Jesus is coming—soon.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus said he was coming soon?
It’s been more than two thousand years since Christ appeared to John on the island of Patmos and gave him the book of Revelation.
Toward the end of the revelation, Jesus said, “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 soon take place. And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:6–7).
I included these verses in my teaching last week, with a new thought. Most sermons about this passage are about the ultimate end of our world when Jesus returns for the final time. The book of Revelation teaches us that everything on earth is temporal, with a beginning and an end. We are supposed to live like Jesus could return tomorrow.
But, again, it’s been more than two thousand years.
What did Jesus mean by “soon”?
How should we define soon?
My mom and I spent the weekend driving to northern Arkansas and then back again. I took Mom to her brother’s funeral service. She is the youngest child in her family. She had ten brothers and three sisters. Now, Mom is the only one still living.
I watched the photo montage the funeral home put together and wondered how Grandma and Grandpa were able to raise fourteen children to be such fine human beings. But they did. Now, they are in heaven, except for my mom. She will join them one day, but today, she is without all of them, and my dad too.
The good news: Jesus is coming soon.
A wonderful woman from our church in Midland, Texas, was lying on her deathbed. Her family was gathered around quietly singing a hymn. She had not spoken in several days when she sat up and exclaimed, “Jesus!” and then she was gone.
Jesus had come to bring her home to heaven. It was sooner than the family expected it would be.
And that’s the point. We might not say that two thousand years is an accurate description of “soon,” but how many times have you lost someone you wished could have lived a few more years? Did their death feel like it came too soon?
Jesus is coming soon.
For all of us, it will be less than one hundred years from now, fifty years from now, twenty years from now—or sooner. If that makes you feel concerned, look at what Jesus said right after “Behold, I am coming soon.” He said, “Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:7).
What does the Revelation promise to bless?
Are you living a blessed life now?
If you are, the return of Christ is something to anticipate, not fear. The book of Revelation promises blessings to all of us. When last did you find joy in those promised blessings?
We are blessed by reading the Book.
Jesus said, “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” (Revelation 1:3).
The last book of the Bible is the only book of the Bible that promises blessing to the reader.
And again, Jesus said, “For the time is near.” The book of Revelation is not easy reading. In fact, it is a book to be studied with a good commentary in hand. (I suggest The Expositor’s Bible Commentary.)
When last did you read the book of Revelation?
Jesus promised a blessing to everyone who does.
We are blessed by dying in Christ.
Jesus said, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’” (Revelation 14:13).
Jesus taught us to look at the death of a Christian, especially a Christian who has lived their life in great service to the Lord, as a wonderful reward, a blessing. My dad died with a smile of peace on his face. My uncle, who only recently gave his life to the Lord, died with a smile on his face. The woman in Midland, who sat up on her deathbed and called out to Jesus, was glad to see him.
If we are in Christ, we are blessed when we die!
We should live today, blessed by that assurance.
We are blessed by living “ready.”
Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!” (Revelation 16:15).
Simply put, we should be steadfastly faithful all of the time so that we are okay with Jesus returning any time.
Live today like it could be tomorrow.
Christians were blessed at the moment of their salvation.
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9).
When faithful Christians pass a mirror, they should see the reflection of a person who is already abundantly blessed! We have been invited to be the honored guest of Jesus at the eternal banquet of heaven. We are invited to the best meal of our entire lives, for every moment of our eternal lives. And with our eternal bodies, we can eat whatever we want! (That last sentence is more my thought than God’s. But, it seems likely.)
Maybe we should “look” at our invitation a little more often. It is printed in gold.
Christians are blessed by keeping our lives clean.
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates” (Revelation 22:14).
We are “washed” by the blood of the lamb. That is, the blood that was shed by Jesus on the cross for the forgiveness of sin. A Christian has forgiveness. We are blessed every time we confess our sins and receive his mercy and cleansing. Christians will live eternally clean, but we can receive his cleansing today as well.
It’s better to seek forgiveness now and arrive in heaven as “clean” as possible.
Are you blessed and ready?
Jesus is coming soon.
He said it, and for most of us, the day will come sooner than we think it should. That’s the point.
If you speak to an older person, they will almost always say, “Time is flying by!” They are genuinely surprised to look in their mirrors and see an older face looking back. I watched that photo montage and some of those pictures were taken decades ago. My mom and dad were sitting together at a picnic, smiling. She told me it seemed like yesterday.
Jesus is coming soon.
If you are living today with that hope, you are living a blessed life. If there are areas of life that could use some “washing,” then go to the fountain now and get cleaned up.
Heaven is real, and heaven is promised to those who have placed their faith in Jesus. My uncle wished he had made that decision earlier in his life. Who do you know that still needs to choose Christ?
Jesus promised you will be blessed by reading the book of Revelation. Let’s do that this week and obey the prophecy that inspires your soul. If we do, we will see the Lamb and the Spirit use us to give the hope of Christ to others.
He is coming soon!