An exposition of Revelation 22:6-21. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, January 4, 2009.
It’s history’s grand moment. It is the climax of world events. It is the believer’s blessed hope and the nonbeliever’s greatest nightmare. It dominated the thinking of the early church. It permeated their preaching and teaching. It informed and motivated their ethic. The return of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is clear from the writings of the apostle Paul that the early church believed that the Lord could return at any moment. That thought excited and motivated them. Two thousand years later that thought does not dominate the thinking of most Christians. There are exceptions. There are the prophecy teachers who major on world events and the prophetic clock. But that is not the kind of thinking that dominated the early church. It was not a matter of “clock watching” but rather a lifestyle. They loved and longed for the Lord’s appearing.
For the last few weeks we’ve been looking at heaven through the eyes of John the beloved. John has given us a vision of what is to come. We’ve been ushered into the throne room of heaven. We’ve seen the Lord seated on his throne sovereignly controlling all things. We’ve seen the Lion of Judah, the Lamb that had been slaughtered – who alone has the authority to open the scroll and march history to its predetermined end. We’ve heard of the new heaven and new earth. We’ve heard of streets of gold and gates of pearl. As we come to the end of this vision – things seem a bit disjointed. It is as if John knows he needs to wrap things up but he has so much to say.
In some respects John is coming to the bottom line. You know what the bottom line is. You list all your assets. Subtract your liabilities and the sum is the bottom line. It tells you where you stand. When we talk about heaven we are not just talking about the beauty of that place. It is not just a matter of the glorious things going on there. The bottom line is that fact that none of that matters if you are not going!
The bottom line has to due with whether that is your eternal destiny. And if it is – are you living in light of going? Do you live each day in light of the Lord’s return?
Text: Revelation 22:6-21
What does it mean to live in light of the Lord’s return? If I’m living in light of his return – what will my life look like? From our text we note 5 characteristics of a life lived in light of our Lord’s return.
I. Living in light of His return creates an air of expectancy. (22:6-7)
Verse six tells us these things must “soon” take place. 22:7 – “Behold, I am coming soon.” Present tense – not future. Not – “I’ll be back some day” or “I’ll see you later” – but “I’m on the way.”
The early church was consumed with the thought that the Lord might come at any minute. They were convinced he would return in their lifetime. I’m convinced this is how we are to live. How would that effect your life? Would it impact your choices?
“Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” Blessed is the one who is obedient. Blessed is the one who puts into practice the things discussed here. The point of the book of Revelation is not to feed our fascination about the future but to cause us to heed the commands of God today! It is not about drawing up charts of end time events but about living godly lives and lives of personal holiness.
II. Living in light of His return requires a worshipful spirit. (22:8-9)
The thought of heaven inflames our worship of God today. “Worship” = to kiss forward. It involves a show of affection and a sign of humiliation/submission. A study of heaven and our future ought to cause us to love God more and worship him with new depth. No other book of the Bible ought to cause us to worship Christ more than the book of Revelation. For no other book unveils the glories of the risen Christ more.
III. Living in light of His return demands a believing heart. (22:10-17)
Any study of heaven ought to make you want to go there. The reader is at a crossroads – a choice must be made. “Do not seal up the prophecy” is an appeal to take the message to the people. This is not a “secret” message. It is to be declared to the world.
IV. Living in light of His return demands clear thinking. (22:18-19)
A word of warning for those who would reject the message of this book. This is a simple, straightforward warning about tampering with the message of God. Not that different from the one Paul gives in Galatians 1:8-9. It is a serious matter to distort, delude or deny the truth about the second coming of the Lord Jesus or heaven.
V. Living in light of his return enables a confident hope. (22:20-21)
For the third time in this passage the Lord confirms the fact that he is coming soon. The word means quickly or rapidly. His coming is upon us. How am I to live in light of the Lord’s return?
• With an air of expectancy
• With a worshipful spirit
• With a believing heart
• With a clear mind
• With a confident hope
Even so, come Lord Jesus!