In the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, Jesus says to the Church three times, “I come quickly”. (Revelation 22:7, 12, 20)
Many years ago, I realized that when a word or phrase was repeated in the Scriptures, it was a way of emphasizing the need of listening intently to that word or phrase, because of the importance of what is about to be said. For example, when Jesus said, “Verily, verily”, as He sometimes did, He was saying, “Listen up. Everyone pay attention. It is very important you hear this.” Today, we would probably underline the word or phrase, or put it in italics, or make it bold, or use an exclamation point, or all of the above.
Following are the actual words from Jesus, in this last chapter of Revelation, v.7 “Behold, I come quickly, v.12-13 And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. v.16 I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. v.20 Surely, I come quickly. ”
Get this. He said the same thing previously to the Philadelphian church in Revelation 3:11, “Behold, I come quickly …” So this actually makes four times in this one book He made this statement to His Church.
The puzzling aspect about this is that the book of Revelation was written over nineteen hundred years ago, almost two thousand years ago. Therefore, Jesus stated four times “I come quickly” almost two thousand years ago. He has not come as yet. Has He forgotten us? Did He lie? Is He incapable of fulfilling His command, “I come quickly”?
Some say that “quickly” actually means “when I come, it will happen quickly”. We know that to be true by Paul’s description of the Rapture, but I feel He also means “soon”. Strong’s Lexicon states the meaning as “quickly, speedily (without delay)” Vine’s Expository Dictionary states the meaning as “swift, quick, signifies quickly”.
When this word is used in Matthew 5:25; 28:7-8, Mark 9:39, Revelation 2:16; 3:11; 11:14, and our passages shown above, they all indicate quickly, as in “very soon”.
Obviously, Jesus is emphasizing the imminence of His coming, the Rapture. It can occur at any time. It could be very soon, and when it does happen, it will be over in a split second.
Peter gives the best explanation for the longevity of time, at least in our minds, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9)
Why has He waited almost two thousand years from the time of His saying, four times, in the book of Revelation, “I come quickly”? There are two explanations:
1. He has been holding the door open for any who will come to Him, not willing that any should perish.
2. If you take Peter’s statement in 2 Peter 3:8 literally, it has only been about two days in God’s view. Further, God is not limited by time, but we are. Jesus has not forgotten us.
He has not lied. He is most certainly capable. He will come for us when He is ready. In the meantime, let us make preparation, and be ready when he arrives. It could be very soon.
Keeping in mind that Jesus could return before I finish typing this article or it could be years down the road, consider this. Since Jesus rose from the grave on the morning of the third day, is it possible that He might return the morning of the third day for His Church, referring back to 2 Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”?
Based on this verse from Peter, we are now in the morning of the third day; i.e. the first day (1st thousand years) has passed. The second day (2nd thousand years) has passed, and we are now in the morning of the third day (3rd thousand years). Yes, it certainly is possible, and I would say highly likely, considering the signs that are swarming around us like angry bees. Even with this verse in mind, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”, it looks like God’s patience has just about run its course, and time is running out.
However, we must keep in mind that the timing is God’s choice. Our part is to be ready for His return and tell as many as possible about Jesus in the mean-time so they can anxiously await His coming too. We should live as if He will return the morning of the third day, and be ready. If He doesn’t, we shall remain ready.
You’re wondering by this time, what I think. What I think really doesn’t matter, but here goes. I personally feel that so many of the introductory signs for the Tribulation are so prevalent, that the Rapture could conceivably be just any day, keeping in mind that the Rapture occurs prior to the beginning of the Tribulation. Now that really doesn’t mean much since it is my opinion, but I want to be looking up when He does come, and I don’t think I’ll have to be concerned about getting a crick in my neck from doing so.