“saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.””
Revelation 1:11 NKJV
“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”
Revelation 1:17-20 NKJV
You’ve got mail!
Every time I begin reading through the Book of Revelation, I find myself wondering if I will have the opportunity to finish, or will the Lord bring a sudden end to my study, as I am taken away to be with Him. I am feeling a strong immanency this year, as the confluence of events in our world seems to be signaling the soon commencement of the end of days.
Jesus is about to reveal what God has given Him from the Father, and He has seven letters for seven churches in Asia. Historically, there are those who teach that the seven letters are eras in the church history, others reach that the letters to come are to types of churches today.
I have found that the word of God is threefold, as it reveals universal truth, timeless and applicable always; relevant truth, applicable to these present times, and useful by way of application, and intimate or personal truth, spiritually relevant to the life of the individual follower of Jesus.
I see all of these things in the letters to the churches.
When John first sees Jesus in glory, he falls down as though dead, overwhelmed at the sight of his friend and Lord. This Jesus he is seeing is nothing like the old friend he watched ascend into Heaven.
Do not be afraid.
I believe we are seeing the unfolding of events to come, as the first signs of the unraveling send ripples through the fabric of the our lives. Our world is becoming unstable, and uncertainty is reigning supreme. Like John, it is easy to find ourselves overwhelmed by all that is happening. But those of us who have been forgiven, and believe know that we can have confidence in Jesus, for He is the beginning of all things and the end.
““I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.””
Revelation 1:8 NKJV
We do not know where we are in the process. Perhaps we are waiting for the rapture, soon to be taken away, perhaps we are gearing up for tribulation, as the church is purified by fire and blood. Or perhaps we are in it right now, in the midst of the time before the wrath of he harlot, and the coming of the Antichrist. Perhaps eschatology is like being a frog in a big cold, pot of water on low heat. Only now are we are seeing the ripples of heat rise from the bottom, signaling that the boiling is coming soon.
Do not be afraid.
I am sure that John, upon the familiar touch of Jesus, was reminded of the surety he had in ministry as he walked with his friend, and now Lord.
Brothers and sisters, let us be not afraid as we are seeing so many unprecedented things happening in our world. These are but birth pangs. Let us be excited and not filled with dread, let us be encouraged to go out and share the Gospel, and not frozen in fear. Let us avoid running about to and fro, looking for natural answers to supernatural problems.
Let us be about the Father’s business, serving Him fearlessly, as if we have a day or a thousand years. I think of Paul at the end of his life, urging Timothy to press on. He did not let the circumstances he lived in stop him. He fought the good fight, and finished the race.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
II Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV
Time is being poured out, like the last grains in an hourglass.
Let us press on, seeking that crown of righteousness, seeking God daily. We have the confidence in knowing that we know the end of the story. We know that Jesus is coming again, and those who are in Christ, have a destiny in Heaven.
We have the promises held in the Love Letter, the Bible that He has left for us. Like a lover reading over the communication of a mate in a far off land, let’s spend time poring over what He has written. May we have peace in that, as we breath in the fragrance of His grace.
““And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.””
Revelation 22:12-13 NKJV
““I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
Revelation 22:16-17 NKJV
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