Couple of weeks ago we finally finished our study of Revelation at Staff devotions with Chapter 22.
For once I was able to understand what was going on and see how it is relevant. It actually poses many challenges we should take heed of.
I love verse 2: The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. (See also Ezekiel 47:12) And we don’t half need it. There’s so much pain and brokenness in our world and try as we might, we’ll never be able to fix it. Only Jesus – by the power of his death and resurrection – can do that.
We discussed what our reaction should be to the people described in verse 15: Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie. The passage itself provides some clear answers:
- we are to declare biblical truth – v10 Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book
- we must continue to live righteously – v 11 let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy – whilst also loving and serving these people
- we must remember that Christ will ultimately judge – v 12 Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.
- we must leave the invitation open and always point to Jesus – v 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.
It’s not always easy but it is what Christ requires of us.
And verse 17 is just brilliant:
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.
You can almost here the longing in it. Just come. Just come and be with your Father who loves you – no more pain, no more confusion, no more barriers. Just God and you. The image I get here is of God as Father, sweeping his children up onto his lap and holding them. The invitation is open to all, everyone; no matter their past, no matter their future; God calls to us all.
So, Revelation is done. Here’s what we all said we would take from it, though I can’t remember who said what:
- Christ is coming back!
- God keeps his promises
- the need for urgency against sin and for salvation but also the joy that we can have in knowing we are saved (and what we are saved from)
- God’s power and sovereignty (that was my one!)
- God is Alpha and Omega – there’s nothing outwith him
Revelation is tough going but I’d recommend giving it a bash with a decent commentary and someone to thrash it out with certainly helps.
He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!