“Even So, Come Lord Jesus”
“Surely I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20). His coming is fearful to those who are not ready to meet Him. But in this verse, the response is: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” What kind of heart is portrayed in this response?
1) A believing heart Though it is now almost two thousand years since the Lord’s return was promised, yet the believing heart still responds, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus”. This is the only good way for a believer to respond. The thought is, “Yes, Lord, I fully believe that you will come as you said. Christ’s coming does not hinge upon our acceptance of the fact. My belief in his coming will make no difference whether or not he comes, but it will make a difference whether he comes for me. “Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time” (Hebrews 9:28). So for me it will make a great difference whether or not I am looking for him.
Sadly, not all men believe. Peter speaks of scoffers who ask, Where is the promise of his coming? Such is the response of unbelief. We surely would not scoff at the promise of the Lord’s coming, but perhaps closer home is a subtle form of unbelief like that of the servant who said, “My lord delayeth his coming” (Luke 12:45). We can easily believe that Christ is coming but that he is probably not coming today. Such thinking results in disorderly conduct, as it was for that servant.
I once spoke with a young man who told me that the Lord is not coming today. This man’s attitude obviously affected his behaviour. He was indifferent and was not living up to what he knew was right. We must rather be convinced that Christ is surely coming and that he could come today. His promise is by no means less certain because of the fact that he has tarried many years. Peter wrote that the longsuffering of God is one reason for his tarrying. He wishes not that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
2) A submissive heart This is indicated by the “Amen” in our text. John was saying, “So be it, Lord. Even though I do not understand all the details, come, according to your will.” What are some characteristics of Christ’s coming? One is in the text: “Surely I come quickly.” This has the thought of coming soon (without delay) as well as coming suddenly (without warning). Another characteristic is that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2). People will feel secure, saying “Peace and safety”, but suddenly they will be robbed of everything they trusted in.
God has a perfect right to send His son for his bride, as He chooses. We may not be certain about the manner of his coming, but let us be sure that we are open to God’s higher ways. Above all, let us not be so taken up with our conjectures that we are not ready when Christ does come. That is what happened to many of the Jews when Jesus came the first time. Jesus’ mother, Mary, provides an excellent picture of one with a submissive heart before Christ’s first coming when an angel told her that she would be his mother. “He shall be great, and shall be called the son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever” (Luke 1:32-33). Did Mary grasp everything that the angel told her? Did she understand how all the details would work out? She probably had a number of misconceptions about the whole thing. But Mary’s response clearly portrays a submissive heart. She simply said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). That is very much like John’s response in Revelation, “Even so, come Lord Jesus”.
3) A ready heart In Revelation 22, John recorded various truths associated with Christ’s coming; one is in verse 11, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Another truth is in verse 12: “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be”. The coming of Christ will mean giving an account of our lives and being rewarded accordingly.
John’s response, “Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus.” It seems that he was saying, “I am ready. I have met the conditions that you have stated, and I am living in accordance with your will and your word.” Does our heart echo the same readiness? Are we satisfied that we are ready to be forever with the Lord? What glory we will experience if it is so! But if we have failed to meet God’s requirements for salvation, we cannot always honestly say, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.” Instead, we need to take action to get ourselves ready. In his first epistle, John described how we can be righteous before God: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8,9). If we receive God’s grace and sincerely strive to live above self and sin, we can always be ready for Christ’s return. May that be true in our experience. May we be like the five wise virgins, who had their lamps trimmed and burning ready for the bridegroom.
4) An eager heart We sense this in the words, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus”. Here is the cry of an eager heart, one that is longing for Christ and even urging him to come quickly. What was behind this eager desire? Revelation 21 and 22 speak of the wonderful things John saw, things so marvellous that he had difficulty putting them into words. The light of the heavenly city was like unto a stone most precious (21:11,18), “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light.” John was bursting with the splendours of the New Jerusalem and these should also quicken our pulse and stir the heart’s longing for home. The greatest attraction in this magnificent place is the throne of God and of the Lamb, “And they shall see his face!” Oh, do we not long for the time and day. What overwhelming joy it will be to see our precious Redeemer face to face!
We must hold fast to the truth, adding nothing to it and taking nothing from it. If we do these things and if we have a believing, submissive, ready and eager heart, we can echo John’s response: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
Bro Uka Egwa (Ohafia, Nigeria)