|Posted by John Suttles on March 6, 2014 at 11:40 PM|
Rev. 22:7: “Behold, I come quickly...”
Rev. 22:12: “And, behold, I come quickly...”
Rev. 22:20: “Surely, I come quickly...”
These words are nearly the last words of the last book of God's inspired and infallible Scripture. They are the final words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to us and they are spoken to us three times as He closes His revelation.
Many take a great interest in the last words of men. They listen with great care to hear what men, especially the famous and great ones of the earth, have to say when they come to the door of death. They read with great interest the records of the final words of those of ages past in their dying hour.
But here, we have the last words of Him “that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, is alive for evermore” (Rev. 1: 1). He who holds the keys of death and hell. If there were ever words to which we should give our complete, undivided, and most serious attention, it is to these words of “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5).
If any earthly king should express but once his intent to do something, that is enough to cause the entirety of that country's government to make immediate preparation for the fulfillment of that intention. By how much more then should we give earnest heed to the King of kings and Lord of lords when He speaks not once – not twice – but three times over, His final word to the church and the world – “Behold, I come quickly.”
If some great person should send word directly to us saying that he was coming – and coming quickly – we would instantly and thoroughly prepare ourselves and all our possessions for his arrival. And then how careful and anxious would we be to keep watch, constantly looking out and looking for the moment when he would appear at our door.
Oh, but sadly, the King of glory has sent word to you, to all, that He is coming and that quickly, yet how few have heeded His announcement, how few have made preparation, how few are anxiously watching, expecting that, at the next moment, He comes quickly?
The most part of mankind conduct themselves as though the Lord had never spoken these words even once, forgetting altogether that He said them thrice over. And many among that vast multitude – are you one such? – many among that vast multitude of the careless have gone beyond mere carelessness and become mockers of this promise.
They are like those in the days of the Apostle Peter who said “Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet 3:4). They scoff and jeer and mock saying, where is this Jesus? What's become of Him? It's been twice a thousand years since he departed and there's no sign of him.
Dear reader, make not yourselves the companion of such fools. For these mockers have forgotten that further inspired word of the Apostle Peter – “be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Pet. 3:4). By this eternal accounting of time the Lord Jesus has been gone but TWO DAYS!
That man is a fool who measures according to earthly time this brief pause between our Lord's first coming and His return. To those who scoff the words of Mr. Matthew Henry are most appropriate when he wrote that for such the Lord's coming “will be sooner than they are aware, sooner than they are prepared, and sooner than they desire.”
Let the mockers mock, that day is yet fixed and appointed in the court of heaven when the Father shall say, “DONE!”, and the Lord Jesus Christ will rise from His throne at the right hand of the Father and shall gather the souls of all His people that inhabit the heavenly realms and for the first time since their creation heaven shall be emptied of all its angels (Matt. 25:31-32). Then all the souls of the redeemed who died in the Lord and all the angels shall follow Him as He returns once more to earth, this time in the full glory and splendor that is His as the Son of God. And this He will do just as He said - “Behold, I come quickly!”
And this is no bare re-appearance. He comes for this reason, to judge the earth, every man and woman, boy and girl. In that day when He returns “every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him” (Rev. 1:7). Yes, every eye shall behold Him – kings' eyes and beggars', those of the rich and the poor, your eye and mine. The dead in their graves shall be raised, and together with the living, shall look up and see Him coming, as Jude has written, “with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed” (v. 14, 15).
The Scriptures refer to this day as the great and terrible day of the Lord. Exactly so shall be that day for every sinner, every scoffer at the Lord's return. Everyone who bowed not their knee to Christ while in this mortal body, shall, in that resurrected body, bow their knee and confess with their tongue that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Listen to the description of the scene of that great day when He comes quickly – Rev. 20:11–15:
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Oh, reader, what a dreadful day that day shall be for everyone – for you – if you have not repented and believed, if you have not laid hold of Christ by faith as your Redeemer before that day. Consider carefully this solemn word – if you have not known the Lord Jesus as your Redeemer and Savior in this present hour, then you shall know Him as your Judge in that hour when He comes quickly, and He will pronounce your condemnation in that hour before the assembled universe of men and angels.
Think for a moment what it shall be when the Lord of hosts sits upon His seat of judgment. His all seeing eye shall pierce every heart and make every sinner to know every sin that he or she ever committed. Then they shall confess before Him and that vast assembly that their sentence is just and right when He declares to them - “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41).
And who are these cursed? From this same last book of the inspired Scripture we have this description: they are “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” Rev. 21:8.
Think you that you are not there listed? Do you say, these are not my sins? They ARE, for the Scripture clearly declares “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10)! If you are yet outside of the safety of forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ the Redeemer, you are at this moment within the just condemnation of Christ the Judge who is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29) and all that awaits is the execution of your sentence.
Reader, do not count these words foolish tales or myths for the feeble-minded. You have the witness of the prophets and apostles, the testimony of angels, and the word of Jesus Christ Himself, not once nor twice, but three times over to the truth of it – “Behold, I come quickly.”
We write plainly and directly and perhaps some are offended, but should we not so plead when matters of eternity are before us? If the building you are now in were on fire, would you not speak plainly and directly to all urging them to flee and escape the danger? How much more then should we be clear and direct when not just our bodies but our souls are in eternal danger!
I urge you, let these words – behold, I come quickly – consume your thoughts, and may they be an unceasing cry in your ears to flee to Jesus Christ repenting of your sins and believing on His shed blood as your only hope of cleansing from them. Fail to take timely heed and it shall be for you as the Lord said of another, “the last state of that man is worse than the first” (Matt. 12:45). For the sinner that day when the Lord comes quickly will be as the prophet Zephaniah describes it “a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess” (Zeph. 1:15).
But there is another scene on that day that deserves notice. Vastly, eternally different will be the character of that day for those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. For that day when He comes quickly will be a day of joy and delight for the believer. Oh, you who are the believing ones, “lift up your heads for your redemption draweth nigh” for Behold, He comes quickly!
Saints of God, “now is our salvation nearer than when we believed,” (Romans 13:11) and in that day when He comes quickly, our salvation shall be complete and there shall be fulness of joy and pleasures forevermore at His right hand. In that day every redeemed one will be like Him for we shall seem Him as He is, and who can conceive even the least part of it, for eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart of man what God hath prepared for them that love Him.
We shall indeed see Him with immortal, incorruptible eyes on that day. We shall see the fullness of His glory and what shall that be like? He Who is the brightness of His Father's glory and the express image of His person we will see with our own eyes. Even Moses could not bear the sight of God's glory while on earth, but in that day when the Lord Jesus comes quickly, our vile bodies will be changed, and we shall behold the King in all His glory. Who can tell what that sight shall be with mere human words?
We shall see His glory, yes, and we shall see His wounds. Those wounds He received at Calvary, now made all the more glorious by the fullness of that glory which He had with the Father before the world began. We shall look upon His pierced hands and His wounded feet and His riven side, and we shall worship the Lamb of God forever and sing “a new song, saying...thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests” (Rev. 5:9–10a).
We shall indeed see His glory and we shall see His wounds, but more than that we shall see His face. For the very first time numberless multitudes of the redeemed will look upon the face of their dear Redeemer with eyes made able to bear the glory! Haven't we wondered from time to time what He will look like? In that day, when He comes quickly, we shall know!
We shall look into the eyes of Him Who saw us in eternity past, and who loved us with an everlasting love and who drew us in lovingkindness to Himself. His eyes will surely beam with delight when He looks upon His bride, the Church, which He Himself has adorned in white, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, and we, in turn, shall look upon Him with an admiration unspotted and unstained by sin and frailty any longer. It shall be as the hymnwriter has gloriously put it:
The bride eyes not her garment, but her dear bridegroom's face
I will not gaze at glory, but on my King of grace
Not at the crown He giveth, but on His pierced hand
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel's land.
Then again we shall see His smile as He rejoices over us with joy, and we shall hear His voice for the very first time with our ears, and it shall cause our hearts to leap within us as He speaks those wondrous words – “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Sinner, fear and tremble for “Behold, I come quickly!” Flee to Christ as the Savior while you have this moment or you shall meet Him as your Judge in that day. And saint, rejoice for this word – “Surely, I come quickly!”