THE PROMISED BLESSING

Scripture Reading: Revelation 22:6-21

“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:7)

The book of Revelation begins with a promise of blessing — “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (1:3). As we approach the end of the book, the promise is repeated — “Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (22:7). We have now read throughout the entire prophecy and we’ve heard the words of promise and warning. The question is — Will we keep the words of the prophecy of this book?

Three times in this chapter we hear these words of Jesus — “Behold, I am coming soon” (vs. 7,12,20). Jesus told His disciples that they should be prepared every day for His sudden return — “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36). Jesus went on to say –“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44). We are to live each day as if this is the day of Christ’s return.

Jesus commissioned an angel to communicate tho vision found in Revelation to John — “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to His servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John” (1:1). The book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is not only from Jesus, it is about Him. Jesus Christ is the central character in the book.

And now at the end of the book, we find the testimony of this angel — “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent His angel to show His servants what must take place” (22:6). The angel makes it clear that the book of Revelation is divine in origin and is therefore divinely inspired and trustworthy.

Because the book of Revelation is divinely inspired, we must be careful not to hide the message of the book — “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of the book, for the time is near” (v. 10). Many people fail to read and meditate upon the book of Revelation. It is intimidating and confusing to some. However, we must heed to this message and never avoid wrestling with the great truths found in the book. Remember it was written to encourage people who were and are going through persecution, trials, and difficulties.

But there is also another warning found near the end of the book — “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 this 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” (vs. 18,19). Many have misused the book of Revelation and developed wild theories from it. To be faithful to its meaning, we must follow the fundamental rule of biblical interpretation — let the Scripture interpret the Scripture. As I have attempted to show you, much of the symbolism in the book is derived from Old Testament imagery. It is therefore necessary to study the book of Revelation in light of the teaching of other passages of Scripture. We are not to add our own words to it.

The book of Revelation is the only book in the Bible that begins with a promise of blessing to those who read it, hear it and apply it. I believe that we should read through this book at least once a year. The more we read it, the more we will grasp the glorious truths found in it. The message is clear and profound — Jesus wins and so will we!

Lord Jesus, thank You for sending the angel to reveal this prophecy to John. Thank You for superintending John as he wrote down the words of the book and made them available to me. Let me continue to read these words of the prophecy, hear them well, and seek to apply them to my life. I look forward to Your return. Let me stay prepared for it.

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