We close out the Book of Revelation with a look at 22:6-21, and we hear from God, the Lamb, the Spirit, and His bride. In these last few verses, we feel a sense of urgency. In verse 6 we see things that must "soon take place", verse 12 Jesus is "coming soon" and then confirmation in verse 20 that He is “coming soon!". The use of the image that the scroll is not to be sealed (in comparison to the scroll being sealed in Daniel 12:4-9 because things are still too far away), underlines again the urgency we are to close the book with. It is to remain unsealed because the events will be happening soon. This urgency sets the expectation that God's people will abstain and won't sin, and will continue to witness to the world! When Jesus does come, we can be encouraged because He will fulfil Isaiah 40:10 by bringing His reward with Him;
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. (Isaiah 40:10)
John confirms he is the witness to all that he has written, bookending chapter 1 which is the only other time he writes his own name. Christ reinforces His deity with the phrases "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End". Statements we take for granted as God's people today, but to the original audience, this was needed as they lived with idolatry (other gods and deities) all around them, their life was consumed by it.
Those that didn't accept Christ as God, were the outsiders. A list of outsiders, finishing with those that love and practice falsehood is provided, restating the key messages found throughout the book that taking part in the Roman Imperial Cult, the worship of false gods, and Cesear worship is not acceptable for God's people.
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth. (Numbers 24:17)
Christ is the root and the offspring of David, He is the Morning Star. He is who was prophecised about. The one who was at creation and the one who will sit on the throne of David forever.
The Spirit and the bride witness together to the world about the Living Water - the free gift of the water of life - Jesus, (John 7). The free gift - the gift of grace - is Jesus!
We close the book with this urgency, recapping our role as witnesses to the world, eagerly awaiting Christ's return. The only thing left to ask is whether we are ready for His return?
If it creates uncertainty or anxiety or panic then we need to ask ourselves why. Are we too attached to the temporary world around us? And if that's true, what do we need to change in order to be ready?
One single question must therefore continue to stay with us as we live our lives...
Are you ready?