and any other Book of the Bible. They are the Word of God after all.