NO MORE CHANGE – Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:11-15)
Continue On – Those who do wrong and are vile are told to continue to do so, and those who do right and are holy are told to continue to do so. These exhortations have puzzled some, as they appear to encourage people to remain in their wicked state. This clearly cannot be the case. As John and Jesus point out, the time of the Lord’s return is near. If people do not heed this final prophecy from the Lord and turn from their wicked ways they will enter eternity a fallen creature. Afterwards, no change in a person’s conduct or destiny will ever again be possible.[i]
This is not an arbitrary (it follows from God’s righteous character) or a capricious (He has long delayed not willing that any should perish) judgment. It is the natural law of causality (cause and effect). One that mankind has been forewarned about and for which God has provided a remedy. No worse punishment can God lay on ungodly men than to leave them to themselves (continue to be…).
The solemn lesson is for sinful man to be converted now in what may be the brief time that is left (Revelation 22:10) before “I come” (Revelation 22:7, 12). Otherwise, he must remain unconverted forever. Sin in the eternal world will be left to its own natural consequences.[ii] Those who ignore the warnings will be left outside (outer darkness) the gates of God’s presence.[iii] The final judgments of both the wicked (rejected God’s grace) and the righteous (accepted God’s grace) will be judgments of works (“according to what he has done”). This is the joyous expectation of those who are faithful (those who wash their robes) and the fear of those who have not been faithful (everyone who loves and practices [all that is evil]).[iv]
Alpha and Omega – Once again Christ is described as the Alpha and the Omega (first and last letters of the Greek alphabet). He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Christ is before all Creation and He will continue to exist after the present creation is destroyed. He is, always has been and always will be the Eternal One (Revelation 1:4, 8, 17; 2:8; 21:6).[v]
Up Next – Final Words.
[i] Walvoord, J. F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 988–989). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[ii] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 604). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[iii] Dockery, D. S., Butler, T. C., Church, C. L., Scott, L. L., Ellis Smith, M. A., White, J. E., & Holman Bible Publishers (Nashville, T. . (1992). Holman Bible Handbook (p. 804). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
[iv] Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 989). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[v] Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 989). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.