Revelation 22:12-21 / The Final Promise

Posted on September 1, 2016

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This is the Fifty-sixth and final message in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on August 28, 2016. This message is the final promise from God, the promise of the return of Christ. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not necessarily a full transcript.
SERMON AUDIO:

Rev 22:12-21

SERMON NOTES:

Vv.12-13:
As previously noted, the word quickly does not necessarily mean that He is coming soon (according to our standard of time).

It does mean that He is coming swiftly and suddenly.

In the twinkling of an eye, and like a thief in the night, Jesus’ return will be swift and sudden.

When He does return, He will bring His reward with Him.

When this happens, born again believers can look forward to being rewarded for their labor.

Isaiah 40:10

With this, Jesus reiterates here that He is God (v.13).

This is important, both to the promise of His return, and the promise of His reward.

Only the eternal God can promise a return at some undefined point in the future.

As God, He has the unique ability to both return and reward.

V.14:
Here, in accordance with Jesus bringing rewards, is the introduction of an important doctrine.

There are at least a dozen writings in John’s writings about keeping the commandments.

1 John 2:3

John 14:15

Let’s not read anything into this that is not there.

The Bible doesn’t say that keeping the commandments brings salvation.

Ephesians 2:8-10

Salvation is not of our works, but of the work of Jesus Christ.

Our works are simply evidence of our salvation.

What the Bible does say, is that keeping the commandments brings blessing.

This is where modern Christianity gets all mixed up.

We seek the blessing, but not the obedience.

We want all the “good stuff”, all the love, mercy and blessing without any of the accountability.

We want to use our liberty to live however we desire, and still gain God’s favor.

It simply doesn’t work like that.

Romans 6:1-2

Romans 6:15

The ultimate reward, the ultimate blessing will be realized in eternity.

To be able to enter the gates and have the right to the tree of life.

V.15:
But then there are those on the outside.

These are those who are in the lake of fire.

They never had their sins washed, because they reject Christ.

As such, they are outside the city, because they are outside of God’s will.

It’s not His will that any should perish, so rejecting Christ is the ultimate violation of God’s will.

The only just reward for that is hell.

Vv.16-17:
Here is but one more confirmation that this message is for us, today.

He has sent His angel to testify these things in the churches.

He again emphasizes who He is, and it is God!

Not only is He God, but He wants people to hear His message, as He emphasizes the water of life, once again.

Come! Come!

The Spirit (God) says Come!

The bride (the church) says Come!

All who hear (accept) the Gospel say Come!

All who thirst are invited to come.

We live in a world where people are dying of thirst, a dehydrated world. Yet they won’t drink the water!

This is nothing less than an urgent call to fulfill the great commission, but what are we doing about it?

Vv.18-19:
With the plea for souls comes the final warning.

Do not add to or subtract from this book.

It’s not hard to figure out that if God’s word is changed, it ceases to be God’s word.

While the immediate context of this scripture applies to the book of revelation, the same principle applies to the entirety of the Bible.

2 Timothy 3:16

Proverbs 30:5-6

Deuteronomy 4:2

This tells us that we have no liberty to change the Bible.

It is a stern warning with severe penalties.

This also implies that the true believer would never willingly and knowingly tamper with the Word of God.

It must be assumed that those who twist scripture are not true believers, and have no part in the book of life.

The apostolic age is over, and there are no more prophets (in the sense of any new revelation from God).

This conclusively marks the completion of Scripture with this book.

Vv.20-21:
With the completion of the Word of God comes a very appropriate closing. . . A promise of the return of Christ.

This is what it’s been about all along!

We should look forward to His coming.

We should pray for His coming.

We should work toward His coming.

And we should know that the grace of God will be with believers all the while.

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Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons