He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)
He Is Coming Quickly
Two thousand years have passed since John the apostle penned the Revelation as he languished in exile on an island called Patmos. His testimony of the revelation given to him by the Lord is a stirring message of hope, victory and overcoming. The early saints were suffering incredible hardships under the iron hand of persecution. Throughout the Revelation Jesus seeks to assure the faithful that they are not forgotten and the Lord is coming to take vengeance on all those who oppose Him. John declares from the beginning of the book the events described would take place shortly. There is urgency in the message sprinkled with the eternal hope that Heaven is worth all the suffering this side of eternity. Hope rests in the knowledge that God has not forgotten His people and the Lord will show His power and glory to all men and especially to the institutions that try to destroy His holy church. As the letter to the seven churches comes to a close, Jesus tells John that He is coming quickly and repeats this four times in the final sentences. The things written by John would shortly take place and Jesus declares that He is coming quickly. Those who keep the words of the message will be blessed. When John falls down before the angel Jesus again reiterates that He is coming quickly and His reward is with Him to give to every one according to his work. Jesus declares Himself to be the Alpha and the Omega symbolizing the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet “indicating God’s fullness and completeness, His all-inclusiveness” (Hailey). He is the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Those who will be blessed are those who do His commandments. The final words of the Revelation declare the glory of Christ as He says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” And He has and He will.
Reading the final words of the Revelation it would seem that Jesus has not come quickly since two thousand years have passed. The message of His coming has a two-fold purpose. Repeatedly in the Revelation God tells His saints the events will take place shortly and they did. The early saints needed to know they were not forgotten as they cried out from under the altar, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” His judgment against those who persecuted the church was vindication for the injustice committed against righteous people. The declaration of His coming still rings true as the Lord will return one day and take vengeance on those who do not know God and that do not obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. His coming is quickly as man does not know when this day will come but His return is certain and eminent. The day of the Lord does not come with warning. Like a thief in the night His coming will be in a moment and the twinkling of an eye. The warning is clear: be ready and be prepared or face the consequences. Throughout the Revelation God demonstrates His power over nations, despots, worldly corruption and religions that do not worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Saints may suffer in this life but His coming will usher them into the paradise of God where there is no pain, no sorrow and no suffering. Life is but a vapor and yet upon this mist of time all eternity hangs upon the balance of those who are faithful unto death and those who are not. If Jesus comes today or waits another two thousand years to be revealed with His holy angels His word is truth. His coming is quick and His wrath is full.
John seems to add urgency to the message. He begs for the Lord to come. In John’s life the Lord came when he passed through the shadow of death and was carried by angels to the bosom of Abraham. Sitting on the island of Patmos it is easy to see in the aged eyes of the apostle of Christ a tired and weary spirit. This man has seen so much in his life from the early days of fishing to when this man from Nazareth called him to follow him. He learned to love Jesus with each passing day and became one of the closest friends of God’s Son. Entrusted with the care of Mary, John became part of the family and he lived up to the words of His Savior as He died on the cross. Throughout the early days of the church John remained faithful. He was warned by the Jewish rulers to stop preaching about Jesus. They imprisoned him, beat him and persecuted him for the greater part of his life but he never lost hope. Finally given a Revelation John saw the incredible things of Heaven spilled forth on the pages of suffering, trials and triumph. Laying aside his pen from writing the words given to him by the angel of the Lord his heart must have nearly burst. With all he had seen and heard all he could say at the end was, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” He died the way he lived; looking for the return of his Lord. On a day some distance from the closing of this book, the aged apostle closed his eyes and saw Jesus face to face. His Lord had come.