The Gospel in Revelation: The Last Call

Revelation 22:17 says, “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 wishes take the water of life without cost” (NASB). This is the last call in the Bible, the final invitation. Throughout the rest of the New Testament the same invitation is given over and over again, but here in Revelation  is the last one.

The two actions in this verse are some of the simplest things a human can do: “come” and “drink.” Even children under the age of one can understand the concept of come. Their parents open their arms and beckon the child, saying, “Come on, come here,” and off the child goes crawling or wobbling to his parent. This is the simplicity of the gospel. No matter what illustration or analogy might be used, the message can always be summed up as “Come.” The Lord Jesus finished the work of salvation on the cross and now there is nothing to be done but to “Come; for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17, KJV)

In the gospel of John we read the story of the Lord Jesus and the woman at the well in Samaria. Their conversation centered around the physical water and the spiritual living water. Again, we find the combination of living water and “whosoever” in John 4:14. “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (KJV). The promise of freely given water of life isn’t only found in Revelation 22:17, but also in 21:6: “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” The same thing was also said by the Lord in John 7:37: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” In Revelation 22:1 the apostle sees “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (KJV). The water of life is coming directly from the Lord Jesus Himself and it is being offered to anyone who desires it.

While the invitation is open to anyone, it is still just an invitation. One cannot be forced into salvation, just as one cannot be coerced to drink. In this verse the call is from the Spirit, the Bride, and “he that heareth.” Six times in the gospels and eight in Revelation the Lord Jesus says, “He who has an ear (or ears) to hear, let him hear.” Obviously, this does not imply ears are necessary for salvation, but rather that the gospel is for everyone. Those who do hear and accept the message are to repeat it to others so that the gospel goes into the entire world.

The last call in Revelation 22:17 is a simple reiteration of the entire gospel. The invitation is to come and drink. There are no restrictions, no qualifications; it is for any and for whosoever. The invitation is for me and it is for you.