He's Coming—Now What?
At about four o'clock every afternoon, my mother used to say the same thing to me: "Your father will be home soon." Those words were either very exciting to me or struck fear in my heart. If I was living well that day, I looked forward to seeing Dad. But if I was pushing my boundaries, it was more like, "Uh-oh."
Do you look forward to the future? Jesus is coming. Judgment is coming. A new heaven and a new earth are coming. Does that excite you? Or does it strike fear and dread in your heart?
Today, I want to look briefly at some of the last verses in the Bible, found in Revelation 22. At this point, the apostle John had written everything that needed to be said about the end times and Jesus' return; what was left was the personal application of knowing that these things will come to pass. In other words, since Jesus could come back at any moment (see 1 Corinthians 1:7; 16:22; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 4:15-17; Titus 2:11-13), what should we do about it? Revelation 22 shows us five responses: walk, worship, witness, work, and willingness.
First, we ought to have a walk that corresponds with the truth: "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps [pays attention to and obeys] the words of the prophecy of this book" (v. 7; see also vv. 9, 14). God gave us the book of Revelation so that we might walk in obedience to Him and live in the light of His coming. Knowing that He's coming back should make us less temporal and more eternal in our perspective, our choices, and our relationships (see 2 Peter 3:10-12).
The second response we should have is to worship. Read John's response to hearing the truth in verses 8-9. He couldn't help but worship! Let me ask you this: Can you hear about Jesus Christ vanquishing all the enemies of the earth and setting up an eternal kingdom and walk away from that not worshiping? When we read about what God has in store for us, how can we remain nonchalant? You'll be worshiping the Lord for all eternity -- are you preparing for that by worshiping Him now "in spirit and truth" (John 4:23)?
The third response is to witness: "And [the angel] said to me, 'Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand'" (v. 10). In other words, "The message that I gave you, as wild as it is, is not to be hidden. It's to be heralded." Prophecy will motivate you not only toward godly living but also toward godly witnessing. How can you read about the tribulation, hell, and judgment and not be moved to share the truth with people? The receiver of the gospel must also be a transmitter of the gospel.
The fourth response is to work: "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work" (v. 12). You're not saved by works, but in heaven, you will be rewarded based on what you're doing for Jesus Christ now (see 2 Corinthians 5:10). How much of your time and talent do you spend serving Him? Today is the day of opportunity. Let's work now while we have time.
The fifth and final response is actually an invitation to the unbeliever, if they're willing: "And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely" (v. 17). If you haven't yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you can come right now and drink of His free, refreshing, eternal springs of water.
Prophecy -- particularly the book of Revelation -- reveals that a new world awaits us. Jesus Himself said, "I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). He's preparing it right now, and one day He'll come back and take you there (see John 14:3). Are you ready for Him? Do you look forward to His coming?
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