Come, Lord Jesus
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Read Revelation 22:14-21 (ESV)
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 the 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 all. Amen.
Are you ready for Jesus to return? Why or why not?
“Is it bad that I don’t want Jesus to come back?” I read this question on an online forum recently. I don’t know the backstory of the person who posed the question but I can take a guess as to why they feel the way they do. The answer is a preoccupation with worldly things. This is a common feeling, especially for young people. They have hopes and dreams and things they want to accomplish. What if Jesus comes back before they achieve their goals and travel the world? What if Jesus comes back before they get married and have kids?
I get it. Those things are not bad desires. Most of those things are actually blessings from God! But we have to wrap our minds around this fact. All of those things are temporary and all of those things, even if they are great blessings, are marred by sin.
Today is our final day in the book of Revelation and in today’s passage, John describes who is truly blessed and it isn’t those who have lived a full earthly life. It is those who “wash their robes” so that they are entitled to the tree of life and have access into the city of God. Dirty clothes symbolize sin. For example, Isaiah 64:6 says, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” That means, even the good works that we do are just filthy rags compared to the holiness and righteousness of God.
In Revelation 7:14, we see that the saints from the Great Tribulation were wearing pure white robes: “...these are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” We have to accept the free gift of His salvation in order to be allowed in. Those who don’t accept the free gift and are not cleansed from their sins will be left outside the city of God (v.15). We have to be washed by the blood of the Lamb.
But in order to accept this cleansing from Jesus, we have to want to come to Him. Verse 17 says, “Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” We have to desire the water of life. It is free for the taking but we have to thirst for Him and drink. If we are longing for the things of this world rather than the things of God, we will be less compelled to reach out and take hold of our salvation through Jesus Christ.
In 1 John 2:15-17 John urged us, “Do not love the world or things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride in possession—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
Friends, the pull of the things of this world and the desires of our flesh can be strong. But we have to remember that everything here on earth is imperfect and temporary. We have been promised something better—a perfect world that lasts forever living and reigning with the God of the universe. Knowing that, why do we ever prioritize the things of this world over Paradise? Once we truly understand what is waiting for us up ahead, we can join John in saying with full sincerity, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
Lord, I long for You. Thank You for the promise of a life infinitely better than this one, even if we can’t fully imagine it. Change my heart to prioritize eternal things and live for the things that matter forever. Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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