Coming Attractions

He said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” (Revelation 22:6–11)

When John received the visions that made up the book of Revelation, he was living in exile on a tiny island of Patmos in the Mediterranean Sea. Christians of the Roman Empire were suffering severe persecution from the Roman government. In the midst of this suffering, Jesus offered the hope that he was “coming quickly.”

Nearly two thousand years later, we might wonder about Jesus’ definition of “quickly.” Many lives have come and gone since John recorded Jesus’ words. But perhaps we’re missing part of what Jesus meant when he said that he would come “quickly.’ While we rightfully look forward to Jesus returning someday in the clouds, he also comes to us every day. In fact, he lives within our hearts. He walks beside us and he suffers with us. When we hurt, he hurts.

Jesus also told us that those who keep the words of John’s prophesy would be “blessed.” That is, they would be happy! How can we “keep” the words of John’s prophesy? By reading them and believing them. They tell us that Jesus will be victorious over the kingdoms of the world and that his kingdom, the Kingdom of God, will ultimately triumph.

Jesus urges us to recognize that we belong to the kingdom of God now. And the kingdom of God is near, so near that Jesus comes quickly whenever we call for him.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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