What are you looking forward to next week? Next month? What we look forward to changes how we see life now. That is why God has given us a picture of what will happen. Some of this book is hard to understand – it is like a painting with many layers – but when you stand back and see the big picture, it is clear that God gets the victory, and His people overcome the evil and suffering inflicted upon them. This was good news for the 7 churches John was writing to, and good news for us, too.
There is a river – the river of life – on each side is a tree of life – for the healing of the nations. The tree of life is God’s gift to us as humans, but we haven’t tasted that fruit since Adam and Eve. This is not the end of our history – this is the beginning of a new day, God bringing us to a new chapter, fulfilling all He designed His creation to become. He will wait a long time (in our eyes) for this day to come – in love – but this is a new day, new creation, the beginning of life face to face with the Lord of love.
This is hope, and it changes us even now. The process of new creation begins in us even now – eternal life, new life, born again. Even while we live on this side of eternity, we live as children of light, citizens of the new day – and we live out that Kingdom, even in the midst of this world. This hope changes everything – every pain, suffering, joy, relationship, possession – everything. Hope is a gift – and Paul says that gift will remain forever. That means even after everything in Revelation happens, God will still give us even more things to look forward to – with Him.
So we pray – Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
|<< Revelation 22 >>
New Living Translation
1Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit,a with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
3No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. 4And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. 5And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
Jesus Is Coming
8I, John, am the one who heard and saw all these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. 9But he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!”
10Then he instructed me, “Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book, for the time is near. 11Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy.”
14Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. 15Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.
17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. 18And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.
20He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
a 22:2 Or twelve kinds of fruit.
b 22:6a Or The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets.
c 22:6b Or suddenly, or quickly; also in 22:7, 12, 20.
d 22:7 Or scroll; also in 22:9, 10, 18, 19.
e 22:16 Greek I am the root and offspring of David.
f 22:21 Other manuscripts read be with all; still others read be with all of God’s holy people. Some manuscripts add Amen.