22:20 “He who testifies to these thing says, ‘I am coming soon’. “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
Genesis 12:2 records God’s seven-fold blessing to Abram. Matthew 5:1-11 records Christ’s nine-fold blessing for kingdom subjects. In various contexts Revelation reveals an eight-fold blessing for disciples confronting Roman intolerance towards the end of the first century.
If Jesus said to us, “Yes, I am coming soon”, would we reply as John, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus”? The very creation “waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed”, knowing Christ’s Return heralds its re-creation Romans 8:19. How could mortals, made in God’s image, less readily look for the Master’s Return, knowing the transformation of our body and mind will be the result? Could we possibly be so spiritually dense or dead? Have we possibly so plastered over our conscience with materialism tht we don’t hear God because we refuse to?
God ordered Daniel’s visions sealed because they related to distant events Daniel 12:9. Jesus ordered his visions to John kept open “because the time is near” 22:10. The difference in the two instructions is at least that the distant time of Daniel had become the last times in John’s day. Scripture considers history from Christ’s birth to be the Last Days of humanity on earth.
Every perseveringly-obedient disciple responds as John to Christ’s glorious promise. For the Christian welcomes his Return. We’ll be glad when he comes. With Paul, even now we would rather depart and be with Jesus, which is “better by far” Philippians 1:23. Until he calls us, however, we’ll serve while listening for his trumpet blasts.
All Christians, of course, live in the day by day timeframe Jesus allotted Matthew 6:11. We begin and continue projects: some we finish, others we continue to pursue. We’re a lot like the young soldier who died in the Japanese death camps by the River Kwai. His mates found his eloquent poem in his effects. Read it in Ernest Gordon’s book Through the Valley of the Kwai. With no access to my books at present, I can remember only his closing line: “And lo, the end approaches just when I was thinking of preparing to begin.”
Our lamentable appeal. So much to do. Never enough time to do it all.
Yet, God’s people have hope beyond that mournful fate. Death completes, not interrupts, all we live for, illustrated by an 18 year old missionary-intern’s death in the Philippine Islands. Mortally wounded from a shark bite, his last words were, “This is the day I’ve been waiting for.”
Now...we understand Winston Churchill saying those words at age 74 as he ascended to leadership of England in 1940. He had been preparing all his life for the role. But for an 18 year old to say them as he lay dying?
YES. Because, whatever we start now that praises Jesus continues when we die.
Little wonder, then, when Jesus said, “Yes, I am coming soon,” John replied AMEN—let it be so! Not because John was an emotional 90 year old man. But because of what he has just experienced in visions and wanted to continue in reality, in the presence of his Majesty.
He knew that to have Jesus COME again meant he would experience in TOTAL what even the magnificent realities of Revelation had been but a PART. When Jesus Returns, he will “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power....” Ephesians 3:20. Amen. Fini