Revelation 22:20: Agreeing with God.
20 He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. NIV
In an article on prophetic preaching, Lee Eclov described the work of one artist, Cody F. Wilson, who has painted Isaiah, Jeremiah and Jonah standing on stilts. They have a different vantage point on life to everyone else. He goes on to say:
‘From their high stilts, prophetic preachers insist that people absorbed with the present refocus on the future God has promised. In some circles, eschatology has gotten a bad name. It is good and noble to explore the perichoresis of the Trinity but you better steer clear of “rapture” or “tribulation” or “the Rider on the white horse.” It can come off as the trailer trash of theology, all lurid speculation, the Bible’s “olde curiosity shop.” But prophets, while certainly not having the end figured out, “searched intently and with the greatest care” in trying to understand the future God promised in Christ. Our prophetic preaching should make room for some searching with great care. We do them a disservice if we pay less attention to their visions than they did. We will certainly not understand all the mysteries of Daniel, Zechariah, or Revelation, but how is it that some preachers have never preached any of them?
Prophetic preaching today needs to stand on stilts sometimes and look off into the future to the Second Coming, to the new heavens and new earth, and, yes, to hell. The future God has promised sounds a unique warning to complacent or sinful people who might not hear any other alarm.
But even more important than the warning to the complacent is the hope God’s saints so sorely need. Christians—at least young Christians—may not think all that much about heaven, but God’s people need to know all that God says about the future he has planned for us. They need biblical details, not just a sanctified version of ‘pie in the sky by and by.’ Prophetic preaching gives God’s people an ear for the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God. It gives anxious disciples Jesus’ word, “Do not let your hearts be troubled … . I am going to prepare a place for you.” Prophetic preaching takes Christians fixated on the week ahead to a high place from which they can see, with John, “a new heaven and a new earth,” and hear the voice that says, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people … . There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” ‘
The last recorded words of Jesus in the Bible are: ‘’Yes, I am coming soon’’ (20). John articulates what the response of the church should always be: ‘’Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.’’
These are the words of one in agreement with God; one who says, ‘Yes Lord, we want the future you have for us.’
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