Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
Today we come to the end of a five-year journey through the Bible. It has been an amazing journey as we think back to the opening chapters of Genesis where God created mankind and placed us in a perfect paradise. In Genesis chapter three, the serpent came and tempted Adam and Eve. They disobeyed God and realized the devastating consequences of sin. Their relationship with God would change, and they would no longer reside in the perfect paradise that God created for them.
In Genesis chapter three, God promised that one day He would send a serpent-crusher to defeat the tempter, and that the fellowship between God and man would be restored. In chapter twenty-one, we saw that fellowship restored as Jesus proclaimed, “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.”
Now in the final chapter of God’s Word, the Book closes out with eternity in view. While John was gazing on the new Jerusalem, he saw the river of life flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. On its banks is the tree of life, yielding fruit, and leaves for the healing of the nations. The story that began in a garden and focused on a tree, now concludes in a perfect paradise focusing on a tree. The difference is this tree only produces life and healing. In his commentary on Revelation, Leon Morris writes concerning this tree: “The leaves of the tree promote the enjoyment of life in the new Jerusalem and are not for correcting ills, which do not exist.”
The first creation was negatively impacted by the curse of sin (see Genesis chapter three), yet the new creation will never be marred by sin. Sin will never be permitted to enter. The very presence of God and the Lamb will be sufficient to prevent it.
In verse seven, Jesus once again speaks to the church of John’s day. He speaks with clarity as He proclaims, “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” Some Bible commentators point out that the word “soon” actually means rapidly. Jesus is letting John’s readers know that these events take place in a period of not more than seven years. The encouragement here is that Christ is saying that it will not be a long period.
At the beginning of this book, there was a blessing pronounced upon those who read and keep these words. In conclusion, Jesus repeats the blessing upon those who hold true to these words. In his commentary on Revelation, J.V. McGee writes, “This is a book not to merely satisfy the curiosity of the natural man but to live and act on.”
This book closes with a stern warning from Jesus. “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” It is tempting to soften the dire prophecies in this book. To find favor with the unbelieving world, we might be tempted to sugar coat some of these prophecies. But we would do well to heed the warning of Jesus and not change these prophecies to make them more palatable to those who are perishing because they refused to love the truth. In this post-truth culture, we need to preserve the truth of God’s Word and allow it to do the work of convicting the unrepentant heart. After all, “He (God) is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9b).
Questions to Ponder
God desires everyone to come to repentance and be saved, but as we have seen in the book of Revelation, some will refuse to repent and believe. As this five-year journey concludes, how has this journey impacted the way you view the Bible? If you could summarize the entire Word of God in one succinct statement, what would it be? What is a common thread that you have seen through the entire Bible during this five-year journey?
Personally, I would encourage you to write Pastor Bob and let him know how this journey through the entire Word of God has impacted your spiritual life. You can email him at email@example.com.
- Praise the Lord for Immanuel, God with us, Jesus Christ our Messiah and Savior.
- Thank Him that we have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
- Thank the Lord that one day we will be with Him in all His fullness and glory for all of eternity.
- Thank the Lord for Pastor Bob and Shirley. Thank Him for Pastor Dave who wrote these devotions. Thank the Lord for our church family!
Oh Father, thank You for making a way for us to be with You where You are. Thank You, God, for demonstrating Your own love for us that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Oh what love, what forgiveness, what grace and mercy You have given us. Thank You, Lord, for Pastor Bob and for his obedience to You in teaching Your Word so faithfully and being our loving shepherd. God, I ask that all of our Oak Pointe Church family will continue to grow in our walks with You. Help us to be mature and fully assured in all of Your will, oh God. I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.