Still, to this day, church-going people fear the “Revelation”; they fear it primarily because they don’t understand it and don’t understand because they don’t want to. Therefore, they will not open their Bibles.
As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I find the book of Revelation to be exciting. While it has more than its fair share of death and agitation, it is also an aspect of our hope and the promise that Jesus will come back to gather His church back to Himself. Therefore, it excites me because it assures me that God’s promises are soon coming to pass for followers of Christ like me.
Considering the agitation and death. I suppose it would be fair for you to wonder how I could find death and destruction exciting, especially since I understand that many people I know will experience at least a portion of the seven years of God’s wrath (Why only a part? Because the deaths will be an ongoing process during the seven years, and not all of it is being dished out by God.) It is because the “Revelation” fulfills all the promises of God, gives us hope, and encourages us to keep our focus on Christ.
Suppose you cannot recognize that there is hope and a future, then you do not have a relationship with Jesus. Having a relationship would give you the insight to know not only Jesus’ nature and character but the Father’s as well; they are one you know.
One of those promises is seen in Revelation 22:12.
Revelation 22:12 NASB
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”
Most people reading this verse will see this – “to render to every human according to what they have done,” and see nothing but condemnation coming toward them. (Yes, I modified this just a bit as you and I both know that this moment in time will not be exclusive to men; everyone will be impacted.) If that is all you can see, then we need reprogramming, which can only be done through the Holy Spirit and God’s word.
These may have been the very words I said, “Behold, I am coming quickly,” (or at least a variation of it) to the men’s group one evening; only to be interrupted by a “brother-in-Christ” so that he could criticize me publicly, call me a branding iron – someone there to excite, and to tell me that Jesus is probably NOT coming back for another forty years or more. I can tell you there is no hope in a statement like that, and it is certainly not just a realistic look at the world. What that brother did that night exemplified the antichrist spirit, which was demonic.
Coming soon or quickly is the Greek word tachu, which means shortly, without delay, soon, or (by surprise) suddenly.
Considering the level of heinous activity surrounding us all, how could the return of Jesus to collect His bride be a surprise?
The answer to this question lies in the fact that most of the so-called church does NOT follow these prophetic words; follow the Revelation, or even care. As far as prophecy teachers go, one of my favorite teachers is Amir Tsarfati. So often, to make a point, he will say that if Jesus waits too much longer, no one will be surprised because it will be that bad.
If you are a student of Biblical prophecy, then you should know that 2Thessalonians 2:3 (in the Geneva Bible) tells us “… for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition,..” The church must be gone before the “son of perdition – the antichrist” comes into public view.
If you refuse to accept what I tell you and will only receive the words of the King James version, which came over 100 years after the Geneva Bible, then look at this.
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 KJV
Since you are such an advocate for the KJV, I will leave you to interpret the word letteth on your own time. Get a grip. Even if you refuse to believe that the Geneva Bible is more correct and that the church must be gone before this son of perdition comes on the scene, then verses 7-8 should slap you right in the face. Verses 7-8 tell us that we, the church, are the thing that is withholding this fool. Once the church is gone, then the Wicked (referring to an individual) shall be revealed.
Let’s go back to Revelation 22:12 again and consider this statement.
“Behold, I am coming quickly.”
Is He referring to Jesus, coming for His bride in the clouds, or is He speaking of the time when Jesus will come back as the warring messiah that every eye will see at the end of the seven years of wrath?
The terminology is not exclusive to either group and can apply to both. I am looking for Jesus to come and collect His bride.
“…, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” (Psalms 96:13 KJV)
Obviously, there is no reference in Psalm 96 to speed as in Revelation 22:12, but there is a comparable allusion to potential judgment.
Revelation 22 conveys judgment in this manner.
“My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”
Reward is the Greek word misthos and means pay for service.
In the religious train of thought, service leans toward work in ministry, but it can also mean hired service. Remember that Revelation 22:12 did not use the word service; it is, however, associated with reward.
So there is a red alert in my mind’s eye when I see the word work related to the outcome of our lives. Because we are not saved by works but by faith in Jesus Christ, and He did all the work for us. I do, however, seem to have to work at staying focused on the “ministry” at hand, which for me is to write these Bible studies. (And you thought I was doing this only for you.)
So, for the followers of Christ, we have the judgment seat of Christ.
We have covered this before, but new people are constantly stumbling upon our studies, and I assume they don’t have a clue about the Bema seat. Like me, there is also the possibility that they sat under some bad teaching and thought we were to undergo some terrible punishment for the lousy way we lived our lives on this earth. That is NOT the case, and I will show you why.
Romans 14:10 NASB “… For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”
Paul’s letter to the church in Rome had been primarily written to Jewish expatriate followers of Christ. For several years that body of believers had to disband because of Roman oppression, but now it was back. Thanks to Paul’s preaching, many Gentiles had begun to join this Jewish community of believers. In this letter, Paul had to tell the Jews multiple times that Jesus/God had leveled the playing field, and hence we get a statement that says, “we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”
Now you have to ask, what is the dark hidden secret behind this judgment seat of God?
If this were a game show, this is where you would hear that obnoxious buzzer indicating a wrong answer because there is no judgment as Jesus took all judgment upon Himself on the cross.
Judgment is the Greek word bēma and means a raised step or stand, much like you see at the Olympics.
In Revelation 2:23, Jesus, speaking to the church in Ephesus, says,
“… and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.”
So, we will be rewarded according to our deeds. I keep thinking about the parable of servants, who are given talents and expected to do something with those talents and increase. Take a moment out of your life and read Matthew 25:14-30. Each got talents, but one only had one, and he was expected to use that talent. So, instead of using his talent, he buried it out of fear.
The end of this story does not make me happy, as I was like that servant, at least for a time. The enemy of our souls tells me that I succumbed to fear and did not do enough. If you had known me as a young man, you would not recognize me as I have become quite bold. I do not go around evangelizing; I hate that, but I have conversations about my Jesus every chance I get, and it bothers me deeply when “Christians” choose to withdraw and speak in a manner that would prevent strangers from hearing. I have never knowingly led anyone to Jesus Christ, but the Holy Spirit tells me that my writing has led many to Jesus.