More of Revelation's Beatitudes
"Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
-Revelation 22:7, emphasis added
Yesterday, we looked at the first five of seven beatitudes-the blessings in Revelation. Today, we will see the remaining two.
The Sixth Beatitude-Christ's Service: "Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book" (Revelation 22:7). There is great blessing and joy for those who heed God's Word because obedience to Him is what Jesus longs for: "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him" (John 14:21). Never forget this point: you will find joy as you not only read and hear God's Word but also keep it! As we keep His Word by the energy and power of the Holy Spirit, to the grace of Jesus Christ, we will have the blessing of Christ's service. Serving Christ by obeying Him is both a joy and a blessing! This truth is well expressed by the lyrics of this song.
There Is Joy in Serving Jesus
There is joy in serving Jesus, as I journey on my way;
Joy that fills the heart with praises ev'ry hour and ev'ry day.
There is joy in serving Jesus, joy that triumphs over pain;
Fills my soul with heaven's music, till I join the glad refrain.
There is joy in serving Jesus, as I walk alone with God;
‘Tis the joy of Christ, my Savior, Who the path of suff'ring trod.
There is joy in serving Jesus, joy amid the darkest night;
For I've learned the wondrous secret, and I'm walking in the light.
There is joy, joy, joy in serving Jesus;
Joy that throbs within my heart
Ev'ry moment, ev'ry hour, as I draw upon His pow'r;
There is joy, joy, joy that never shall depart.
- Oswald J. Smith (1889-1986)
The Seventh Beatitude-Christ's Home: "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14). This verse emphasizes the fact that He will eternally sustain us. The home He has prepared for us is the happy result of getting that clean robe and having eternal access to the Tree of Life.
Now look at 22:11: "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still." Some people struggle with this verse because they think it means: "If you are a sinner, stay a sinner." But God is actually saying that in the eternal state there is no possibility of change.
Consider Warren Wiersbe's comments on this verse:
Does Revelation 22:11 suggest that God does not want men to repent and change their ways? No, because that would be contrary to the message of Revelation and of the gospel itself. The angel's words must be understood in light of the repeated statement, ‘Behold, I come quickly' (Rev. 22:7, 12), as well as His statement, ‘For the time is at hand' (Rev. 22:10). Jesus Christ's coming will occur so quickly that men will not have time to change their characters. Revelation 22:11, therefore, is a solemn warning that decision determines character, and character determines destiny. Suffering believers might ask, ‘Is it worth it to live a godly life?' John's reply is, ‘Yes! Jesus is returning, and He will reward you!' It is worth it to be righteous, [and] it is worth it to be holy but you won't be able to wait till the last minute. When you see the Lord coming, it will be too late to say yes. You must choose Him now.
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