Advent Reading – December 17, 2017

Harry Strauss – Encore Pastor

Revelation 22:7

“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”  – Jesus

Jesus manifested himself, by way of a vison, in Revelation 1. In a very real sense, Jesus ‘came’ to John and the seven churches identified in Revelation 2-3. That vision presents us with what has to be one of the most majestic and inspiring pictures we have of Jesus (Revelation 1:12-18). And that ‘manifestation’ or ‘coming’ was not only intended for John, but equally for us, as through John’s vision, we are reminded of the presence of Christ. The purpose of His coming to the seven churches was to encourage and exhort, especially with the anticipated persecution that would come to believers.

Revelation, in part, is a prophetic book that speaks of the coming tribulations, with the accompanying and parallel truth, that Christ is also, always, coming to His people in the ‘now’. But Revelation is more than Christ coming to us in the present moment. It is also a book that draws back the curtain on end times, and allows us to peek into the future, recognizing a final day.

As the vision in Revelation 1 describes Jesus Christ standing among the churches, so the vision of Christ in Revelation 19:11 and following, depicts Christ as a warrior on a white horse, as the coming King. He is identified as the “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16). Our role is to live with the anticipation that Christ could come at any time. Indeed, three times in the last chapter of the Bible, we are reminded by Jesus, “I am coming soon” (Rev 22:7, 12, 20). And intermingled with those reminders, are the exhortations that call for living consistently with that anticipated return. That call for discipleship living is reflected in Rev 22:12, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”  Or also, as stated by Jesus in Matthew 24:41, “Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

“Keeping watch” is more than keeping an eye on the heavens. At its very core, is the sense of living with full engagement, recognizing that Christ could return at any moment. May our Christmas be marked by a certain measure of keeping our eyes on the heavens above.