v.18-19 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book. If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
God’s awful retribution won’t be withheld from those who either add or delete from the words of the Revelation. But this doesn’t mean that commentators who share various views about the Revelation are in danger.
“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev.19:10)
Therefore it is the doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ that is the one truth God will not permit man to pervert. The issue concerns the true reality that grace can be found in none other than Jesus Christ, and the warning applies only to those who would preach any other gospel (see also—Gal.1:6-9).
v.20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
In this final exchange between John and Jesus, the Lord says “Surely I am coming quickly” to which John responds “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
We should glean at least two things from this passage, dear ones.
First, that Jesus will return, but at a time that is not announced; and secondly, that we should be praying for Him to come even now in our lifetime. In other words, though we would be misguided to set a date, at the same time we would be negligent not to hope that the worldly events occurring around us are indeed the sign of His coming, and the end of the age.
So I am okay with asking this question: Will we be the generation that witnesses the Coming of Jesus Christ? Several things didn’t exist prior to our generation that makes it highly plausible, and certainly worth considering. Here are just a few.
- The Nation of Israel. In 70 A.D., Rome overthrew Jerusalem, destroyed their temple, and virtually scattered the Jews throughout the world with nothing that should have prevented them from assimilating into various cultures and disappearing as a people. Yet on May 14, 1948, over twenty-five hundred years after they were besieged by Babylon and ceased to be a nation, Israel once again became a nation. This needed to occur for many prophecies to be fulfilled (example—Ez.37-39; Dan.9; Zech.12-14)
- Nuclear weapons. Jesus said of the Tribulation, “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved…” (Matt.24:22). The potential that all mankind (all flesh) could be annihilated quickly enough to concern Jesus didn’t exist prior to nuclear weapons.
- Telecommunications. The bodies of the two witnesses, for instance, will be displayed in Jerusalem and celebrated by the world (Rev.11:8-10). This instant knowledge and simultaneous worldwide jubilation could not have occurred before radio and is only enhanced and made more plausible by television, satellite transmissions, and the internet.
- Computers. Prior to computers it would have been impossible for Antichrist to impose a mark on the entire world and then control every buying and selling transaction of every person (Rev.13:16-17); particularly inside a period of three and a half years.
It should also be noted that the prophet Daniel was told that the time of the end would be characterized by an increase in knowledge (Dan.12:4).
Though this is often interpreted to mean that advanced technology will mark the end times, I hold to a different view. I believe the knowledge that will increase concerns the knowledge of prophecy. As events and technology unfolds, I believe it just becomes easier to look at the prophecies and more clearly understand what God is telling us about the end days.
v.21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
In closing, John adds his personal greeting and prayer for those in the churches who would soon be reading and hearing his amazing record of these last days’ events.
The most complete future installment of God ever beheld by a man has been written, by the grace of God preserved, and by the power of the Holy Spirit made available for every believer to read and learn throughout every generation.
As we heed God’s Word, dear ones, having seen how the history of time shall be closed and the history of eternity opened, may it arouse us to consider what manner of persons we ought to be in holy conduct and godliness (see—2Peter 3:10-14); and may it embed within us the courage to warn the lost of their eternal doom and lovingly bid them to seek the Savior.