12/31/15 The End . . . and the Beginning

READING: Revelation 19-22

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  Today, the last day of 2015, we finish our reading of the Scriptures. It’s interesting that we land here in our reading. Much of what we hear today in our culture will be about the past — highlights of 2015. We will then “ring in” the new year at midnight, but our sights likely won’t be set far beyond that midnight hour. 

Our Bible reading for today, though, takes us into the blessing of God’s promised future for His followers. He who is the “Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 21:6) will ultimately redeem His people and His world. 

So much will be changed then:

The devil will be bound and judged foreverThe Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:10).

Jesus will remove our sorrows; death will no longer existHe will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away (Rev. 21:4).

Those whom Jesus has saved — whom He has washed with His shed blood — will be with HimLook! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God (Rev. 21:3). 

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates (Rev. 22:14).

Our response? We must live with a sense of what I call “urgent obedience,” knowing that Jesus is coming quickly. In fact, that’s what should happen when we read, hear, and obey the book of Revelation.  When we live that way, we can pray with John his final prayer of this book: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20). 

ACTION STEPS:  From chapters 19-22, here are some application steps to consider today. 

  • Don’t just read through the highlighted verses above. Stop and meditate on what God has promised us. 
  • If the devil attacks you today, don’t be discouraged. Stand in faith, knowing his ultimate defeat will someday come. 
  • Review the sin issues in your life today. Understanding that we will all answer for the way we live, choose to turn from wrong. 
  • Repent as needed to come to the place where you can wholeheartedly pray for Jesus to come back.
  • Spend some time simply praising God for the promise of heaven with Him.

PRAYER: “Come, Lord Jesus!” 

TOMORROW’S READING:  Tomorrow we begin a New Year. Join us as we read Genesis 1-3 and begin our look at spiritual warfare in the Bible.