No More Darkness, Death, Doubt or Delay

NO MORE DARKNESSThere will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. (Revelation 22:5a)

This image that the Glory of God is the source of the city’s light, rather than the sun or moon, is taken directly from Isaiah 60:19–20 (see also Isaiah 24:23 and 30:26). Many Jewish teachers stressed that
God’s light would fill the world to come.(1) These texts suggest that while there may still be a sun and a moon (made new), their light is overwhelmed by the glory of God. This is somewhat analogous to the way that the brilliance of our sun’s light makes it impossible for us to see the lights of the stars that lie beyond. There was light from the Lord before the creation of the various light sources of the universe (Genesis 1:3, 14–15), so there will be no need for other sources of light in the New Jerusalem.(2)

NO MORE DEATHAnd they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:5b)

The saints will reign with Christ with a glory that will likely transcend what was experienced in their reign over the Millennial nations described in Revelation 20:4, 6. That reign was but for a limited time (a thousand years). This final reign will be “forever and ever.”(3) On the day that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, death entered the world. Now death is conquered, and the fruit of the Tree of Life is freely available.

NO MORE DOUBT – “The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 22:6a)

This is the third time that “these words are trustworthy and true” (or similar words) have been spoken to John (Revelation 19:9 and 21:5). In this world, we are sometimes slow or hesitant to believe that God is as good as He is. In a fallen world, what seems too good to be true usually is not true especially when the promise or prophecy seems to take too long to be kept or fulfilled. But these are not the dreams of an idle visionary, but the realities spoken from the throne of God to the disciple He loved and that are ratified by Christ Himself.(4)

NO MORE DELAY – “The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” (Revelation 22:6b-7)

Jesus promised to come quickly. Yet it has been almost two millennia since He made that promise. John prayed for Jesus to come soon. So, what is taking Him so long? The amazing patience of the Lord toward the unbelieving world (2 Peter 3:9) is responsible for Jesus’ delay and John’s unanswered prayer.(5) Three times in these closing paragraphs of Revelation, the promise is made, “Behold, I am coming soon.” While eternity may seem far off to us now, the return of Jesus and the events foretold in Revelation still have a certain urgency and immediacy to them.(6) The word soon in Revelation 22:6 means they will quickly come to pass once they begin. The Church has expected Christ to return ever since the days of the Apostles, and He has not yet come. But when John’s prophecies begin to be fulfilled, they will happen very quickly (increase in frequency and intensity – birth pains). There will be no more delay.(7)Soon” could be tomorrow! There is nothing that must happen before the events we have read of in Revelation may begin to unfold. Some may already be unfolding. These paragraphs also make it clear that we are to learn to live with this sense of immediacy and urgency.

John also reports, “Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”(8) But what does “keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” mean? What role could we possibly have? To keep means to guard it, watch over it, and to preserve it intact. We must not add to, take from, or misrepresent the Word of God (see Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5–6). And this responsibility is especially great considering Christ’s imminent return.(9) 

Up Next – No more mystery.

_______________________

References

  1. Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Re 21:23). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  2. Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 1916). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  3. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 603). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  4. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 603). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  5. Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 1918). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  6. Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher’s commentary (p. 1089). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  7. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 624). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  8. Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher’s commentary (p. 1089). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  9. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 624). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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