December 27, 2023

December 27, 2023

Author: Pastor Bernard Ibrahim
December 27, 2023

Christ is speaking to John the Apostle, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the Tree of Life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen

Revelation 22:12-22

Around Christmas time we think a lot about the prophecies of the Lord Jesus’ first coming. And we got to read some of those passages in Isaiah and Micah and Hosea. I was thinking it must be amazing to be like Simeon or Anna, generation after generation, hundreds and hundreds of years waiting for the Lord Jesus to arrive in Bethlehem as a baby born of a virgin; the Messiah coming. And they see the realization of the prophecies somewhat confusing, mysterious, dark, hard to understand, how they all fit together. And that is really what we have as believers after the Lord's first coming. From almost the moment Christ began to preach in his various ways of telling parables; telling parables about the kingdom of heaven, he was telling his disciples that he's coming back again. And he is coming, and he's coming back and he's coming back to take us to be with him. And we've seen, we've known that hundreds of years have gone by since he made these promises, since Revelation was written, since he made the promise in John 14 or Matthew 25 about what it was going to be like when he returns.

We should be encouraged when we look back at this time around Christmas and see, the Lord kept his promises. He kept his promises in every single exact detail: Jesus coming out of Egypt, he being called a Nazarene, he being born of the line of David, every single detail came true and got woven and became evident; Oh, that's what that prophecy means, or that's what he was referring to. Even though when we read the scriptures and we read Revelation, we can't see clearly. Is this like what Daniel was talking about in Daniel 9 or what is this in Revelation 20 or Revelation 19 or Revelation 22, and where is the city and four sides and a lot of the details? But If we step back and we look at those who had faith before us and the Lord delivered on his promises, we should be strengthened in our faith, especially this time of year when we are celebrating the fulfillment of the first coming, all those prophecies, and we are living in the time when we're awaiting the fulfillment of the second coming. Our faith should be strengthened when we look back and see God was faithful then, he will be faithful again. He has been faithful keeping his promises ever since Genesis, Genesis chapter 3.

We should share the gospel more urgently. That's the second concept that came to my mind. The people that the Lord has put in our lives, whether friends or family or co-workers. Not only is their life finite and our life is finite, but Christ will return, possibly before their life or our life will end. We should share the gospel more urgently in the light of these fulfilled prophesies around Christmas time.

It should also increase our joy and hope in this temporary situation we have here on Earth. When you see the reaction of all the people, whether it was the Magi or the shepherds or Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, you know whoever you look to, Anna and Simeon in Luke chapter 2, their reaction is worship and joy regardless of their situation. Their personal situation didn't change, but they had great joy at knowing that the Lord fulfilled his promises there and we should have great joy looking forward to the Lord fulfilling his promise when he returns. He will have his kingdom, he will fulfill his master plan for all mankind and the universe. And then we should have greater yearning for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, especially when you think that it's the end of a calendar year for us and another year was gone by, and we are waiting for the Lord to complete his mission to complete his plan, to fulfill all the prophecies that he's given us here in Revelation 22 and really the whole scriptures. He himself talking about, “I will come quickly, I will come back to collect you, I will keep my word, I will have my glory.” And so we say, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.” That's my encouragement to you as I've been meditating on these passages here for the last couple of weeks.