Chapter 22: 12-21
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.’ 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. 16 ‘I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.’ 17 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.
18 “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
We have come to the end of our journey in the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. This has been an awe-inspiring journey for me as I was and am reading through the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel at this time. It is humbling to read of the rampant idolatry that marred the relationship between God and Israel and then to take a look at the world around us, and especially the US and the Western hemisphere and see the rampant idolatry that has taken over us as a people, and even the “churches.”
The in-your-face rise of the homosexual agenda in commercials, TV shows, movies, even Super Heroes, and now the slew of sports stars that are ‘coming out’ make the rampant decline of our society even more imminent. Add to this the surprising amount of pedophilia that is coming to the surface that has run under the radar in our society for so long, and you can see that the end is nearer than ever before.
- Even So Come Lord Jesus, verse 20
In a previous verse, the Bride of Jesus calls for Him to come and get her. In verse 17, we get the call for Jesus to `Come` and put an end to all this. In the book of Romans, we are told in 8:22-23,
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
The entire Creation is longing for the Redemption that comes from Jesus’ return. We, the saved, should long the same way to have these old, sinful bodies transformed so that we can never sin and disappoint our Lord ever again. I will be honest with you; I am fearful of the world that my kids – both the older ones in their late teens and the almost 7-year-old – are growing up into. The abject hostility that is aimed at Christianity is going to make being a Christian almost a life-threatening choice in North America in the near future.
I saw an article today where a transgendered teacher was hoping to get to kids so early that they would never have the idea that heterosexuality was normal. She intended to make it so that they would never get the idea that the sexuality that we have observed for 6,000 years on earth – the sexuality that Jesus condoned of marriage being a Man and a Woman, biological male and female – was normal. This is the world that our kids are growing up in to.
I saw a commercial last evening while watching TV that promoted a drug that stopped or slowed the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases among gay men. The entire ad was grown men promoting sex between each other. This the world my kids and your kids are growing up into. More and more, the homosexual and ‘transgendered’ agenda is being shoved down our throats. Make no mistake—they are coming for churches; they are coming for God’s people. This is a part of the agenda of the Kingdom of Darkness. Evil is alive and well.
God will only tolerate this hellish rebellion for so long before He shuts it down. God got to the point in Israel that He told the prophet to stop praying for them. He was determined to finish His judgment and execute pain and suffering on Israel; and boy did He unleash His wrath! The carnage, the dead bodies, the starvation, the destitute state that He brought Israel to – and yet, we remain so arrogant.
When I read through the Revelation and see the destruction that is coming on the world that we see, the people that we see, and the earth that we see, it gives me the shivers. Hebrews 10:31 says these harrowing words:
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Yet mankind has no fear of God, no apprehension to evil, and no remorse for sin. They do evil as sport; they promote evil and make fun of wrong. Mankind rewards evil and is to the point where they are about to start making right illegal. Imagine that! Yet, here we are. Why, you ask, has this come? Let me offer an answer.
- Don’t Add or Take Away from the Word of God, verses 18-19
For a long time, the Lord’s churches have stopped talking about the end times. We have stopped talking about eschatology. When I began this series just over a year ago, many pointed out that they had never heard a sermon series through Revelation. Many pointed out that their pastor did not teach on the end times at all. Many said that they had not heard a sermon of prophecy ever in their church.
About a year ago, one of my dear sisters in our church visited her daughter about an hour away; and over the course of the 30 days or so that she was there, she visited churches and was astonished at how many churches do not teach from the Bible or even open a Bible in a worship service. This is ridiculous. That is like having a swimming club, but no one ever gets in the water, or worse, the club does not have a pool.
The Lord’s churches are the reason that the world around us is not afraid of the God we serve. We have tried to water-down God and make Him more palatable to mankind; and, as such, we have changed the Gospel. People do not understand that God and they themselves are enemies because they are sinners, and God cannot be in the presence of sin. We have preached about God’s love and neglected His holiness. We have preached of God’s mercy and neglected His judgments. Many have abandoned the Old Testament altogether, claiming that God is not nice in the OT.
Where has that brought us today?
We have a world around us that has NO FEAR of God, certainly no reverence for Him, and for the most part, no expectation that they have to give an account to a Holy Judge. The Lord’s churches have dropped the ball. This was our job in Matthew 28:18-20:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
In verse 19, God tells us that if any take away from this book, at the point referring to the Revelation, and in a larger part to the whole Bible, he/she will have their part taken from the Book of Life and the from the Holy city.
I will be honest; this kind of stumped me. This is some deep stuff. Scary stuff to be honest.
Now, the Bible is clear that one cannot lose the salvation given to us in Jesus once we have it. But it would seem that you can lose your place in the New Millennium, lose your reward, and maybe even be denied entrance into the New Jerusalem if you take away things and add things to this book. There has to be a determined nefariousness involved. Many a young preacher or uneducated preachers – I’m sure myself included – have missed and/or added stuff to the Bible with no malice intended. This is not what God is talking about. It is when one deliberately adds to the Word of God so as to distort the message, especially when you know the truth. Or in contrast, one refused to teach the whole council of God because it does not suit your narrative.
The Apostle Paul encourages us to be diligent students of the Word, to be deliberate handlers of the Holy scriptures, and to be careful with the eternal truths contained therein. 2 Timothy 2:15,
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The Bible—in particular, the books dealing with Prophecy—is to be handled carefully. A man who will water down the Gospel, as many do, will distort the prophecies for personal gain. A man who waters down the great cost of our salvation is doing so for personal gain and not adding to his eternal reward. Men like this are, sadly, the face of the modern church.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus should be our hearts desire; and this call paired with the urgency of the Gospel should drive us to speak the truth and drive us to know our Bibles more and more.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you, AMEN!
Pray for me as the Lord leads me to the next journey in the Scriptures.