Revelation 22:6-7, “6 And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. 7 “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”
- In verses 1-5 we see the final description of what we talked about last Sunday, new heaven and new earth, that is coming, and at this point it would be easy to think, “Well, that about wraps it up!”
- But, in verse 7 we see the reminder, “Jesus is coming quickly.” It is a reminder of urgency. The urgency is repeated in verse 12, “Behold, I am coming quickly” and again in verse 20, “Yes, I am coming quickly.”
- The word “quickly” in the original language means “Jesus is coming as soon as possible” and it would be easy for us to read Revelation 22 and think to ourselves, “How come Jesus hasn’t returned yet?” What is the delay? In 2 Peter 3 the Apostle Peter responded to the same people asking the same question:
2 Peter 3:3-4, “3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”
- Do you see the similarity? How long are those keys going to jiggle at the door? Where is Jesus? And the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3 responds by reminding his readers of Genesis where there is a similar warning.
- Surely the people saw Noah building the ark and surely they must have wondered? Surely Noah must have had moments of doubt along the way?
2 Peter 3:9, “9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
- The God of Scripture is being patient. The God of Scripture is waiting for as many people as possible to respond to the urgency of His invitation. In Genesis 6 the people were indifferent to the warning, but let us not do the same.
Revelation 22:8-9, “8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”
- In verse 8 the angel reminds the Apostle John that we don’t worship angels. Angels are simply servants of God, and in verse 9 the angel says to the Apostle John, “Worship God.”
- Listen to me, the urgency to respond to the gospel this morning is not only to avoid His judgment, but there is also an urgency to respond to the gospel this morning so that we might worship God with the whole of our lives. In verse 9 the angel invites us to worship God!
Revelation 22:10-11, “10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”
- Do you see the urgency in Revelation 22? In verse 10, “Do not seal up the words of this book, for the time is near!” Hide it under a bushel? No! I am going to let it shine. Jesus is going to return. All things will become new.
- In verse 11 there is the warning. Yes, you can keep on ignoring His return and do what you want to do, but there are no second chances. There are no do over’s.
- It is appointed for all men and women to die once, and then comes judgment, therefore, we must ask ourselves, “Are we ready for Jesus to return?”
Revelation 22-12-13, “12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
- The great Andy Dufresne said, “Get busy living, or get busy dying?” Let us get busy living for Jesus! Let us worship God with the whole of our lives today.
Revelation 22:14-15, “14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.”
- Again in verses 14 and 15 we see the urgency to the gospel. The phrase, “wash their robes” must be a metaphor to salvation.That is why in verse 15 the Apostle John writes, “Outside are the dogs, sorcerers, immoral, murderers, and everyone who lies.”
Revelation 22:16, “16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
- I just like verse 16 because it’s like until the last moment we see Jesus speaking to us through His Word and reminding us who He is, what He is doing, why He is our promised Savior of the Old Testament, and beckoning us to respond. Jesus doesn’t want anyone on the outside. Jesus longs for as many as possible to see the exhaustion of pursuing our own glory, and repent.
Revelation 22:17, “17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”
- The Holy Spirit is involved in the invitation because it is the Holy Spirit that is working now to open our eyes and worship God with the whole of our lives, therefore, the Holy Spirit says, “Come, Jesus!”
- But, also the bride, the people of God, say, “Come, Jesus!” The people of God who have been praying, and longing for the day of Jesus return. The people of God who have been crying out all those years, “How much longer will you wait Jesus?” Come, Jesus!
- Let the one who is thirsty come to Jesus. Let the one who is exhausted from pursuing their own glory come to Jesus. Let the one who is heavy with burdens come to Jesus. Let the one who is hungry come to Jesus. Let the one who is tired come to Jesus. Let the one who is sick come to Jesus.
Revelation 22:18-19, “18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”
- In verses 18-19 we see a warning not to manipulate the Scriptures. We see similar warnings in Deuteronomy when Moses speaks about the law, and in Proverb 30 on the faithfulness of Scripture, so that sometimes it can create an unhealthy fear that we might mishandle the Word of God.
- The warning in verses 18-19 isn’t to those who are in Christ as we lead groups, share Christ with our friends and maybe along the way misrepresent God’s Word unintentionally.
- But, the warning is to those who are intentionally misrepresenting God’s Word, and intentionally manipulating God’s Word, or unwilling to receive instruction or guidance in God’s Word.
Revelation 22:20-21, “20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
- In verses 20-21 we see one last invitation, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” The bible begins with a promise of a Savior in Genesis 3, and all throughout the Old Testament there are promises repeated, over 300 promises repeated over and over, and during that time 100’s of years past, and the promised Savior never showed up.
- During that time countries establish, and fall, and the promised Savior never shows up.
- During that time kings, rulers, and presidents come and go, and the promises Savior never shows up.
- During that time births, weddings, and funerals come and go, and the promised Savior never shows up, and over and over the promised Savior never shows up until one day, when He is least expected, the promised Savior finally arrives in the flesh. Merry Christmas!
Yet, again, we see another promise, but this time the promise is not of a Savior, but the promise is of a judge, and His keys are jiggling at the door, and Revelation 22 reminds us over and over, “Jesus is coming!” Are you ready?