The Return of the King

Christ Covenant Church
Jon Marq Toombs
11 June 2017
Revelation 22:7-16, 18-21
Trinity Sunday

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Sermon — The Return of the King  – Revelation 22:7-16, 18-21 

“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” 10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” 12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” … 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Briefly Recap Series

Proclamation vss 7, 12, 20

And behold, I am coming soon.

Behold, I am coming soon.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” 

Soon = taxushortly, i.e. without delay, soon, or (by surprise) suddenly, or (by implication, of ease) readily. quickly, speedily (without delay)

So what is taking him so long?

A couple of weeks ago we saw that time is relative to God : 1000 years is like 1 day (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8).

From that point of view, it’s only been like “2 days” since the Lord made the promise “I am coming soon.” Soon to the Lord seems later to us.

The real question is not when, but who? Who is coming soon, quickly, suddenly?

The answer is Jesus.

Revelation vs 13, 16

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. 

Jesus is the I Am that I Am — the eternal one; the source, the means, and the end of all things, from whom, through who, and to whom is everything.

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches.

Jesus is the savior of the people. His name means the Lord saves. He is the true and better Joshua who leads his people out of the wasteland of the old creation into the promise land of the new creation — the new heavens and earth, the new Eden, the new city, the new temple.

I am the root and the descendant of David.

Jesus is the true and better David, the origin and descendent of the royal line of kings. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. As the prophets said,

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins. (Isaiah 11:1-5)

And as the psalmist sang,

The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
The Lord sends forth from Zion
your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your enemies! (Psalm 110:1-2

Jesus is the bright morning star — the ruler whom even the (false) prophets foresaw arising from Israel to conquer the nations. Balaam said,

I see him, but not now;
    I behold him, but not near:
a star shall come out of Jacob,
    and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;
it shall crush the forehead of Moab
    and break down all the sons of Sheth.
Edom shall be dispossessed;
    Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed.
    Israel is doing valiantly.
And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion
    and destroy the survivors of cities! (Num. 24:17-19)

Taken together, this means that Jesus is the “all powerful one” — the Sovereign Lord and Majestic Savior. When he speaks, we must listen. Whatever he wishes is our command.

Exhortation vss 7, 9, 11, 14, 18, 19  

Response: What must we do to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ coming?

We are not doomsday preppers. So there is no need to stock pile water, beef jerky, and ammo in a secret bunker. All we must do is obey the words of Jesus Christ:

Watch / keep the words of the prophecy of this book = I warn (lit. witness / testify) everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 

This is an echo of God’s Covenant Treaty with his people in the Book of Deuteronomy.

“And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.” (Deut. 4:1-2)

Worship God = God is seeking worshippers who worship him in spirit and truth. Make every effort to gather with Christ’s church in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. Flee the counterfeit gods of money, sex, and power, and the corrup idols of politics, sports, and religion. Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. 

Wash your robes = If you have not yet been baptized, get baptized. If you have not repented your particular sins — especially your private sins — repent. If you do not put God’s word into practice, change your habits. If you do not pursue holiness, pursue it. If you’re afraid to endure hardships for the faith, ask for courage. If you’re ashamed of the gospel, or Christ, or his church, shame on you — clean up that mess.       

Wash away your superstitions and sexual immoralities, wash away your life-taking and lie-telling, wash your robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. If you are one of God’s sheep, don’t act like one of the devil’s dogs. 

If you have not yet put your trust in the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, do so now, without delay — and though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. 

Finally,

Welcome Jesus = add your voice to the prayers of those who say, “Come, Lord Jesus!” Welcome him with open arms and an open heart.

Now, why must we do all these things to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ coming?

Wages = Because Jesus is the judge of the living and the dead = bringing his recompense (Gk. misthos, “wages, reward”) with him, to repay each one for what he has done. 

When Jesus comes he will give to each one of us according to what we have done, not as a community, but as individual people. Jesus is coming to judge everyone rightly, justly, and fairly. He will reward each and every faithful servant according to what they have done, and he will punish each and every unfaithful sinner according to what they have done.  = not all rewards are equal; not all punishments are equal.

Benediction vss 7, 14, 21

Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book

Blessed are those who wash their robes

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen

The grace of Christ is the highest good and greatest blessing anyone can receive. The vision of Jesus’ second coming often stirs fear and loathing in people, but it should stir emotions of faith and love in all those who trust in him.

For them the day and hour of his coming will not be a time of terror and dread, but a time of delight and transformation.

The book closes the way it opened.

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.

Pastoral Prayer — The Valley of Vision / Second Coming


For Further Reflection: https://christcovenantc.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/the-return-of-the-king-reprise/

 

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