These are the last words of Jesus in the book of Revelation. In our day with so much uncertainty due to Ebola, Covid, wars everywhere, and financial crises, the thoughts of many are turning to the last days and the book of Revelation. Will Jesus be coming soon?
Ann Graham Lotz, Billy Graham’s daughter, has suggested the coronavirus might be a sign of the end times and stressed the importance of making “sure we are right with God so that we are ready to meet Him whenever the time comes.” Max Lucado told The Christian Post that the coronavirus “could be” a sign of the end times and encouraged Christians to “keep our Bibles and hearts open” more than ever before.
Revelation is like a drama in which we are taken behind the scenes of our present world, to get a glimpse of what God is doing. Here are a few suggestions of what he might be saying to us, based on the book that claims to be, “the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him [John] to show his servants what must soon take place” (Rev. 1:1).
First, Jesus is the beginning and the end. “”Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead. and behold I am alive for ever and ever. And I hold the keys of death and hades” (Rev 1:18). Then again in Rev. 22:12-13, “Behold, I am coming soon!….I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the End.” The time line of history is securely in the hands of Jesus. He is sovereign over all that is happening: from the first to the last.
Second, something all new is coming! The old will pass away. We are looking for something much better. So don’t lose hope. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea…. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:3).
Third, the best is yet to come. It will be better than the Garden of Eden. “And the angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, coursing down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. Its leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will anything be cursed. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there – no need or lamps or sun – for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever” (Rev. 22:1-5 NLT).
Fourth, we are told to be patient and endure. Men, we will get through these tough times. The best is yet to come. “Let this encourage God’s holy people to endure persecution patiently and remain firm to the end, obeying his commands and trusting Jesus (Rev. 14:12 NLT).