Posts Tagged ‘Jesus coming soon’
Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book. (Rev. 22:7)
Look I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. (Rev. 22:12)
Yes, I am coming soon! (Rev 22:20)
Three times… three times he tells us he is coming soon. In the midst of these proclamations… warnings… promises… I hear and receive some valuable insight and instruction worthy of consideration. (Pay attention to how you listen and how you hear—Luke 8:18).
#1— “I am coming soon!” Rev. 22:7
This is the voice and words of Jesus speaking to us announcing his imminent return. Personally, I consider several interpretations of this statement when I “hear” the words: “I am coming soon…” Some translations of this text read with the following words: “I am coming quickly.” This conjures a slightly different emotion in me from the other translation (I am coming soon). I am reminded of Jesus’ words from the gospel accounts when he tells his disciples about the “speed” and “stealth” of his return. The impressions I am left with from these texts leave me with a sense that Jesus’ return will be sudden, quiet (in some sense), and unexpected to a certain degree. See the Gospel account of Matthew (chapters Matt. 24-25 – see also Revelation 16:15). Is this what it means to understand “I am coming soon…”?
There is also the consideration that “soon” is relative to the concept of our Eternal-Immortal God whose word reveals a “day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day…” (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8). In the same measure of thinking, I have to consider the physical length and number of my remaining days. My time on this side of eternity is very finite. I do not know the number of my days, but I surmise that I have far less remaining than those that I have lived. No matter which version of “soon” or “quick” I latch hold of, I believe my face-to-face meeting with Jesus is coming soon and the point of my focus should be directed toward being prepared for and alert to this pending encounter.
The words of Jesus continue with another proclamation; this one involves blessing. He says; “Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.” Does this mean those who do not obey are not blessed? And, what does not blessed entail? Obey, or obedience, in this case is related to “the words of prophecy written in this book.” The definition of prophecy here is the mind and counsel which comes from God. The examination falls upon my personal will and intent to honor and obey the teaching of Jesus… so, how am I doing? Am I obedient to the mind and counsel of God? How does the course and character of my life align with the teachings of Jesus? Is my life a picture of the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain? Is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, the Guide for my life? Am I someone who others will say, “loves the LORD his God with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, and all his strength”? Am I someone who loves his neighbor as himself? Jesus says; “Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.” Do I warrant the blessing?
In verse (Rev. 22:9) the angel, speaking to John, admonishes to “Worship only God.” Immediately I question if my loyalties are divided; “Do I live my life as an act of worship to God”? My life is an act of worshiping only God when I pursue His Kingdom and allow His Kingdom to be manifest in me (Romans 12:1-2). Jesus advised his disciples they would obey his command if they loved him (John 14:15). He told them it was impossible to serve two masters… Worship only God. Honesty begs the question; How well am I doing?
The angel puts out some pretty hard words of instruction to John (and us) following his direction to “Worship God alone!” The angel’s words follow:
“Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy.” (Rev. 22:10-11)
I like to think that I am not doing harm; of course, my definition of harm is pretty extreme. I’m not Dr. Evil and I’m not plotting the genocide of a race or anything, so I must be ok. The truth of the matter might be a little less forgiving than I am to myself though. Am I doing what I can to lower my propensity to consume so much? Am I really trying to make the world a better place… one starfish at a time? Do I purchase goods from countries that openly promote and utilize child labor? How much harm… how vile are my actions in the larger scheme of things. I believe the only way I can pursue righteousness is by considering my actions and following their “ripples” to their logical conclusion. My actions and lifestyle must change to reflect pursuit of God’s Kingdom; this is obedience to His commands.
#2— “I am coming soon, and bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.” Rev. 22:12
There seems to be little room for any other interpretation than “what goes around comes around…” If I live my life as a selfish and self-centered person, I will be repaid and rewarded according to my selfish, self-centered nature. A person might argue that my selfish actions might not entirely exclude me from God’s Kingdom, but Jesus’ words and tone from the gospel accounts (Luke 14:25-35) seem pretty clear… without forsaking my “self,” I don’t even qualify as a disciple of Christ. Jesus makes it clear the first step to following Him is to deny and forsake my… “self.” This negates the allowance to live for “self” in the Kingdom of God (in order to find your self you must first be willing to lose your self – Matthew 10:39). Looking inward, I ask my self; “have I taken up my cross to follow him or do I make excuses in order to keep my ‘self’ alive and serve two masters? (Luke 16:13) I cannot “Worship God Alone!” when I continue to worship my self too.
#3— “Yes, I am coming soon!” Rev. 22:20
The point of this meditation is to prepare for the season of His arrival. The Light has come. The Light has dwelt amongst men (John 1:1-5, 14)…and the Light is coming again. Our time is short until He arrives again, regardless whether the clouds part and Jesus physically returns or my days run out and I am suddenly with Him in His Presence. The question to my heart is this: “Am I ready?” (Luke 12:35-52). Among the last words recorded in the Holy Scriptures is the affirmation of Messiah Jesus; “Yes, I am coming soon!” Can I (can you) say with full heart; “AMEN! Come Lord Jesus!”? The season of Advent begins this year November 27, 2011—I encourage you to reflect and prepare… anticipate and be alert, as we celebrate the season of His coming and look forward to the Day of His imminent Return. Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.