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Great Invitations Of The Bible – Sermon #10
THE INVITATION OF COMPLETION
Intro: While this precious verse may be short in length, it is long in content. It serves as a worthy rearguard to the book of Revelation and to the entire Word of God. This verse contains within its sixteen verses both the last promise and the last prayer in the Bible.
In these words, we have our Lord’s clear, powerful promise that He will come again. We also have the prayer of John the Beloved disciple as he invites the Lord to do just that. In John’s words, we can hear the echo of the heart cry of every saint of God down through the ages. There is a desire within the heart of every child of God to leave this world to be with the Lord Jesus. There is a hunger within our hearts for the Lord Jesus to come again, so that we can leave this world of tears, death, sickness and pain to go to Heaven where none of those things will ever be found.
Before I was saved, I used to hear people and preachers talk about the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. In those days, thinking about His return filled my heart with fear. I knew I was lost and I knew that I would be in serious trouble if the Lord came with me in that condition. Then, one day, the Lord saved my soul. When He did, He changed my thinking regarding His return. Instead of dreading it, I began to anticipate it. Instead of it filling my heart with fear, it fills my heart with joy. Now, I do not look upon His return with fear, I look upon His return with great excitement! I know that when He returns to this world I will be leaving with Him. I know that Heaven will be my destination and I am excited about that!
Apparently, John was excited about that thought as well. When Jesus Christ makes His promise to come again, John immediately extends and invitation to the Lord to come. John says, “Amen!” John says, “Even so, which means Yes!” John is looking and longing for Jesus to return. So am I! If you are saved, I sure you are too.
So, let’s take a look at the last invitation in the Bible. Let’s examine the thoughts found in it. I would like to preach for a while on the subject of The Invitation Of Completion.
I. THE BASIS OF THE INVITATION
(Ill. John bases his invitation for the Lord to come on two sure foundations. John is not praying for something that may or may not happen. John bases his invitation to the Lord Jesus on two great realities.)
A. It Is Based In The Lord’s Promises The Lord Jesus makes a clear promise in this verse, Surely, I come quickly.” He makes the same great promise in verse 7 and 12. Jesus is letting John, and the rest of His saints, know that he is coming again! This was not the first time that Jesus Christ had made this promise, John 14:2-3; Matt. 24:44. As Jesus ascended back in to Heaven, two angels spoke to the Lord’s disciples and reaffirmed His promise to return, Acts 1:9-11. The Lord’s return was the hope of the Apostles, 1 Thes. 4:16; Heb. 9:28. His return has been the blessed hope of the believer for 2,000 years, Titus 2:13. Jesus is coming, and those who are wise are looking for Him!
When Jesus uses the word “quickly, He is not talking about swiftness of time. After all, He has been gone 2,000 years. The word actually means without delay. Jesus is telling us that when everything is in place, He will return without delay. We are often guilty of using the phrase, If the Lord tarries… Jesus does not, cannot and will not tarry, Heb. 10:37! He will return right on schedule!
(Ill. In Kentucky there is a home for mentally handicapped children. It is operated by a Christian family. They care for those special boys and girls and they teach those boys and girls the Scriptures, and among other things they teach those boys and girls the truth that Jesus is going to come again. According to the family that operates that home, they have a hard time keeping the window panes clean in that place. Those little boys and girls are constantly putting their little hands and their little faces on the windows looking for Jesus to come. It ought to be that real to every one of us today!)
B. It Is Based In The Lord’s Purposes John calls for Jesus to return because John is thinking like Jesus. What this: John has been exiled on Patmos because he was fearless preacher of the Gospel. While there, John has been given this incredible vision of the future. He has seen the end of the world! John has seen the entire church age. He has seen the Tribulation Period. He has seen the rise and fall of the Antichrist. John has even seen the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. John knows that God has a purpose in the Lords return! He knows that the Lords return will spell the end of sin; the end of Satan and the end of sorrows in this universe. John knows that when Jesus Christ comes again, He will be glorified and exalted. John desires that more than anything, so he calls on the Lord to come!
You and I know that Jesus is not glorified in this world today. He is denied and rejected. He is hated by many and most people want Jesus and all mention of His name driven from the public arena. But, when He comes again, there will be none of that going on! When He comes again, He is not coming as the meek and lowly Jesus. He is not coming as the humble carpenter of Galilee. When Jesus comes, He is coming as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! He is coming in glory, in victory and in power. He is not coming to ask for a vote of confidence from humanity. He is coming to reign! (Ill. Rev. 19:11-21) There will be no cross for Jesus when He comes the second time! He will wear many crowns, Rev. 19:12!
When Jesus comes again, He will complete God’s plan for the ages and He will be glorified. To see Him honored, loved, lifted up, magnified and glorified should be the desire of every child of God, 1 Cor. 10:31. To see the eternal purposes and plans of God brought to pass should be the prayer of every saint.
He is coming! When He does, He will be glorified and we will cry, “Amen and worship Him!
II. THE BURDEN OF THE INVITATION
A. Even as John adds His “Amen to the promise of the Lord Jesus, he knows the return of Jesus will not be a blessing to all men! The phrase even so literally means, Yea; yes; verily. It shows strong agreement with something that has been said. Yet, that phrase as always seemed to express an underlying burden. It is as if John is saying, Come Lord Jesus! I want you to come. Not everyone is ready; not everyone is looking for you; not everyone will be saved, but come. Get glory to Yourself! Maybe I am reading more into the verse than is there, but I detect a hint of a burden in Johns words.
B. I share that burden today. I suspect that you do as well! In know that if Jesus were to come today to get His church, some people in this room would not get to go with us. There are some here who have never been saved and you would be left behind.
I know that if you are left behind, you would never have another opportunity to be saved, 2 Thes. 2:11. You will have no desire for God, the Bible, the church or the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are left behind you will die in your sins and you will spend eternity in Hell. I do not want that to happen!
I know that if you are left behind, you would have to go through the Tribulation Period. It will be the most horrible period of time that you can imagine. The world will be plagued by disease, war and a rise in evil. Over one-half the world’s population will die as God pours out His wrath on a Christ rejecting world. If you are left here, you will suffer in ways that you cannot begin to imagine! I do not want that to happen!
I know if Jesus were to come today, I would have relatives, friends and acquaintances who would be left behind. That would be a terrible tragedy. I do not want that to happen, and neither do you!
C. My advice to you, if you are not saved, is that you give your heart and life to Jesus Christ today! I invite you to come to Him, confess yourself a sinner and call on Jesus for salvation. He will not turn you away, John 6:37. He will save you, Rom. 10:9, 13, and you will be ready for His return when it happens! Don’t deceive yourself! Jesus is coming and you need to be ready!
III. THE BLESSING OF THE INVITATION
(Ill. There is a positive side to the return of Jesus! John has been allowed to see all the way to the end of time. He knows what is waiting on him and the rest of God’s children. John also remembers what it was like to be with Jesus, 1 John 1:1. He remembers the day Jesus saved his soul, John 1. He remembers the thrill of time spent with Jesus. He remembers their closeness, John 13:23. He remembers the horror of being at the cross and watching Jesus as He died, John 19:28-30. He remembers the thrill of going to the tomb three days after the crucifixion to find that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, John 20:1-8. He remembers standing there on that hillside, watching as Jesus ascended back into Heaven, Acts 1:9-11. He remembers and he longs to be with Jesus once again. So, when he hears Jesus say, “Surely, I come quickly.” John cries, “Amen!” This word means, “So be it; let it be; it is so!” John is using the word as an exclamation of excitement! He is saying, “Amen! Let it be! Come on Jesus! I am looking forward to your return!
You and I haven’t had all the experiences that John had with Jesus. But, those of us who are saved have had a few! We remember when He lifted us out of sin and saved us by His grace, Psa. 40:1-3. We recall the times of close communion when He let us feel His presence, His grace and His power. We remember all the times when He spoke sweet peace to our souls. We cling to the memories of His grace, His blessings, His presences, His promises and His providence. We remember and we long for that blessed hour when He will appear and deliver us from this world and from this flesh.
It will be a time of blessing for the saints of God when Jesus Christ comes again. Let me remind you of some of the blessings that we will enjoy.)
A. The Blessing Of Resurrection When Jesus comes, all those who have died in faith will be raised from the dead. Now, their souls are already with the Lord in Heaven, 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 1 Thes. 4:14. Their bodies are buried in the ground. When Jesus comes, He will bring with Him their redeemed souls. He will raise and glorify their bodies. He will reunite body and soul and take both back home to Heaven with Him, 1 Thes. 4:13-16! There is coming a “great gettin’ up morning for all Gods children one day! It will be a changing day for all the departed saints of God, 1 Cor. 15:42-57!
(Ill. Dr. R. G. Lee the silver tongued orator who pastored Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN for many years, used to preach about the dear black lady who cared for him when he was a little boy. He talked about how the time came for her to die. She had been so faithful and such a godly woman, and she had worked there on the farm in South Carolina where he had been brought up. He told about how his mama took that dear old lady, laid her head down on the pillow and smoothed out her hair and Dr. Lee said that dear, dear saint of God looked up into the face of his mother and said to her, “One of these days before long now I'm going to exchange this old weary, worn out wagon for a chariot of gold. Amen! So am I! That is our blessed hope!)
B. The Blessing Of Rapture Of course, not all of Gods children are going to die, 1 Cor. 15:51-52! Some are leaving this world in the rapture, 1 Thes. 4:16-18. Some folks doubt the rapture of the church because they say, “The word rapture is not in the Bible! Right they are! The words caught up translate a certain Greek word that means to seize; to carry off by force; to claim eagerly for oneself; to snatch up or away. When the Greek New Testament was translated into Latin, that word, arpadzo was translated rapto, which is the word that rapture comes from.
Here is the truth of the matter. Jesus Christ is returning someday in the clouds above this earth. He will gather His children, those who have been saved by His grace and washed in His blood, and He will take us home to Heaven to be with Him there forever! Those who go in the Rapture will never taste death. Those who go in the Rapture will be here one moment and the very next instant they will be in Heaven. The saints of God are leaving this world in an instant one day! Are you ready to go? You need to be because Jesus will not send an announcement; He will simply show up and take His people away with Him.
C. The Blessing Of Reunion When Jesus returns and raises the dead and raptures His people, it will be a time of reunion. In 1 Thes. 4:17, the Bible says, “we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Did you notice that two reunions are going to be taking place on that day?
First, we will be reunited with our departed loved ones and fellow saints. Won’t that be a great day? Imagine that moment when you lay eyes on those who have gone one. Imagine seeing them in glorified bodies, raised to live forever! What a day that will be!
Then, we are told that we will be with Jesus forever! One day, these eyes shall behold the One Who climbed Calvary’s cross to pay my sin debt! I want to see the One Who loved me more than His Own life! And, I will! Here is what Job said about that day a long time ago, “25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me, Job 19:25-27. What a day, glorious day, that will be!
D. Jesus is coming! He is coming soon! He is coming for His people, a people who have made their preparations to meet Him. He is coming for a redeemed people. He is coming for those who are saved by His grace. Are you among that number? Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior? Will you be ready when He comes?
Conc: Jesus is coming! When, you ask? I do not know. Neither does anyone else! We are not to get caught up in watching the signs and trying to figure out when Jesus will come.
Those of us who know Him are to be laboring diligently until He returns to claim His people. Ill. The folks in Texas who sold their homes, quit their jobs and gave away their personal possessions to go out on a hillside on a certain day to meet Jesus because their Pastor said He would come then. We are to be busily engaged in His work of worshiping Him and sharing His Gospel until He comes.
If you don’t know Him, you need to be saved. You need to know that Jesus Christ died on the cross and shed His blood so that your sins might be forgiven and so that you might be saved from your sins. If He is calling you, you need to come to Him today!
Jesus is coming! Are you ready to meet Him?