"And if anyone takes words away from this prophetic scroll, God will take from that person any share in the tree of life and holy city, which this scroll describes. He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus' grace be with God's people. Amen." (Revelation 22.19-21) ✞
Revelation is a book of hope, but it comes with a warning, "And if anyone takes words away from this prophetic scroll, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and the holy city." It warns that readers should not tamper with Revelation's manuscript. Anyone who clips out phrases they dislike or adds in a text to suit their views will lose their place at the tree of life. It also indicates that whatever happens on earth, God is in control. It promises that evil will not last forever, and it depicts the beautiful rewards awaiting those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. "Pray Come Lord" is a liturgical refrain, similar to the Aramaic expression "Maranatha" or "Our Lord, come!" It urges Christ's glorious coming. The Episcopal Common Prayer Book 1979 has a similar Easter refrain, "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again," and this is our prayer today! ✞
Revelation names Jesus the "Alpha, Omega, and the Amen" and the "Beginning and the End." The phrases "Amen" and "Alpha and Omega" embody wholeness and completeness. "Amen" is a declaration in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. It occurs as prayer's end in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worship, meaning "so be it!" "Amen" is also Christ's final word in Revelation. "Alpha and Omega" indicate that Jesus is the first in line and the last word. These are the Greek alphabet's beginning and last letters. Hebrews similarly use "aleph to tau" to indicate start to finish completeness. For instance, Abraham keeps the whole Law from "aleph" to "tau." For Christians, Alpha to Omega is the statement that Jesus completes in himself God's perfect historical plan and required nothing else to complete it. ✞
Jesus includes in himself all time, for he is the "first and the last." He is the author of all things. An old saying states, "Since God is the beginning, he receives his power from no one. Since he is the middle, he shares his power with no one. Since he is the end, he hands over his power to no one." Jesus is himself that eternal one. ✞
'Yes, I am coming soon,' says the Lord Jesus Christ. 'Amen, pray come Lord.' Jesus is "the end" because no one comes after him. As the Co-Creator, Jesus existed long before David. As a human, however, he is one of David's direct descendants. "Come, Lord Jesus," is the final appeal to Jesus and John of Patmos' last statement. We may not know the day or the hour, but Jesus is "coming soon" and unexpectedly. The word "Soon" indicates "at any moment," and we must be ready for him, always prepared for his return. If Jesus suddenly appears, would it catch us off guard? In a world of problems and evil, Christ calls us to endure in our faith. Our efforts to better our world are essential, but their results cannot compare with Jesus' transformation when he returns. He alone controls human history, forgives sin, re-creates the earth, and brings lasting peace forever. Alleluia! ✞
I love the words of the song "I have fixed my mind (on another time)" sung by Reggie Smith.
"When shall the Son of Man appear. The trumpet sound its blast.
And Christ descend in glorious fire. With all the saints amassed.
We'll rise with those. Who sleep no more. To meet Him in the air.
When shall the Son of Man appear,
The Son of Man appear."
Credits Writer(s): David Huntsinger
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