THE GRACIOUS INVITATIONS

Scripture Reading: Revelation 22:12-21

“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” (Revelation 22:17)

Three times in this last chapter of Revelation Jesus says, “Behold, I am coming soon” (vs. 7,12,20). The New Testament teaches that the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus ushered in “the last days” (see Hebrews 1:1,2). The end of the ages has already dawned. We are in the last days of human history. However long that lasts from our perspective, on Christ’s calendar His return is soon. Since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, only one significant redemptive event remains — the second coming of Jesus Christ. The nearness of the return of Jesus is to be measured, not by human chronology, but by events in the timetable of God’s plan of redemption in human history.

The book of Revelation ends with three gracious invitations. First, the Holy Spirit says, ‘Come’ (v. 17a). The Holy Spirit is always the initiator of the new birth when one comes to Christ. The Holy Spirit issues the effectual call of God that brings salvation to His people. The calling from the Holy Spirit is an inward call which brings spiritual life to the one being called.

Second, the Bride says, ‘Come’ (v. 17b). The Holy Spirit’s call is accompanied by the invitation of the Bride, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the duty of the Church to make sure that our message is the same as that of the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave His Church the Great Commission — to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). It is the Church’s duty to call men and women to faith in Jesus Christ.

Individual believers who have heard the truth of the gospel say, ‘Come’. Ultimately individual believers who have heard the truth of the gospel, who have been brought to life through the effectual calling of the Holy Spirit, must be the vessels carrying the invitation of the Holy Spirit and the Church. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (II Corinthians 5:20).

Finally, the Lamb also issues His invitation — “And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (v. 17c). As we come to the end of our study of this fascinating book, my questions to you are — Are you thirsty? Do you lack purpose? Do you want a fruitful and abundant life? Do you want to spend eternity in the glorious presence of the Lamb who is seated upon the throne? Jesus invites you to find ultimate satisfaction in Him. He is the Shepherd who guides us to the springs of living water. This is our destiny in Him:

“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will shelter them with His presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:15-17).

We join in saying the final words of John in the book — “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for Your gracious invitation to a full and free salvation. You are the Lamb of God who made it possible for me to have eternal life. You have called me to take of the water of life without price. Thank You for the great hope that I have as I consider the glorious future that You have promised me. Let me rest in You during the times of difficulty on this earth and enable me to keep my eyes on You who are the author and perfecter of my faith, so that I will not grow weary and lose heart.

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One thought on “THE GRACIOUS INVITATIONS

  1. Ron Adkins says:

    Shelton, I eagerly awaited each of your devotions on the book of Revelation. I learned so much from and was blessed by your teaching!
    Merry Christmas to you, Mary Ann and kids!

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