Saturday, November 19, 2005

Revelation 22:14-21

Here they are, the final verses of the Book of Revelation -- the epilogue.

John's final words in the Book of Revelation include blessings, an invitation, a harsh warning against altering the Word of God, and testimony that Jesus has sent this message. John then closes with a prayer and a benediction.

His blessing is for those who have been saved, that, through Jesus, they may enter eternal life. He invites all who hear, all who thirst for the water of life, to take it as a gift.

You probably know someone who's turned down God's invitation for salvation through Jesus. I know several. Some are even good friends of mine. One such friend is currently in the hospital. He is 76 years old, and his health is rapidly deteriorating. He fought in the Korean war and sustained physically deforming injuries. He is genetically susceptible to aneurysms and to strokes. He has lost most of the use of his legs. His wife of many years died of cancer a few years ago, though he has remarried. Two of his three daughters are estranged from him. He has suffered much, and he is cynical. His only hope? That he will not be placed in a nursing home. That makes me sad.

There are many others who, for varying reasons, decline to accept salvation, who decline to accept Jesus. We must find a way, in this culture of abundance and materialism and temptation, to share with them the encouragement and hope that John gives us in the book of Revelation. We must tell them, we must show them, we must spread the message that it is God who is in control. He is in control of timeless, limitless history that is and is to come. All we have to do is trust in Him and believe that, in the end, good will triumph. In this world filled with turmoil and confusion, we must encourage others to place their hope and trust in God and to ask for His grace. And we must encourage them to accept His offer of salvation. Then, we can all "...enter the city by the gates" into life everlasting with God.

It is fitting to close with John's own prayer and benediction: "...Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen." (20:20-21)

Martha Olson

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