I love the days after Christmas don’t you? A time to relax, eat, walk and read books. As I come to the end of one of these books I will write a few notes down on what I have learnt as I seek to apply them to my life. Similarly in a few days I will have finished reading Revelation and I will do the same thing. I wonder how John felt though as he wrote down all that he saw and had learnt. He will soon come out of this most amazing vision that any other person has ever had. He will come out of the vision of the new heaven and new earth and he will go back into his situation of being a prisoner on the island of Patmos. His life has changed.
You may already have returned back into the busyness of life. Certainly in a few days our life will be back to normal, the decorations will come down, we will be back to our routines but how we make that return is the question.
6 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.” 7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.” 8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!” (Revelation 22 v 6-9)
We are at the end and yet it is similar to the beginning.
“The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John” (1:1) and here in v6 “The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near” (1:3) and here in v7 “Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
Four times we are told in the Revelation that Jesus is coming soon. This gave the first century believers an expectancy that in their lifetime Jesus was coming back. That these wonderful happenings would indeed take place. Their suffering and oppression would be over. Jesus will be here soon.
Were they wrong?
As we approach the end of a year and we make plans for 2023 we must do far more to live less in the now and more in the future. We must learn to wait.
In the waiting:
- We are understanding the times we live in;
- We are not giving-in to the temptation of Babylon nor the attacks of the dragon;
- We stand strong in the face of adversity;
- We hold on to the Revelation (and the whole Bible) as trustworthy and important to build our lives upon.
- We are not overwhelmed so that we worship other personalities than God.