God’s final Word – Chapter 22, verses 13 through 21

God’s final Word – God’s last invitation

The following comes through the notes of Mark Ramsey and the responses of the class.

  1. The promised Savior of the world

    In these concluding verses, the Bible comes full circle. It opened with the promise of a coming Savior who would redeem His people from their sins.

    And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 NIV)

    Now, the Bible ends with the promise of His second coming. It is only fitting that the book, whose focus is on the second coming, ends with a final invitation in anticipation of that glorious reality. It is an urgent invitation pleading with sinners to come to Jesus Christ and receive the free gift of eternal life before it is forever too late.

    Do you feel the urgency to offer such an invitation?

    One class member responded with a tale of her grandchildren and their reluctance to accept Bible stories now that her daughter seems less accepting of what she was brought up to believe.

    Another class member spoke of feeling the urgency to share the gospel with his neighbors. That neighbor had rejected those overtures for years. Now both were open to the news.

  2. The Person of Christ — Revelation 22:13

    I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (Revelation 22:13 NIV)

    As Jesus identifies Himself, His identity expresses Christ’s infinity, eternity and boundless life transcending all limitations. He is the source of all that is true, from beginning to end. It is also a statement of His deity as there can only be one Alpha and Omega, first and last and beginning and end — God. He is God the Son, the second Person of the eternal Trinity.

  3. The exclusivity of heaven — Revelation 22:14-15

    “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 22:14‭-‬15 NIV)

    This section begins with the last of the 7 beatitudes in Revelation. “Blessed are those who wash their robes” graphically portrays the believers’ participation in the death of Christ.

    I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:14 NIV)

    Those who have experienced the washing from sin that marks salvation will forever have the right to the tree of life. The tree of life is located in the New Jerusalem and this will be a fulfillment of Jesus’ promise:

    Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7 NIV)

    Heaven is exclusively for those who have been cleansed from their sins by faith in the blood of Jesus and whose names have been written in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

    All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. (Revelation 13:8 NIV)

    In contrast, everyone else will remain forever outside the New Jerusalem in the lake of fire.

    Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27 NIV)

    The inclusion of “dogs” is included because dogs were despised scavengers that milled about the cities’ garbage dumps. To call a person a dog was to describe that person as someone of low character. In fact, the first time blatantly impure sinners are called dogs is in Deuternonmy 23:18 referring to male homosexual prostitutes.

    You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male prostitute into the house of the Lord your God to pay any vow, because the Lord your God detests them both. (Deuteronomy 23:18 NIV)

    All those described as excluded are not everyone who have ever committed any of these sins but those who love and habitually practice any such sin, stubbornly clinging to it and refusing Christ’s invitation to salvation.

  4. The truth of the book of Revelation — Revelation 22:16

    “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16 NIV)

    The expression, “I, Jesus” appears only here in the Bible. This verse testifies to the truth of the whole book of Revelation. Like a king affixing a royal seal to an official document, Jesus ties His reputation as Son of David and Son of God to the prophecies of the book. The words of the book are faithful and true because they were given by the One who is altogether faithful and true.

    In His deity, Christ is David’s root, and in His humanity, He is David’s descendant.

    “The bright morning star” – Jesus promised the overcomers of Thyatira the “morning star” that is, Himself.

  5. Two invitations — Revelation 22:17

    The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17 NIV)

    The last 5 verses in the book of Revelation represent the last God-breathed words we have before the return of Christ. Let that sink in.

    First, God continually speaks an invitation to all who are thirsty – “Come!” Only Christ can quench the deepest needs and necessities of the heart. In fact, the entire book of Revelation can be considered as a long invitation to separate ourselves from the pollution and wickedness of the world and to join God’s eternal banquet. The Lord’s ultimate reason for revealing future events is to draw people to Himself.

    Note the first invitation is for Jesus Christ to come back to earth. And notice that the Holy Spirit and the Church, the bride of Christ, long for His soon return. That is the desire of every true believer.

    The second invitation is for whoever will take the water of life – that is, the salvation offered to all in Jesus Christ. He said that whoever will drink this water will never thirst again.

    but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14 NIV)

    Revelation 22:17 is God’s final invitation in the Bible.

  6. A stern warning — Revelation 22:18-19

    I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. (Revelation 22:18‭-‬19 NIV)

    How do people add to the book of Revelation? (Predicting the date of Christ’s return; adding ways to salvation, etc.) How do people take away the words of Revelation? (We have this new progressive understanding – everything in this book has already happened – this is history, not prophecy.)

    Consider these ways of altering God’s Word: Disobeying the clear commands of Scripture; intentionally ignoring what is written; purposely twisting the true meaning of God’s word to accommodate our opinions and adding other commands or traditions or texts as authoritative truths.

  7. The benediction — Revelation 22:20-21

    I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. (Revelation 22:18‭-‬19 NIV)

    Jesus says He is coming quickly – no promise could offer more hope.

    John adds “Amen” – “So be it!” Then John adds a personal prayer: “Come Lord Jesus!”

    Is that your prayer? Are you ready for the return of the Lord Jesus? Fittingly, the last words of the Bible – “the grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen,” is an expression of God’s grace toward fallen humanity and a desire that all will accept His free gift of salvation.


3 thoughts on “God’s final Word – Chapter 22, verses 13 through 21

    1. It did.

      Additionally, I took my son back to Dallas (since his car was not in a shape where having him drive himself to and from Dallas wouldn’t result in a call concerning a break-down) on the day after Christmas. Since we started at about 5:30 a.m., there was scant traffic at the beginning.

      However, when I started back, I started hearing all about those unlucky folk dealing with Southwest. Additionally, about 3 hours into the drive back to Houston, there must have been a wave of people who decided to drive to Houston (since traffic slowed from the normal 75 mph to about 40).

      Further, it must have gotten really fun for a few of them (since everything came to a stop for about two hours). I’m assuming that someone bumped into the others.

      Liked by 1 person

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