Summary: The Return of the Lord Jesus!
Our text this evening is to be found in the 22nd chapter of Revelation, and verse 17; “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”
How is the World going to end? Now, that is a subject that you will often find people discussing these days as we approach the end of this second millennium. For instance, there was a considerable amount of media attention last weekend, because of a prediction made by Michel de Nostradamus, the sixteenth century French physician and astrologer. He had stated in his book ‘Centuries’, that the world would end on Sunday, July 4th 1999. BBC2 even ran a ‘end of the world’ series of programmes all Saturday evening devoted to Nostradamus and his visions!
Filmmakers have also exploited this interest in the end of the world by making films about meteors destroying the earth. Moreover, I believe that the reason for this explosion of interest is that many people today are aware of the awful possibilities of this world ending through war or natural disaster.
It wasn’t so long ago as the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain fell that men were waxing lyrical of A NEW WORLD ORDER, where nations lived in peace and harmony with one another.
Yet, in only a few short years, this dream has been shattered. War and unrest, famine and disasters are still with us, caused by the selfishness of man.
Everywhere you find people voicing their opinions as to what they think we should to avoid such catastrophes. However, you cannot help but notice that in all these discussions, there is hardly any reference to what the Bible has to say about the end of the world.
The book of Revelation that our text comes from has a great deal of information for us with regard to this subject. We are told in the Bible that when the world ends there will be the return of our Lord, followed by the Resurrection of the Dead, followed by the Final Judgement. There will be a folding of the heavens and the Earth will melt in a fierce fire.
We are told many, many things about the end of the World in the scripture, but this evening I want to consider with you in particular to this last chapter of Revelation. This is very relevant chapter for us to look at because we are told by the Lord Jesus Himself certain things about the end of the world. Indeed, that is the theme of the chapter. We find Jesus Christ declaring either directly to John or through the angel that He is going to come quickly. I am sure you all noticed that more than once during our reading.
We have it in verse 12, “Behold, I am come quickly!” (Revelation 22:12). Here is the Lord Jesus Christ who is speaking. He is making a declaration with regard to the end of time, that he will come – “My reward is with me, to give every man as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Revelation 22:12 & 13). Here we have this glorious picture of the mighty Lord Jesus Christ on the verge of coming again to this world.
Not arriving as he did in His first coming, humbly in a stable, but rather coming with glory and honour upon the clouds of the heavens. What we have before us in our text is the response, to begin with, of certain individuals and people to this great declaration. That is the context of our text tonight.
“And the Spirit and the Bride say, COME!” The Spirit is the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus Christ says, “I come quickly.” The response of the Holy Spirit is to say, “COME”, because it will be a wonderful day, when you complete your Kingdom and bring your people together, “COME!”
“And the bride says, come!” Now, the Bride is a picture of the Church, here on earth. The Church that has endured much suffering and persecution. Also, here is this Church confronted with the prophecy that JESUS is going to come again. You can imagine the hearts and souls of Christians crying out “COME LORD JESUS” come and bring our troubles to an end and lead us into heaven.
“And let him that heareth say, Come.” You know, there are people who read this book of Revelation, who are delighted by what they read concerning this wonderful promise of the Lord Jesus returning to take them up to heaven. These people are so excited by it, so they too cry out, “COME!”
Now that is the context of our text tonight. Then in the middle of verse 17 there’s a break.