Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Behold, I am coming quickly

Azalea yellow

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to repay each one according to what his deeds are!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 
  Revelation 22:12-13

The above verses are part of the benediction found in the book Revelation.  There are many things about the book of Revelation that are confusing. The vivid symbology is sometimes interpreted differently. There are several different widely held views in the Christian community for interpretations of some of the predictions for the future.   To discuss the various views and label one specific interpretation as the correct and only proper view is beyond the scope of this blog.  My personal view has changed several times over the last fifty or so years. My views may yet change again.  As history unfolds we will understand more fully what are God's plans. One thing that does not change is the Word of God. God is sovereign, He knows and planned the future. The future is exactly what God has made it to be. Christians can rest safely in God's hands. We cam be sure that Christ is coming again.

 Throughout this letter of John the narration has switched from the angel and Jesus. Jesus is speaking these words.  Jesus  again declares that He is God.  I AM.   I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.  Revelation 22:13  Jesus tell us that Behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to repay each one according to what his deeds are!  Revelation 22:12   Jesus will come again and quickly!  One might ask, "If He is coming soon, why has He not come in the past 2,000 years?"  The greek word used here is ταχύ tachu, it is often translated as soon, quickly or without delay.  Some of the early Christians believed that Jesus would come again in their lifetime. The word is also translated a meaning suddenly or by surprise.  This would be a good interpretation for the word here.  For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  1 Thessalonians 5:2   In my reading I found this illustration for the meaning of the word.
... The meaning of returning “soon” is that it would happen “at any moment.” It is like my phone-answering machine. The message informs the caller that I am away from my desk but will return “soon.” I use the same message whether I expect to be gone two minutes or two weeks—for the very simple reason that I want to encourage the person without revealing exactly how long I will be gone!
(I have lost the source for the credit. If you know what it might be make a comment so that I can add the citation).

Christ is coming soon to repay all people by their deeds.  We are saved by grace.  We cannot earn our salvation by works.  We are sinners and therefore are condemned to hell.  By grace we are forgiven our sins, not by works.  For by grace you have been saved by faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9  Not every statement of belief is genuine.  We are saved by the grace and power of God in Christ alone.  Our works do not save us.  Our works should indicate the seriousness and depth of our belief.   Our works and words should point others to Jesus.  All believers will be rewarded for their faith and service. No true believer will be left behind.  Jesus is telling us here that He will return at any moment.  Time is short for each individual.  Don't put off making Jesus your Lord.

There is absolutely no one like Jesus.  Jesus Christ has total grasp of the future. He is the beginning and the end.  He views all time as the present. When He speaks of the future it is but now for Him.  He lives forever and He lives outside of time.  Time is also a creation of God that is made for mankind. Mankind can only live in the now.  Man views time as a line that only moves forward. God lives forever and at all times.  He is eternal. There is no past for God because He was always there.  Jesus is God and He is: the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.  Revelation 22:13  God is sovereign overall things. From the beginning he has unfolded each stage of history according to his plan. "Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ' I, the LORD, am the first, and with the last. I am He.'"   Isaiah 41:4

The end is really near. One does not know how near the end might be for themselves.  If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior, the time is now.  It must be done before time is no more.

When a scheduled jet from New York comes toward Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, the controller knows all the details of the flight pattern. He knows exactly where it will be at various stages in the flight, when it departed, and when it will arrive.  
On the other hand, a young lady whose fiancé is on the flight knows only the approximate time of arrival, but she is still overjoyed at the prospect of his coming!  
I’d rather know very little about Christ’s coming and have a heart full of anxious anticipation than know many of the details about his return and be indifferent. Of course, it might be better to have both, but the important issue is a joyful heart that is waiting in hope.

Illustrations for Biblical Preaching Edited by Michael P. Green

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