“Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book…. the time is near. Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. Yes, I am coming soon” (See vv. 7, 10, 12, 20 ). One of man’s problems in obeying the Lord is both delayed punishment as seen in Ecclesiastes 8:11: “When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.” (Also see Psalm 36:1-4; 73:1-20); and delayed reward, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised” (i.e., in this life – Heb. 11:39; also see James 5:7-9). {“God has borne witness to the faith of these OT saints, yet they died before receiving the fulfillment of the promise. They did not live to see the advent of the long awaited Messiah or to enjoy the blessings that would flow from His ministry both in the Millennial Kingdom but much more in heaven.” MacDonald, William ; Farstad, Arthur: Believer’s Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1995, S. Heb 11:39}

Through the book of Revelation the Lord lets us see both the ultimate punishment for sin and disobedience and, the reward for obedience. We get to see the end ahead of time and “prepare to meet thy God”  (Amos 4:12). Jesus’ promised return speaks both of His imminent return for the church (the Rapture – 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Matt. 24:36 – 25:46) which has no signs, and His second coming to earth which includes many signs (see Matt. 24:1-35). Warren Wiersbe in his With the Word Bible Commentary gives us a good outline to follow to inspire us to be ready for the Rapture and the Lord’s second coming and the consummation of all things.

“Our Lord’s words about the desolation of the temple (Matt. 23:37-39) prompted the disciples to ask Him about the future of the city, the temple, and the nation. In Matt. 24:1-35, the theme is the Tribulation (“day of the Lord”) that will come upon the world in the last days. Jesus explained the events of the first half of the tribulation (24:1-14) and the last half (24:15-28); and then He announced His return to earth after the Tribulation (24:29-35

In 24:1-35, the emphasis is on the signs of His coming to the earth and is directed primarily to Israel (vv. 15-28), telling the people to watch and be ready. But these words have a message for the church today, because “coming events cast their shadows before.” We (the church saints) are looking for the Savior and not for signs (Phil. 3:20), because He can come at any time; but as we see these things developing in our world, we are encouraged to expect Him soon.

Matthew 24:36-25:46 focuses on the church rather than Israel. The emphasis is not on signs but on the fact that Jesus can return at any time (24:36, 44, 50). When He comes, He will reckon with His servants and reward those who have been faithful; it behooves us to be ready. When you listen to the news and see the tensions and troubles in today’s world, keep in mind the warnings that the Lord gave:

*Do not be deceived (4, 11). People will make grandiose claims and promises and will deceive many. You have the Word of God to enlighten you (Isa. 8:20) and the Holy Spirit to teach you (John 16:13-15), so you should not go astray (1 John 2:18-29).

*Do not be discouraged (6). Political and natural disturbances have always been a part of world history, so do not allow them to discourage you. They are “the beginning of sorrows” (v. 8). The word translated “sorrows” means “birth-pangs.” The world’s troubles are pregnant with possibilities! God is still on the throne!

*Do not be defeated (13). This has to do with faithfulness under testing until the Lord returns. Do not let the lawlessness around you rob you of your fervor (v. 12). A lost world around you needs to hear the gospel (v. 14), so get busy!

*Do not be doubtful (34-35). Religious leaders will come and go, stand and fall; but the Word will not change. Believe it, obey it, and hold to it-no matter what others may say or do. Your Bible is God’s light in this dark world (2 Pet. 1:19-21).

*Do not be distracted (42). We “watch” when we stay alert and remind ourselves that our Lord may come at any time. When in your heart you delay His coming (v. 48), you start to lose your effectiveness and witness. Keep watching and working!


*When Jesus Christ returns, it will be a time of separation: the wise will be separated from the foolish, the faithful servants from the unfaithful, the blessed (sheep) from the cursed (goats). The wise virgins had oil and were prepared to meet the Bridegroom. Many people profess to be Christians but do not have the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9) and are not born again. They may mingle with the saved, but they are not really one of them; and they will not enter into the marriage feast/heaven.

*His coming also means evaluation. As we wait for the Lord to return, we must invest our lives and earn dividends for His glory. Christ gives us opportunities that match our abilities, and the one-talent servant is just as important as the five-talent servant. The key is faithfulness (1 Cor. 4:2), for God measures us against ourselves and not against the other servants. Are you afraid to step out by faith and take some risks for God?

*When Christ returns, it will be a time of commendation. We will be surprised to learn about ministries we performed that we thought were insignificant but that He will reward. This parable is not teaching salvation by good works. Christ’s sheep know that they are sheep (John 10:14, 27-30), but they do not always realize what their service means to Christ. We will experience some surprises in that day!”  {Wiersbe, Warren W.: With the Word Bible Commentary. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1991, S. Mt 24:1}

“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, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”  Man is always tempted to worship created things rather than our Creator (Rom. 1:18-32) and to seek joy and satisfaction in things seen versus unseen (1 John 2:15-17; Eccl. 1; 2 Cor. 4:16-18). When Satan tempted Jesus with the “kingdoms of the world and their splendor” Jesus said to him and to us today: “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (See Matt. 4:8-10.)

“Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” Here we see a command from God for the book of Revelation to be taught, yet so many pastors and teachers do not teach it because they say it is too difficult to understand. Yet, God never commands us to do something He will not empower us to do. Also verse 11 shows us why it is so critical to teach end time judgment and rewards. Jesus in His last words, last warnings, in the last chapter of the Bible, is giving man his last chance to repent, for after we die or the Lord returns we will be fixed forever in our character, either in sin (hell) or in righteousness (heaven) see Heb. 9:27). {The passage states that character tends to become fixed and unchangeable. The common saying is true: “Sow a thought and reap an act. Sow an act and reap a habit. Sow a habit and reap a character. Sow a character and reap a destiny.” As one is found in that day, so will he be eternally. Death or the coming of the Lord fixes one’s character and eternal destiny. KJV King James Version [1]MacDonald, William ; Farstad, Arthur: Believer’s Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1995, S. Re 22:6}

“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”  Here we see another proof of Christ’s deity as He describes Himself with the attribute of eternality which is an attribute only ascribed to God. God is the source (beginnings -alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet) of our life – body, soul and spirit, and the goal (the end – Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet) of our life, body, soul and spirit.

“Blessed are those who wash their robes (a symbol of salvation by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus) that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs (sinful people), those who practice magic arts (drug/alcohol abuse), the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” Again, we see our Lord calling sinners to repent now before they die in their sin or before He returns soon. Listen to the Lord Holy Spirit and the church saints (the bride) call man to come to Jesus now and be saved:  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” The invitation is for those who hear and thus call others; for those (lost) who are thirsty (for God – living water, salvation) and for those who are willing, “for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” (Rom. 10:13; Acts 2:21; Joel 2:32) 

“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.”  This refers to the plethora of religious cults that have added to and/or deleted from God’s holy Word: Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, etc.

“He (Jesus) who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” And John says and we should say and pray, ‘Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”  and/or “Thy kingdom come” and/or “Maranatha” (the Greek word for “our Lord come” – 1 Cor. 16:22).


{The following questions are from Wiersbe, Warren W.: With the Word Bible Commentary. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1991, S. Mt 24:1}

1) How do you respond to the promise of the Lord’s return? The last chapter in Revelation can help you take inventory. Are you treasuring His Word and obeying it and doing the work He has called you to do? There is a special blessing for the obedient (vv. 7, 12, 14; Luke 12:35-48; Matt. 24:44-47).

2) Do you really want Jesus to return today and are you praying for His return (v. 20)? Are you ready? (1 Cor. 3:10-15)  Do you “love and long for His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8)?

3) Are you urging lost sinners to trust Him and be ready for His coming (v. 17)? The Holy Spirit works through the church to bring lost people to the Savior. The people described in 21:8 and 22:11&15 can be saved (1 Cor. 6:9-11) and become new creatures ready for the new heaven and earth (2 Cor. 5:17). Will you tell them?

4) What is your main take away from the message and table discussion and how can you apply it to your life this week?

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