Invitation and Warning: Revelation 22:12-21

The End.

“Look, I am coming soon!” Jesus calls this down to his servant John, so that the message will get out and the followers of God will work towards their holy reward. (I imagine Jesus ascending back into Heaven as he says this) That promise – that Jesus is coming, and it is soon – think about it. I love that word – SOON – especially in this context. He’s coming soon, and two millennia later and still no Jesus, but my mother gave me a good way to think about that, she said, “It’s all just a blink of the eye when compared to eternity.” I countered with something snarky. “So then ten million years would be soon then, right? Then how about a trillion billion billion years?” She rolled her eyes. She may have thought that I had won the exchange in terms of wit, but she won by way of content. She was right – what were 2,000 years when compared to eternity? My heart squeezed, and I felt oxygen pouring out of my lungs. I closed my eyes, but that made it worse. No, no.

I didn’t want Jesus to come back. I wanted everything to stay exactly how it was.

“Outside are the dogs…” Do you know who the dogs are? Sorcerers and murderers. The sexually immoral and idol-worshippers. Liars. You, reading this, you may be a dog and think you are one of the saved. You may think you are saved, because you believe in God and accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, but how can you really be sure? Do you still lie? Have you ever done something outside of the Christian sexual norms? Do you continue to do those things? Where do you stand?

“Let the one who is thirsty come…” But there is hope, oh yes. See, hope approaches in times of desperation. To be thirsty is to be desperate, and it leaves you a choice. You can choose hope or fear. You can desire water and believe it will never come, or you can desire it and know it will come. God calls on us because we are in want – that’s always what I have been told. It made sense to me, and it still does. We live in an unpredictable world, where fear ebbs and flows and happiness drifts to and from us without any pattern. So why wouldn’t we just give it up to the unknown, throwing our hands in the air to say, yes, you can take this fear away from me? Jesus is our get out of jail free card. He makes the path so simple, and his offer is so pure.

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll.” But then there is disbelief. What if you don’t feel God? What if that which is innate within you feels completely antithetical to everything you just read? The believers tell you to change. Those in the middle tell you that you are fine – that you are saved and don’t even know it. The unbelievers think you are better off without all of it. So here is what is left. You have to close your eyes and just hope it comes to you. You have to believe that what you try to do is good enough. We won’t know until we close our eyes for good. You hold onto the hope that some of what you read matters, but some is negotiable. What if it is just as stringent as Paul says?

What do you believe?

I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”

Amen.

 

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