As we come to the end of the series on the Book of Revelation it is helpful to recall the historical perspective that lies behind this wonderful book. This is summed up by Paul Barnett in his commentary Revelation: Apocalypse Now and Then at page 153:
Revelation leaves us in no doubt: the great end-time battle of God does not lie in the future but in the past. By his death and resurrection Christ has conquered the twin evils of guilt and death. As a consequence, God’s kingdom is now, a present reality. These are perhaps the most important keys to the mysteries of this book.
As for the evils that the original Christians (and Christians ever since) were facing, Barnett reminds us:
The book repeatedly portrays God as not the source of evil. In his mercy he limits the extent of satanic destruction to provide rebellious humanity with the opportunity to repent of the worship of demons and idols, and their breaking of his commandments (9:2). In the face of this evil, Christians are continually called on to display patience and faithfulness to Jesus. And it is by endurance and faith that believers share in the completed conquest of the Lamb who was slain.
So what is there left for us before we become fully glorified in the presence of the Lord as depicted under the imagery of the new Jerusalem and the bride adorned for her husband?
The answer of course is the second coming of Jesus to bring this age to a close and to bring about the fulfillment of his ultimate plan for his people.
That is what chapter 22:6 is all about.
QUESTION ONE: Rev. 22:7 quotes Jesus as saying, ‘Behold, I am coming soon’. Given that 2,000 years have passed, how would you explain the meaning of the word ‘soon’?
QUESTION TWO: From your knowledge of the New Testament, what do you know about its teaching about the return of Jesus?
QUESTION THREE: How are we meant to prepare for his coming?
QUESTION FOUR: The book of the Revelation ends with a prayer, ‘… Amen, come Lord Jesus.’ It is rare for such a prayer to be heard in worship services today and it is probably rare for it to be uttered in the private prayers of most believers. Why is this so and how can we change our thinking to follow the example of this verse in beseeching Jesus to come quickly?