6 Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.” 7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” 8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you, your brothers the prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!” 10 Then he said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. 11 Let the filthy still be filthy; let the righteous go on in righteousness; let the holy still be holy.” 12 “Look, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to repay each person according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. 14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the root and descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 17 Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let anyone who hears, say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who desires take the water of life freely. 18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, which are written about in this book. 20 He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with everyone. Amen. — Revelation 22:6-21
The Time is Near
by Jim Duensing
Does Christ’s second coming, the restoration of all creation, and the establishment of the new heaven and earth seem far off in the future and not something that matters now? At times I feel this way, as I get overly absorbed in the activities of the current world. Christ’s return can seem like a distant event that I needn’t occupy my thoughts with now.
However, in Revelation 22 we are told that the time is near when the Lord will return to establish the New Jerusalem here on earth. It will be a time of judgment and a time of rejoicing. It will be a time when tears will be wiped away and sickness and sorrow will be eliminated. Those of us who have trusted in Christ’s victory over death will then enjoy an eternity with Him.
While we should all eagerly look forward to Christ’s return, we are also reminded that we will be called upon to account for all we have done in this life. Jesus tells us in Revelation 22:12, “Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done.” The Apostle Paul echoes this in 2 Corinthians 5:10, where he says, “For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.”
These verses remind us that while we can be assured that we are saved by faith and we should look forward to the restoration of the world when Christ returns, we should also be mindful that we will be judged based on our deeds. Our actions throughout our lives here on earth will determine the rewards each of us will receive in heaven. Christ’s return may seem far off and quite distant in our busy daily lives, but Revelation 22 urges us to be ready at all times for His imminent return.
- Does the thought of Christ’s imminent return and judgment cause you to re-evaluate your current life and priorities?
- If you knew Christ was returning next week, next month or even next year, what changes would you make in your life now? How would you change your activities and the ways you prioritize your time, your treasure and your talents?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.