What Now? – Revelation 22:6-21

 

We have learned a lot of interesting things as we have studied the book of Revelation. Bible prophecy is a very intriguing thing to study. But, now that our study of Revelation is coming to a close, what do we do now? How do we respond to these things? What do we do while we wait for Jesus to come. The conclusion of the book of Revelation gives us several things that we are to do as we wait for the soon return of Jesus.

Focus on God’s Word. This is seen in verses 6-11.  “And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. 8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. 10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”[1] Verses 18-19 also speaks of our need to focus on God’s Word. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”[2]There are three basic principles that we see here. (1) Blessed are those who obey God’s Word. No doubt, when John mentioned ‘blessed are those who keep the prophecy of this book, he was referring more directly to the book of Revelation. In other words, those who hear, understand, and respond to the book of Revelation is blessed. However, in principle, the same is true concerning all of God’s Word. To ‘keep’ the words of this book is in reference to obedience. It is one thing to hear the Word, one must respond to the Word in obedience in order to be blessed. The term ‘blessed’ simply refers to happiness or completeness. Those who live in obedience to the Word of God are a happy people because they are complete in Him. (2) Share God’s Word.  The angel tells John to not seal the sayings of this book. In other words, it is a book that should be open. It is a book that must be read. The Bible is God’s love letter to man. It is the complete Word of God. It is God’s way of revealing Himself to us. Therefore, in order to know God, we must read His Word. Not only should we read it, but we should be involved in sharing His Word with others. We should do everything we can to make sure that everyone has a copy of the scripture. We should teach it to others. We should promote the preaching of God’s Word. It is a story that is too powerful, too precious, to keep to ourselves. We must share God’s Word. (3) Do not add to God’s Word or take away from it. One of the most dangerous things is when we read into scripture our own views and opinions. It is equally dangerous to avoid parts of scripture that we do not like or understand. We must allow God’s Word to speak for itself. Read it at face value. Do not change it or twist it in order to fit with our way of thinking. Take the most literal meaning possible and accept the Bible for what it says.

Serve the Lord. Notice what it says in verses 12-14. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”[3] Doing His commandments refers to our obedience in doing what the Word of God says. We are to be obedient to what God’s Word says concerning salvation and concerning how we are to live. As we wait for Jesus to come, we should be actively involved in serving Jesus. We serve Him as ambassadors of Jesus Christ engaged in the ministry of reconciling people to God through Jesus Christ. God has us on this earth for a reason. That reason is to bring as many people to Christ as possible. We are to do everything we can to make sure every single person hears the message of the Gospel.

Keep Clean. Look at verses 14-16. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.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.”[4] Warren Wiersbe writes, “The contrast here is between those who do God’s commandments and enter the city, and those who reject His Word and are excluded from the city (see Rev. 21:8, 27). It is not likely that those who “do His commandments” are a special or an elite group of saints. The phrase is similar to “them that overcome” and characterizes all the people of God. Obedience to God’s Word is a mark of true salvation.”[5] As believers, we have a constant battle between our old and new natures. Though we may fall from time to time, the overall trajectory of a life that has been transformed by the Gospel is moving toward becoming more and more like Jesus.

Look for Jesus to come. All throughout Revelation 22, we are told that Jesus is coming quickly. As believers living in this age, we are looking forward to the rapture of the church. That day is upon us. Jesus is coming soon. Are you looking for Him to come? Are ready for Him to come?

The purpose of studying the book of Revelation is to know Jesus more. Do you really know Him? When He comes, will you go with Him? Do you know for sure that you are truly saved?

[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 22:6–11). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 22:18–19). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 22:12–14). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 22:14–16). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[5] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 625). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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