Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lessons from Revelation 22:6-21

Today we concluded the study through the book of Revelation at Cornerstone Church.

Pastor Jeff exhorted the congregation to keep waiting on the Lord by working out their salvation until His return.

He also fleshed out the real, tangible nature of Heaven and the new earth described with rivers, trees, fruit, food, streets, gates, etc... When resurrected, we will live in new, perfected, heavenly, Jerusalem forever with God, face-to-face.

We are encouraged not to add anything to what God has said, but not subtract or fall short of saying anything He has declared at the end of the book of Revelation.

We are also encouraged to "keep" the sayings of the prophecy of the book of Revelation. This is an odd exhortation given that the letter is largely a statement of what God is doing, has done, and has promised yet to do. "Keeping" seems to imply an active doing of some kind, however, the things about which we are encouraged to keep are largely declarations of things done and to be done by God (not by us) If anything, Revelation is largely about God and His one and only Son, Jesus. There are, however, encouragements to "stand firm" or "persevere" throughout the book. There are also very church specific exhortations given in the opening letters addressed specifically to respective churches. The lion's share of the book seems to revolved around the reporting of what God alone can do and will do.

The "sayings" of the prophecy of the book of Revelation are largely debated and anything but proclaimed definitively (outside cultic "Christian" sects). So it does beg the question as to what one is to do with this last charge to the reader to keep the sayings of this book.

Many of the mysteries of Revelation remain simply that, mysteries. Admittedly, my church allowing that which belongs to God to remain with Him throughout the teaching of this book is more comforting than if they had attempted to dogmatize and codify as closed-handed that over which many have debated since the pen left the paper on this letter (or quill left the scroll you nitpicking jerkwad).

One thing is clear. Jesus wins. God returns the earth and those created from it to their original state: Eden. A place where God dwells with man face-to-face without any intercession necessary. No priests, no temple, no sin, no rebellion. A final state, like the first, without the possibility of the fall repeating itself.

Evil finally and forever put down. Not necessarily Heaven on earth, but earth and Heaven cleansed, perfected, and returned to their original state.


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