Title: I’LL BE SEEING YOU SOON!
Text: Revelation 22:1-21
For all of us who have been washed by the precious blood of Jesus, there is a longing in our heart to go home…to finally meet face-to-face Him who left the splendor of what we hope to attain…Heaven. In our previous study we struggled to grasp in our mind’s visual what John described. It was majesty beyond anything he had ever seen, and he only had the familiar words of something he knew in far less grandeur to describe what the Lord revealed to him.
In our previous lesson we were given a description of the New Jerusalem from the outside. As we enter our final chapter of this awesome book, we are given a glimpse inside. There are some resemblances to the Garden of Eden before sin corrupted it. In the Garden there were four rivers, but in the Holy City there is only one; in Eden there was the only one tree of life, but in Heaven there are two; in man’s first habitat man was forbidden to eat of that tree, but in our final habitat we will get to eat from it all 12 months; in the Garden sin resulted in a curse, but in New Jerusalem the curse will be eternally lifted; in man’s first home he only heard the voice of God speaking, but in our final home we will get to gaze upon the face of God as He speaks to each of us. Read Text.
1. The purity of the water in a river depends upon its source. Inside the Holy City, where does John describe the source of its only river, and how pure is it? Together, what does the river of life and the tree of life symbolize? (Abundant life in Heaven.)
Insight: Its no wonder this river is crystal clear, symbolizing purity…because it’s comes from Him who is the definition of Purity. There is no unclean thing in Him at all. Its waters make the people of God glad, because it springs flow with a crystal cleanness that cannot be defiled. Notice how Ezekiel describes this river. Ezek. 47:1-2, 6-12
2. What special things do you notice about the tree of life?
Insight: No matter which side of the street you live on…no matter when you walk up to harvest its fruit…no matter what prejudices you had on earth of other nations…you can eat either fruit or leaves and it will bring healing to your soul. I wish every city in the world had one of these trees at the center of it.
3. Ever since the first Adam, every man, woman and child has felt the sting of our sin-like nature that came from the curse when man was banished from the Garden. There should be a shout of praise from all of us when we read verse 3, “and there shall no longer be any curse.” How many things have enslaved you and kept you from being what you want to be for the Lord? slavery to lust, lying, deceiving, over eating, drunkenness, over spending, and on and on? Notice how the Old Testament ends: Mal. 4:6 Can you imagine what it will be like to no longer be under the curse?
4. In the next couple of verses of our text we are given an indication of what we will do for all eternity. What is it? (v. 3 serve God, v. 5 reign with Him)
Insight: As we serve God now, we are frustrated because our service is handicapped by sin and weakness. But the day of glory is coming when all hindrances will be gone. Just think of it…perfect service in a perfect environment! Hallelujah! Heb. 11:13-16; 12:1-2
5. Contrast these verses: Ex. 33:20, 23; John 1:18 with these verses: Rev. 22:4; Job 33:26; Isa. 40:5; Matt. 5:8; Jn. 17:24; 1 Jn. 3:2
6. What is there about the night that makes struggles all the worse? (You’re all alone; you can’t find any rest, fear of the unknown.) What is special about Heaven in verse 5?
Insight: The long nights are banished there…we won’t even stumble through the darkness to search for a light. But its not just the surroundings of Heaven that are illuminated by God’s light…did you notice the target of God’s life-giving rays? It’s YOU! “Because the Lord God shall illumine them.”
7. How do you answer the heckling of those who mock the Lord’s return – even referring to Rev. 22:6, “these things must shortly take place,” and saying the Bible must be wrong?
Insight: The Apostles lived with the expectation that Jesus was going to return at any time – so must we. Here is how you answer them: 2 Pet. 3:3-15.
8. When the Lord finally does appear, it will be very quick. What’s the key phrase in verse 7 to insure you will be ready when He does come? (“He who heeds (keeps) these words of Mine”)
Insight: Keeping these words means more than just saying we believe them. There is power in these words that must influence and shape our daily walk. Matt. 7:21, 24-25
How many times in this chapter does Jesus warn that He is coming quickly? (3)
Insight: Grace has delayed the fulfillment of the prophesy, but the time will come when He is to appear, and when He does, it will be in a flash and there will be no time to repent and turn to Him. Rev. 3:11
9. Why do you think John fell at the angel’s feet and tried to worship him? (He must have been overwhelmed by what he saw and heard.) Why do you think he was instructed not to seal up this book? (Because it is a revelation, an unveiling, and God wants His servants to be aware of how things are going to go down at the end so we will be ready and tell others that God’s judgment of the earth is to surely come.) Rev. 1:1, 3
10. Now for the hardest verse in all the Book of Revelation. Does verse 11 suggest that God does not want men to repent and change their ways? What does this verse mean? (No, because that would be contrary to the rest of the Gospel. 2 Pet. 3:9 Rev. 20:11 must be understood in light of the verses that surround it. Notice the repeated statement, “Behold I come quickly”; notice the statement, “for the time is at hand.” Jesus’ coming will occur so quickly that men will not have time to change their character.)
Insight: Our decision of how we live determines our character, and our character determines our destiny. If you heed the words of this prophecy, you will continue to do good. If you do not heed these words, you will continue to do evil. And thus Jesus will come quickly and render to every man according to what he has done. Unbelievers might ask suffering believers, “Is it worth it to live a Christian life?” Jesus’ encouragement in verse 12 is, “Yes! I’m coming quickly and my reward is with Me!”
1 Cor. 15:58; 1 Jn. 3:3
11. John writes that we are blessed if we have our robes washed. What is the only way you can have your spiritual robes washed? Titus 3:5-7 Notice the contrast in verse 15 of who is on the outside because they didn’t keep their robes clean.
12. In verse 16 Jesus states He is both the root of David and the bright morning star. There’s a wonderful picture here. Where is a root found? (Humbly in the ground; He is the stability of our lives.) Where are stars found? (Above our heads; it is His majesty that lifts our head up to see His glory.)
Insight: Jesus is both the root and the offspring of David because He brought David into existence, showing His deity; and He came from the line of David, showing His humanity.
The bright morning star is the last star to fade away before the sun appears. Jesus came and brought light to our darkened souls, and now His light shines in our heart until the final dawn when the SON appears again…but this time with a greater glory! Keep your spiritual eyes looking to the east, waiting for His coming. And keep your ears listening…listening for the tender words you have longed to hear, “Come!”
We live with expectation of Jesus’ return, but out of gratitude for what He has done for us, we live a life of service – telling others about the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world. A true understanding of Biblical prophecy should motivate us to obey God’s Word and to share Jesus’ invitation with a lost world. It’s only when you have responded to that invitation to “come” that you can echo, “Amen! Even so, come Lord Jesus!” Don’t be one who delays the invitation, saying, “Wait Jesus, don’t come, I’m not ready!”