“God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.”
A little disclaimer…
I’ve been writing on a verse from my daily bible reading every day and I wasn’t aware that I was going to be in Revelations. I had read a book last year that my pastor had recommended and I’ve had an ‘urging’ to read again, but have yet to, so now that I see I will be reading in Revelations, I will pick it up again (“What in the world is going on? 10 Prophetic clues you cannot afford to ignore by David Jeremiah). When I write these devotions, I don’t necessarily have a specific knowledge or background information on the topic beforehand. I just pray beforehand that God would give me the wisdom, knowledge, discernment, reasoning and understanding that I need and that God would guide me to the verse and topic I will write on for these devotions. My purpose is only to bless and encourage others and yet I have been blessed and encouraged in the process, praise God! Without further ado, let’s learn together….
“for the time is near” This is not a reference to a precise historical time, it is an urgent call to the obedience. Obedience, the Hebrew word ‘hupakoe’, from ‘hupo’ means ‘under’ and ‘akouo’ means ‘to hear’. The word signifies attentive hearing, to listen with compliant submission, assent, and agreement. It is used for obedience in general, for obedience to God’s commands, and for Christ’s obedience. So we are to continue to follow Christ’s commands to us, until the day of HIS return.
“But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6
Jesus revealed to John, “Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.” Revelation 16:15 Jesus said to the disciples about the second coming, “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!” Mark 13:32-33 NLT
We are to be prepared, not spend our time calculating the time for HIS return. Jesus himself said that HE did not know the time, if we knew the time of HIS return, how many people would live their lives however they wanted to, then repent the day before, it seems there would be a lot of selfishness occuring instead of selflessness. The main point I’m getting here, is that we are not to try and figure out a day of the Lord’s coming, The writings of Revelation are not written in chronological order of events to happen, but in chronological order of the visions John had. This does not mean that we won’t see the events leading up to, just know that the events leading up to could still be a hundred years before the Second Coming.
“Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief”. Revelation 3:3
We are to continue following Jesus commands to love one another and to spread the Good news, to share our testimony and win as many people to Christ.
Jesus gave many parables as to what HIS second coming would be like, all of them show that we need to be prepared because we don’t know when HE will return. “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. 37 The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! 38 He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.39 “Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”
Jesus told the disciples, “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. 35 You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. 36 Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. 37 I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!” Mark 13:34-37
Preparedness is the theme, not merely waiting.
Again Jesus told his disciples, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 27 In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building—29 until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day a person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return home. 32 Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! 33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. 34 That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.” Luke 17:28-35 NLT
When the Lord returns, life will be ‘as usual’, we need to be prepared for HIS return by continuing the works HE commissioned for us. We will not know the date or time when Jesus returns, but yet we are to fully prepared, not as in packed and ready to go, but as in our hearts prepared. We are to be vigilant and ready for that day, we are to watch for the signs and events, BUT watching the events and signs should ONLY put urgency in us to win lost souls for the Lord and for ourselves to be spiritually prepared for the events to come, “for the time is near”.