This comforting word was given to the faithful disciple, John, during his exile. He accepted it in faith and responded with joy: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20) So speaks the heart of a man who waits unwaveringly for his Lord and is looking forward to His appearance.
When the apostle John wrote the book of Revelation, he was on Patmos, a small, lonely island in the Aegean Sea. He was banished there for the sake of his faith, his message, and had to experience the bitter persecution of the Roman state power on his own body. Because of this, he called himself “a brother and companion in the tribulation” (Revelation 1:9).
Repeatedly, we read in Scripture how the Lord led His chosen servants into solitude for specific purposes. And it was precisely in such a lonely place that John received the astonishingly profound revelation about the coming end-time events. We see in John how wonderfully our God can deeply enlighten and use a person for His very specific purposes.
Revelation is a book that uses mostly symbolic language to show the dark, prophetic images of time, some of which have already occurred and some that will still be fulfilled. It reveals to us how the Church went through dark and painful times of suffering. It also shows us Christ as the suffering and slain Lamb of God, who is nevertheless the Lord of time and also of eternity. The Church goes through great tribulations and many persecutions, and yet it can participate in the victory of the Lord now and at the end. The great, comforting theme that echoes throughout Revelation is: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me!” (Revelation 22:12) And the waiting and prepared Church says: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
The Bible clearly states the return of Jesus can only be a blissful and joyful event for the devout disciples of God. For the godless, unbelieving humanity, it will be an event of fear and terror. Regardless of these reactions, Jesus made His second coming a sure and absolute reality! Because of this, He admonished His disciples: “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master…blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching” (Luke 12:35-37). And that is what He expects of us!
Hans Bruns writes: “I cannot forget it even though it happened many years ago: it was shortly after World War I. I was a student and we were just going to dinner. Suddenly, a very excited woman ran out of a house, grabbed the first person who crossed her path by the shoulder, which happened to be me, and yelled: ‘He is alive and is coming!’ When I asked her what was going on, she explained that she had just received a telegram stating that her husband, who had been missing, was alive and was coming home that day. Being so overjoyed with this message, she could not stay in her house any longer, but had to run out into the street and share her great joy with everyone.”
So it is with close followers of Christ, who know from the faithful message of the Word of God that their Lord lives and is coming again!
Paul laid it on Timothy’s heart: “Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8). We also should pay close attention to this important admonition, since the fact of Jesus’ resurrection is the substantive prerequisite for His return!
Only a risen Lord can be expected to return again. Only the risen Lord could say: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me!” (Revelation 22:12) And only the firm belief in Jesus’ resurrection made John longingly exclaim: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” This hope and conviction of the suffering Church helped it to endure and overcome its afflictions. With this kind of faith we, too, can hope, believe, live, and survive!
Right in the first chapter of Revelation, Jesus is introduced to us as “who is and who was and who is to come” (verse 8). His first coming was to bring the necessary reconciliation through His sacrifice on the cross and to reveal the way of salvation to His people. The purpose of His second coming is as Judge at the great final Judgment and to bring all the righteous, His Bride, the Church, to eternal glory. The exact time of His arrival is unknown to us. But the signs of which Jesus spoke and the present manifestations of the times clearly show that this event is now very close. Those who still want to turn back and seek salvation for their souls should take advantage of these last hours of grace. Like the sound of a bright trumpet, Jesus’ mighty Word sounds: “Surely I am coming quickly!” And you, too, can be among those who say with John and with all the saints: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”