He Is Coming

Today’s reading is Revelation 22.

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

I know this will sound shocking, but I do not believe this statement is limited to what we commonly call the “second coming.” Jesus is not saying, “At the end of time, I’ll come and bring judgment on everyone.” He is telling the original readers of Revelation, He will come in judgment on Rome (possibly Jerusalem) and it will be soon (for them). The message for us is not: at the end of time Jesus will come and bring final judgment on everyone, so get ready. The message for us is: no matter who our enemy is, no matter how strong a front they put up, no matter how much success they seem to have in the fight, no matter how bad it looks for our side, Jesus is coming in judgment on them and they don’t stand a chance. Sure, at this point, the next judgment may be the final one on all the world. But then again, it may just be a temporal judgment on Washington and the Unites States of America, or a temporal judgment on Mecca, or even just a temporal judgment on your co-worker who mocks you for your faith and your spouse who denies your faith and mistreats you. John’s point to us is whatever our enemy does, hang on. Jesus will judge. He will win. Don’t abandon Him. Don’t quit. Don’t concede. He is coming, Jesus will judge our enemies, and Jesus Always Wins! Praise the Lord!!!

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 1.

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She’s Back

Today’s reading is Revelation 21.

We met the Bride in Revelation 2-3, represented by the seven churches of Asia to whom this book was addressed. Now we meet her again. This time she is a city, a kingdom, coming down from heaven. Her dimensions are perfect. Her foundations are unbreakable. Her walls are unassailable. Her gates are uncompromising. God is her light. The Spirit is her life. The Son is her King, her Hero, her Groom. It is important to understand that this is not a picture of heaven. It is a picture of Christ’s Bride, His church in victory. And while that will certainly apply to Christ’s church in eternity, in heaven, we need to understand the picture is not merely about that. The point is if we want to be part of the Bride, the city of God, the kingdom of Jesus Christ in eternity, we must be part of Her now. No matter what is going on. No matter who lays siege to our city and who sets up the battering rams to our gates, Hang On. Jesus Always Wins! Don’t wait to see which way the wind blows, it will be too late. If you want to be part of the victorious kingdom in eternity, you must be part of it now.

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 22.

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A Thousand Years

Today’s reading is Revelation 20.

Honestly, it blows my mind how an entire complex doctrine can be built around a single verse like Revelation 20:4. In fact, not only one, but several. Of course, they can’t all be right. The passage only means what it means and can’t mean competing and mutually exclusive ideas. But what does it mean in context? It means the exact same thing the rest of the book means: Jesus Always Wins!!!! The purpose of this verse is not to say that some time in real-time history the disciple martyrs of Jesus will reign on earth for a thousand years. It’s a contrast with the reign of the kings of this earth who oppressed them. I asked you to remember Revelation 17:12 and the one-hour reign of the enemy kings and the authority they received from the beast. Here is where it becomes important as a contrast. Our Hero’s servants receive authority and reign, not for an hour, but for a thousand years. Neither of these refer to literal periods of time in earth history. They merely point out what the entire book points out. The enemy looks like he is going to win, but hang on, his time is short. The Hero will win and His victory will be complete. You want to be on the Hero’s side. No matter what, hang on! Jesus always wins! You can give up on Him, side with the enemy and get your heyday for an hour. Or you can hang on and have real victory. The choice is yours.

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 21.

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He’s Back

Today’s reading is Revelation 19.

Do you remember the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:1-2? He went out conquering and to conquer, but rather than immediate victory and peace on earth, He was followed by death, famine, turmoil. We learned that there is a long road to victory. HE’S BACK!!! He has traveled the long road. There have been suffering and trial and turmoil in between. But even those who suffered and even died, merely have been brought to victory, following him as the armies of heaven on their own white horses (see the martyrs who were given white robes in Revelation 6:11). The beast and false prophet of the Dragon are conquered and thrown into the eternal fire. The message is clear. There are dark days for those who follow the Hero, riding on His white horse, but we must hang on. Jesus always wins! Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 20.

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Babylon is Fallen

Today’s reading is Revelation 18.

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!”

Whether Babylon initially represented Rome or Jerusalem is beside the point. The point is Christ’s kingdom prevails and Babylon falls. The victory may have seemed in question for some time, but in the end Jesus always wins. We bring the message to our day. Whether the great city is Mecca, Washington, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, London, or Timbuktu, every city and kingdom that raises its head against Jesus will fall. Yes, they  will have authority for an hour. Yes, they may even drink the blood of saints. Yes, they may conquer for a time. But the worst they accomplish is sending saints to be with their Lord. In the end, they will fall. In the end, they will be defeated and destroyed. Hang on! Jesus always wins!

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 19.

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Only An Hour

Today’s reading is Revelation 17.

It’s frightening. But the wicked city, the immoral woman, the enemy gain authority. Not only that but give authority to 10 wicked kings. They get drunk on the blood of saints. And yet still they have authority. However, it is only for an hour. Not a literal hour, of course, but only an hour (remember this, it will come in handy in a few days). You can handle anything by the grace of God for an hour, right? Don’t lose faith in the conquering Hero. He is on His way. He will win. Pray that you may not enter temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Hang on! Jesus always wins!

Monday’s reading is Revelation 18.

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Judgments and Plagues

Today’s reading is Revelation 16.

This may sound shocking, but Revelation is not looking ahead to literal plagues that will be coming, it is looking back to literal plagues that had happened generations ago. That is, do you notice how these plagues mirror several of the plagues surrounding the Exodus: boils, water turned to blood, hail, darkness, waters dried up (like the Red Sea). Then there are flashes of lightning, rumbling, peals of thunder, shaking earth like the Isrealites saw at Mt. Sinai. Granted, God can do what He wants. If He wants to send literal plagues like this again, He can. However, that is not really the point. The point is to tell the Christians under Roman persecution (or perhaps Jewish) and then by extension Christians under any other persecution afterwards that God knows how to judge nations, false religions, and enemies who oppress and persecute His people. Not only does He know how, He will. It may seem like the enemies are getting the upper hand, just as Israel once thought Egypt had the upper hand, but God always wins. And there is a message for the churches in this as well. Remember how many of the members of the seven churches were called to repent? These members and churches must not think they will miss out on the judgment if they don’t heed the call to repent any more than the worldly in this chapter. Don’t quit! Conquer! Hang on to Jesus, He always wins.

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 17.

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