Jesus’ last words spoken from Heaven were, “Surely I come quickly” (Rev 22:20). And it won’t be long before He speaks once again—when He comes down from Heaven with a shout! In the meantime, the hearts of those waiting and watching for Him need to remain glowing hot, focused, and faithful concerning this blessed hope set before us. Nothing less will satisfy the cravings of our hearts for Him! But if we deny this hope, then we are not correctly understanding prophecy.
Here we are coming closer than ever to the very end of the age, and we find, as predicted, that many have given up hope in Jesus coming back to Earth at any moment. But it doesn’t matter whether many today believe this or few—it still is true. When will Jesus come? It could be at any time now. No, we don’t know just what day or hour our Bridegroom will come for His bride. Therefore, it could just as well be today! No prophecy concerning Christ coming for His bride remains to be fulfilled before we will hear His shout from Heaven to come up and be with Him.
Certainly the true Church, the bride of Christ, will go through tribulation while she remains on Earth. But the horrible ‘Great Tribulation’ to come of the last days is not promised to the Church. The True Church is not in the Great Tribulation at this time, and it won’t be here when it does occur. The wrath of God is not for His children. This is the other aspect of our blessed hope as we wait for Jesus’ appearing at any moment.
Many verses of God’s Word teach that Jesus is coming soon, so the bride is to be ready and waiting for her Savior to come:
- “The Lord is at hand” (Phil 4:5).
- “For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Heb 10:37).
- “…nearer than when we believed” (Rom 13:11).
- “…the coming of the Lord draweth nigh [near]” (James 5:8, emphasis mine in each passage).
All of these leave us with the distinct impression that Jesus is coming soon!
This is just the impetus we need to dedicate our lives to active service for our Lord in a pure and unselfish way, not of this world. Many have preached that we should strive to work diligently for God and live a holy life, because death will come soon enough and then we can do these things no more. But the Bible argument is always that Jesus is coming soon, and we need to be sure we are ready for Him! In the meantime, we need to be constantly waiting, watching, and praying. We should be active in service to and for Him—so we will be found as faithful stewards carrying out what He has called us to do while we await His return.
Jesus is the only one in scripture who ever said to us, “I come quickly.” And our proper response should always be, “Come.” We need to be patient while maintaining our hope as we watch and wait. We want Him to come quickly—but we know the timing is up to Him. We know He loves us and that we can always trust Him. If He delays, it is not because He is “slack concerning His promise” (2 Pet 3:9). He waits because His longsuffering will allow an opportunity for many more to be saved. We could never deny others the privilege of joining our ranks. Therefore we are not dismayed that He lingers to bring more in.
“And the Spirit and the bride say [to Him], Come” (Rev 22:17). There is no one else they can properly say this to! God’s Spirit strengthens the desire of the bride as she repeats this word, while others are also being wooed by it. They are also being urged to cry out for His reappearing. All who share Jesus’ favor and grace while here will be filled with joy when He appears and takes us home to be with Him there. By His grace, we are being made fit for it and are preserved unto it. Therefore, keep joyfully expecting His glorious return.
Meanwhile our responsibility is clear. We need to—
Be ready for service.
Be like the others who wait for their Lord.
Be sure our lights are burning bright.
Teach this message passionately while our lives glow with the truth.
Not give in to false teaching that we have no right to expect Jesus’ return at any moment.
Continue to watch for and believe in His return at any time.
“Surely I come quickly”—this is the pleasing note prophecy ends on, and Jesus’ last message to the hearts of believers. What an encouragement, after waiting for Him so long, through so many difficulties, trials, dangers, and woes. We are blessed to know that the holy and true One speaks these words to us. He has given our hearts a faithful pledge, and He won’t fail to fulfill it. He is surely about to return. Soon He is coming! Coming for you! Coming for me!
Can love ever be satisfied before the One most desired makes His long-awaited appearance? Our hearts will freely respond to Him in love and truth. And who wouldn’t respond right away to a free invitation that is so divine? If only we could in some way properly relay just how loving and tender our beloved Lord is!
Jesus said He is coming to bring an end to the hard work and suffering of those who serve Him. He is coming to receive to Himself the ones who have been faithful and continuing the course in spite of opposition, discouragement, or any other influences to the contrary. He is coming with the reward of His grace with Him. Every faithful work, every labor of love, He will repay. And He will take His beloved bride to live with Him forever in Heaven—the state and place of complete happiness. To this we heartily reply, “So be it—come quickly, Lord Jesus!”
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent, that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2 Pet 3:14).