Eclipsing the difficulties of the book of Revelation, the Lord Jesus’ promise in the final chapter rings with clarity: “Surely I am coming soon” (Rev 2:20, ESV)! Within this simple promise is embraced a profound series of events which will culminate in the Lord Jesus reigning upon the earth as the Son of the house of David (Jer 3:17). The preliminary stage of His coming will be an instantaneous shout, at which, all who are saved, dead or alive, will be whisked away to be with Christ. In this initial event, He will come as a thief, not making His intent known beforehand (Rev 16:15, Matt 24:42). Then the world will regress into amorality and rampant evil, the expression of an unrestrained human nature, with murderous bloodshed, natural disasters, and demonic delusion, moving into the cataclysmic and dreadful Great Tribulation. Nations and rulers will rise and be cast down, until there arises the Antichrist, who will eventually oppose Jesus Christ in futility. The victorious Christ will judge and destroy his foes, reign for a thousand years; then will come the final eradication of evil, the judgment at the Great White Throne and the subsequent inauguration of the new heavens and the new earth.
The Delay of His Promise
Three times in Revelation 22 the Lord Jesus affirms, “I am coming soon” (vv 7, 12, 20, ESV). While false predictions of His coming deceive and disillusion, and scoffers say, “Where is the promise of His coming?” (2Peter 3:4, KJV), His word has lost neither veracity nor imminence. In fact, what we count a delay of His promise is not a delay to God at all. He tarries because He loves people and does not want them to perish eternally, but desires that they come to repentance and everlasting life in Christ (2Peter 3:9). Perhaps He waits for you.
The Delight of His Promise
Among the spiritually blind who mind earthly things, the redeemed wait patiently. We trusted Christ and were born again. Our hearts swell with unspeakable joy, a twinkle gleams in our eyes, and our steps quicken as we think of leaving this sin-benighted earth and seeing the One Who redeemed us from it. Though beset with toil and tears and death, when Christ returns, we will be finally and gloriously changed in the blink of an eye (1Cor 15:52). At the same time, those who have died in Christ will leap forth from the grave at the sound of the trumpet and together all the saved will be united with Christ forever (1Thes 4:17).
The Danger of His Promise
While His promise holds great joy for the righteous, it forebodes danger for the guilty. God “has fixed a day, on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed” (Acts 17:31, ESV). God freely gave His Son. He offered Himself as a sin-atoning sacrifice, died, was buried and rose again. God has set a time when those who have spurned His love must meet Him. It may be after death or it may be when He returns, but meet Him you will. Turn today in repentance and receive Christ and when He returns, you too shall be ready. Hurry! He is coming soon!