The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
With these words, the Revelation of Jesus Christ concerning that “which must soon take place” comes to a close. You will recall that in chapter 1 Jesus told John that He would reveal “what is now” and then “what must soon take place”. The revelation concerning the present (John’s present, c. 90 AD) was found in chapters 1-3, and what would take place later has been running from 4:1 through 22:5, and I’m sure that you will also recall that for the most part, John’s “later” is our “now”. Yes, dear reader, we have seen the entire scope of this present age, from the first century to the 21st, and on into the future.
We have seen through these visions that we, the Church, will have to endure a great deal, as we live on the front lines of a battle of cosmic proportions, yet we have also seen that God protects His church, and that even those who give their physical lives for His cause, are more than rewarded for their sacrifices. If you have been following along with us on this journey, and if you take the time to think it through, you will also have your eyes opened in a sense, when you look at the world we live in. You will come to see what is going on in this world for what it really is. Quite honestly, if you allow yourself to do that, you will also come to realize that the whole discussion in Christian circles about when the Second Coming is to take place, “who is the Antichrist” and all the rest of that kind of thinking, is totally, completely and utterly a waste of time and energy because… it doesn’t matter. In fact, it is a potentially dangerous distraction!
Considering that we are in a spiritual battlefield, why not have the courage to ask yourself who will benefit if we Christians waste our time and energy trying to figure out when Jesus will return, who the Antichrist might be… or what the “signs” will be that His Coming is near. Yep, I dare you to ponder that question!
While you’re pondering that, ask yourself what the purpose and mission of the Church is: Isn’t it to make disciples for Jesus Christ by sharing the Good News of His awesome love to a world that desperately needs to hear it? Isn’t that world comprised of all of those “neighbors” that we are told to love, you know, the ones that Jesus died for?
I would suggest that there is only one being who would benefit by our allowing ourselves to indulge in such speculation, and it isn’t the Lord.
Back to the text…
One last point; notice that the angel tells John, that the words he has been given are “trustworthy and true” and “The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” The Lord is the God who “inspires” the prophets tells us that God stands behind His prophets and vouches for the truth of what they say, John is now one of those prophets, and God Himself is standing behind the words John is sharing with us in these chapters.
I’ll wrap up with one more little point to ponder:
Think of the incredibly awesome promises we have just been studying in chapters 21 and 22; now think about the fact that these are God’s promises, and He completely stands behind them.
Do you believe God? If you answer in the affirmative, then ask yourself how this is going to change the way you view your life in the here and now.
See you next time!