Revelation 22:20. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
And so with this prayer the Revelation and our year of To Live is Christ comes to an end – come Lord Jesus!
Is this your prayer for the new year? Come Lord Jesus? Do you desperately desire the return of Christ? What keeps you from praying for Jesus’ return? What prevents his second advent from being your greatest longing and your glorious hope? What keeps the return of the King from being your best thought by day and by night?
Maybe there’s still a latent fear deep inside of you of seeing Jesus? A fear of his return in a judgment that you might not survive. A fear that seeing Jesus will leave you in shame and him in disgust. But are you in Christ or not? Was the cross effective or not? Are you God’s adopted child? Are you betrothed to Jesus? Are you clothed in his purifying love that casts out all fear of punishment? Are you dressed in his righteousness alone by grace alone through faith alone? If yes, then there is nothing to fear.
Or maybe you aren’t excited about the return of Christ because you have set all your hopes and dreams upon this present world? Let me ask you – do you secretly fear that if Jesus came back today you might actually miss out on some great pleasure that you haven’t had yet? Marriage? Sex? Grandkids? A dream vacation? A job promotion? Graduation? Finishing your bucket list? What are you most looking forward to in life? What are you hoping that the new year brings your way? Have any of these things replaced seeing Jesus, being with him and being like him, as your deepest desire?
Or maybe you’ve just simply forgotten that Jesus IS coming again. He promises it here at the end of the Revelation – Surely I am coming soon. Soon? Peter explained that to our Lord a thousand years is as a day, and a day is as a thousand years. God is patiently waiting so that more and more hearts might turn to the free grace of Jesus Christ. Our God is not willing that any should perish, but that all might come to repentance. And so in his love he waits. And in love we wait for him. Are you still waiting in hope, faith, and love? Or have you forgotten and moved on to other, seemingly closer and more manageable hopes?
Or maybe you just haven’t let the transcendent beauty of Revelation 21 and 22, the glories that await all who are in Jesus, grip your imagination. Admittedly, they are beyond what eye has seen, and ear has heard, and mind has conceived (1 Cor. 2:9). But they ARE your destiny. Can you see yourself there?
Can you see yourself before the throne of the living God worshiping in perfect love and peace with all the saints?
Can you see yourself being overwhelmed with the beauty and glory of God’s presence?
Can you see yourself looking into the face of God as he gently wipes away all your tears, revealing how everything in your life was for your good?
Can you see yourself living on a newly healed Earth, without any impurity or decay?
Can you see yourself living in a community that is completely free from pride, jealousy, resentment, hatred, or agendas?
Can you see yourself living in the New Jerusalem, walking with Jesus on streets of gold, around the glassy sea, talking about the wonders of his love for hours?
Can you see yourself at a feast with all the friends and family that have joined you to celebrate the goodness of God and the faithfulness of Jesus in bringing us all to dwell in his house forever?
Can you see yourself drinking freely from the river of life, and eating freely from the tree of life, as you grow in grace and in the knowledge of God forever?
Can you see yourself living free from all fears and all boundaries?
Can you see yourself living in a world without racism, sexism, oppression, injustice, war, or walls?
Can you see a life of never being sick, never hurt, never stressed, never depressed, and never anxious for anything?
Can you see yourself loving so fully, so deeply, so freely, feeling such compassion, such kindness, and such joy as you choose to sacrifice for others from a truly pure heart?
This revelation of eternal life in Christ is how the Bible ends. But for those who are in Christ, this revelation is only the beginning. May this vision of a life lived with, in, and through Jesus be raised to life in our hearts afresh this new year. May we today and every day pray, “Come Lord Jesus!”, while we remember that our Lord Jesus has already come into our hearts. Let’s live as if we are already there. Let’s live as if “to live is Christ.”
What do you look forward to this new year? How can it point you to Christ?
You in Christ
Christ has come into your heart and is coming again soon. How do these two realities encourage you this new year?
Christ in you
Take some time to read Revelation 21-22 and imagine yourself there. How does it change your perspective?
Playlist: Come Lord Jesus