Thursday, March 22, 2018

Revelation 22:14-17 Final Blessing and Warning


KEY TEXT: Revelation 22:14-21 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen. 

KEY  THOT: The saints of God are those who "wash their robes" (NKJV: "do His commandments"). They have put on the robe of righteousness of Christ by their obedience to His commandments. These are the ones who have the right to the tree of life and the right to enter the city of God by the gates. Those who are banned from the city of God are the dogs (unsaved), the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers and idolaters, including "everyone who loves and practices falsehood" (v.15). Grace not only imputes the righteousness of Christ upon us so that God may forgive our sins, but it also cleanses us from all unrighteousness so that we may keep the commandments of God. God's grace means not only the forgiveness of our sins but also the cleansing from our sins: "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). 

True grace will produce true obedience--it does not leave us in our sins but transforms us from sinners to saints. Those who continue to live ungodly lifestyle will not be found inside the city of God. God has given us His Holy Spirit so that we might be transformed from glory to glory, into the likeness of Christ. These final words in the book of Revelation are not just John's words, but the very words of Jesus: "I, Jesus, have sent my angels to testify to you about these things for the churches" (v.16). 

We should therefore take the invitation and warning seriously. The invitation is for all to come in while there is still time: "The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price" (v.17). Grace is still available and the gates to the city are still open. Entry into life is a free gift and all we need to is to receive it by faith. Very soon, the gates will be shut forever that separates those who are redeemed by the Blood of Christ and those who opt to remain indifferent to the offer of grace. 

And we should take heed to the warning and not ignore the words of Revelation. Many are uncomfortable with the messages in this book of prophecy and have chosen to ignore them. But the warning must be taken seriously: "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book" (v.18-19). 

May God help us live in the fear of God that is missing in this age of moral relativism, that we might walk in obedience to His word, never taking His grace as an excuse to sin. Jesus' words to the woman caught in adultery is: "Go and sin no more" (John 8:11).

Abba-Father, what an important message You have given us in Revelation, that ultimately God will triumph over all evil and there will be a new age of righteousness for those who walk in righteousness. Grant us more grace to obey Your commandments that we might become more and more like Christ. Amen.

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