NOW IS THE TIME
“And he said to me, 'These sayings are faithful and true; and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must soon take place.' ‘Behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:6,7). God gave the Book of Revelation for “His servants” who need its instructions in order to play their part in the final events. The curious, sensation-seeking people of this world will continue to find Revelation to be a confusing maze of symbols and cryptic messages, or support for their favorite conspiracy theory. But for those who seek the Lord with all their heart, Revelation will be an open letter of comfort and encouragement during the dark days ahead.
The angel said to Daniel, “Shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and for, and knowledge shall increase… Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:4,10). The angel who brought the Revelation to John emphasized that the “time of the end” when “the wise shall understand” could be any time, now that Jesus has won the victory, gone to Heaven and sent His Spirit. “And he said to me, ‘Do not seal the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand” (Revelation 22:10). Now is the time for God’s people to study the prophecies, learn their privileges and duties, clarify their mission to a lost world, and go forth as the white horse, with Jesus holding the reins, “conquering and to conquer” (Revelation 6:1).
“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). Other versions read, “Blessed are those who wash their robes.” Both versions have support in ancient manuscripts and in extra-biblical references. Both themes are also integral messages of the Book of Revelation. The remnant who overcome are described as “they who keep the commandments of God” (Revelation 12:17, 14:12). They are also described as those who “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). Our fitness for heaven is the blood-washed robe of Christ’s righteousness. The result of wearing it is that we "keep the commandments of God."
Perhaps God in His wisdom has allowed both of these essential themes to be preserved in the very last message of the very last book of the Bible. It is our choice now to let Him wash our robes and to give us the power to keep His commandments. Jesus is ready and eager to come and live in us, transform us from the inside out, and walk with us on a thrilling and satisfying adventure that will last forever. But now is the time to make that choice. Jesus "stands at the door and knocks," waiting for us to "open the door" so He can "come in" (Revelation 3:20). We put Him off at our own peril. All too soon the time for decisions will be over, and many who have closed their ears to the pleading of the Spirit will end up on a path that will leave them out of the kingdom. “For outside are dogs and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie…He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still; he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; he that is holy, let him be holy still. And behold I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:15, 11,12).