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It All Comes Down To This


Could God have created a better ending?  I don’t think so.  In the beginning of this collection of books we have the words, “In the beginning God created…”  At the end we read the invitation, “Come!”  And in between we have tons of history, wisdom, explanation, direction, evidence, and instruction.  We see a story, His story, about His plan for His people.  Not all will choose to be His people…but the invitation is still given.  “Come!”

At many points in our lives we have those ‘Ah Ha!’ moments when we realize something is true.  John here, in Revelation 22, is coming to the end of the vision given to Him from above.  He is about to give this book, this letter if you will, to the churches that he was instructed to give it to (see chapters 2 & 3).  Something is near.  Something is coming soon.  The angel and the Spirit and Jesus say these phrases too many times for these readers to think this letter isn’t really for them but for believers way off in the future.  The time for them is now.  Ah Ha!

Jesus has given them constructive criticism.  He’s given them instruction.  He’s given them a road map about what’s going to happen soon, and then He ends with an invitation.  He’s not saying that they will be kept from the bad things pointed out in the book…but those things are earthly…persecution coming from the rulers at hand.  They are not of this world…John 15:19, Romans 12:2.  We’re not either.  We’re of another way and life if we’ve chosen Jesus.

So who is this invitation for in 22:17?  Well, I think this sentence contains two invitations.  What’s interesting here is that in the first half of 22:17, it states that the Spirit, the Bride (Jesus’ church) and those who hear all say “Come!”  I think this is the invitation for Jesus to come back and do what He says will be done in the first part of this letter.  In the timeline of the church at the point this vision is being given, the city of Jerusalem and the temple have not yet been destroyed.  If you think through what we’ve read in this letter so far, we’ve seen the holy city of Jerusalem move to become a description of Jesus’ bride, the church.  We’ve also seen the temple, where the Spirit dwells, move to a description of Jesus’ church as well.  And the church at that point in time, in John’s vision from Christ, is calling for Jesus to “Come!” and finish the work of the old covenant and to bring in the new one where God’s words will be written on our hearts and minds (Jeremiah 31), where the church won’t be a place but a people (1 Corinthians 6), and when Jesus is the High priest and we are the priests beneath Him (1 Peter 2:5…notice the phrase ‘being built’).  John’s vision saw all this as though it had come to pass.  The destruction of the man made things had to take place so that the spirit made things could become evident.

This invitation is also for all those who wish to be a part of this new covenant…this new way of having a relationship with God.  The second half of 22:17 says that any who want to have this living water can have it….”Let all those who are thirsty come…”  This part of the invitation is for anyone this side of Heaven.  At one point in time though, we will no longer have the time to respond.

The next logical move for God is to bring those who have responded to Heaven to spend eternity with Him.  So our invitation to believe and follow ends with our last breath…and we don’t know when that will be.  It could also end if God chooses to move to the next big change tomorrow.

Here’s what it comes down to.  Have you responded?  This might sound harsh, but as I read it, waiting to answer is really a “no” answer.  Yes is the only way.  Do I understand how all of this will fall out?  Not a bit.  But I know what I read…and there is an end.

I made a decision when I was younger.  There’s been a few times when I’ve revisited that commitment and reaffirmed it.  But the point at which I crossed over the bold line in the sand, I entered eternity.  I started drinking the water of life at that point.  Death to my body won’t be to me…only to my skin, bones and bald head.  So what is your response?

If you’re reading this, you probably have some knowledge of God and Jesus.  Now you know a little bit more.  Maybe enough to make a decision…maybe enough to ask some more questions.  Either way…I hope that you move toward that water (v. 17).  I know many people are thirsty because they know there’s something more to life.  Well I’m here to tell you there is.  The lie is that this life on this planet is the end all.  But it’s not.  I can’t make the decision for you.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3 that we only plant a seed.  God grows the seed in your life.  I hope I planted something…let it grow.  J

Love, Serve, Spread the Word,

ed

Here’s a great video.  Take the next 15 minutes and relax with God.

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