Revelation 22:7,12, 20: A repeated refrain.
7 ‘Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.’
12 ‘Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
20 He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. NIV
Three times in the last few verses of this book Jesus states that He is ‘’coming soon.’’ If the thought is repeated it must be important.
Someone may say, ‘Well, it’s two thousand years since John wrote these words, and Jesus still hasn’t come. That seems like a long time to me!’ But the Bible is its own interpreter and here are some words which help to shed light on things:
‘’But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief’’ (2 Peter 3:8-10a).
God has a different perspective on time to us. From heaven’s perspective, it’s only a couple of days since Jesus stood on this planet. ‘’Soon’’ He will return.
I heard a denominational leader say recently that the reason why so many Christians in other cultures are evangelising and church planting with such urgency is because they really believe Jesus is coming soon. But, he said, we don’t.
By and large that is true. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves afresh of our need to live in the future tense.