By | August 24, 2022


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Bible Background • REVELATION 22:8–21

Printed Text • REVELATION 22:10–21 

Devotional Reading • GENESIS 1:26–31

Aim for Change
By the end of this lesson, we will SURVEY the biblical references to the “second coming” in order to
see the importance of this hoped-for reality, REJOICE that the invitation from Jesus to be a part of the
new creation continues through the end of all things, and EMBRACE the call to become part of God’s

In Focus
Chris laughed along with the audience ashe listened to his friend, Jason, a popular comedian, deliver
his punch lines with ease. A phone call interrupted him in mid-laughter. It was Jason.
“Are you watching the show I did last week?” Jason asked.
“Yeah, I told you I would. Pretty funny stuff. I can never figure out where you’re headed.” “That’s the
secret of a good punch line.” He chuckled.
“Now I got a good one for you. I told you I would start reading the Bible; today I have just finished the
last chapter,” Jason said.
“You started with the last chapter?” Chris asked nervously. It wasn’t that unusual. Jason always read
the ending before considering any book. But Chris was thinking of the end- of-the-world horrors,
which might be too much for a new Christian. “Jason, why would you do that?” Chris asked.
“Nobody told me where to start, so I figured I’d find out how everything was going to come out. You
know, to see if the ending was worth it,” Jason replied.

Chris tried to explain, “But Genesis and the walk of Christ.” Before he could finish, he heard Jason
howling in laugher.
“Don’t worry, the ending told me what I needed to know. We win in the end! Now I want to know more
about how and why.”
In the book of Revelation, Christians are assured of the ultimate happy ending—a triumphal procession
with Christ! How does this joyful knowledge affect your life?

Keep In Mind
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add
unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man
shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the
book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation
22:18–19, KJV)

Words You Should Know
A. Prophecy (Revelation 22:10) propheteia (Gk.) — A revelation from God given through the mouth of
a prophet; may or may not deal with the future directly
B. Rewards (v. 12) misthos (Gk.) — Wages or payment for services
Say It Correctly
Apocalyptic. ah-pah-kah-LIP-tic
Revelation 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time
is at hand.
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.
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work
shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may
enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and
whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the
offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is
athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall
add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away
his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Revelation 22:10 Then he instructed me, “Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book, for the time
is near.
11 Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let
the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy.”
12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.
13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the
city and eat the fruit from the tree of life.
15 Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol
worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of
David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.”
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is
thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.
18 And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If
anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in
this book.
19 And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that
person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.
20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come,
Lord Jesus!
21 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.
The People, Places, and Times
Alpha and Omega. Alpha and omega are, respectively, the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet.
Jesus claims the title “Alpha and Omega” at the very beginning of the vision He reveals to John
(Revelation 1:11), here at the revelation of the Church, and one last time near the very end of the
vision (22:13). By referring to Himself as “Alpha and Omega,” God is making it clear that He is the
source of everything. He is the Beginning and the End; He is sovereign, reigning over every aspect of
His creation.
Revelation 21 and the first part of chapter 22 portray, in visions and images, the wonderful future
awaiting God’s people in the new heaven and the new earth. And just as Christ’s first coming was
great news for some (the poor in spirit, who believed in Him) and bad news for others (the proud of
heart, who rejected Him), so also His unstoppable Second Coming will be wonderful news for those
who belong to Christ, and woeful news for those who spurn the message of His Gospel. Revelation,
like the Bible as a whole, is both a book of promise and a book of warning. John’s remarkable vision
calls the church to examine itself, to “give diligence to make [its] calling and election sure” (2 Peter
1:10), and to take comfort in the incomparable power and mercy of Christ, who comes for His own
and for their redemption.

1. Christ Is Coming Certainly and Quickly (Revelation 22:10–11)
2. Christ Is Coming as King and Lord (vv. 12–16)
3. Christ Is Coming for the Faithful Who Belong to Him (vv. 17–21)
In Depth
1. 1. Christ Is Coming Certainly and Quickly (Revelation 22:10–11)
An angel guiding John through his vision warns John not to close up the record of this revelation,
because it will all soon take place. It is almost not worth a person changing their actions, because
there is that little time to repent, so the angel encourages the unjust and the filthy to continue in their
sinful ways. A significant amount of narrative space is taken up in Revelation by opening the seals of
another book, so John leaving his own record open is significant. With it open, anyone is allowed to
read it. Everyone may be encouraged to read it, to see the fate that awaits the faithful and the
unfaithful, and mend their ways.
What may we imply about the character of God since He does not want people stopped from hearing
this prophecy?
2. Christ Is Coming as King and Lord (22:12–16)
Hear the powerful, kingly language of Jesus as He promises His coming! Only a king would speak this
way, promising a “reward” (v. 12) and daring to examine and understand the fullness of a person’s
deeds. In the language of Isaiah (Isaiah 44:6; 48:12), Christ’s voice thunders in testimony to His
preeminence. In the Old Testament, this kind of language beginning and ending, first and last (v. 13)—
could apply to Yahweh alone. Can there be any doubt that Jesus is laying claim to the same divine
status? He sends His angel to do His will (v. 16). He lays claim to David’s lineage (v. 16) and the
promises concerning the eternal King to come (Isaiah 11:1). This testimony matters greatly to the
Christian not only that Christ might be rightly worshiped, but also that the believer may know the
certainty of His coming! When Christ comes as King and Lord, He will “give every man according as
his work shall be” (v. 12). Each person acts according to his true nature and the state of his heart
toward Christ, and each person is judged by the fruit of that nature.
Why is it important that Jesus announces His identity in verses 13–16? How does His identity relate to
the hope of the Christian?
3. Christ Is Coming for the Faithful Who Belong to Him (vv. 17–21)
The book of Revelation, with all its vivid imagery and difficult symbolism, is simply a letter. It begins
like a letter, with a greeting and a blessing to the seven churches (Revelation 2–3); and it ends like a
letter, with a benediction (22:21). Fittingly, this letter concludes with an invitation: in light of the sure
coming of Christ as King and Lord, will you be found to belong to Him? Verse 17 reminds us of the
full, free offer of Christ in the Gospel. The Holy Spirit extends the invitation to accept Christ as Lord,
and even the bride, the true church, is pictured urging all to come unto Christ. Echoing Jesus’
invitation during His ministry (John 7:37–39), John beseeches those in the seven churches and
beyond to recognize and satisfy their thirst by receiving the water of eternal life in the Gospel. This
closing passage pictures a great law court with four faithful witnesses: the angel, John, the Holy
Spirit, and finally Jesus Himself (v. 20). And where there is a law court, there is accountability and
justice; all who hear are accountable to respond to the message! John demonstrates the beautiful,
simple response of faith: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
Why do you think the gracious invitation of verse 17 and the stern warning of verses 18–19 are put next
to each other?

Search the Scriptures
1. For what purpose does Jesus say He will return quickly (v. 12)?
2. To whom does Jesus give the message of Revelation (v. 16)?
Discuss the Meaning
1. How is this last part of Revelation a happy ending? What do you find surprising or unexpected
about this ending?
2. How does this passage help you understand the book of Revelation as a whole?
Liberating Lesson
Throughout church history, countless individuals and communities have predicted with confidence
the exact date on which Jesus will return. Without exception, they have been wrong. As a result, the
whole idea of expecting a miraculous return of Christ has been largely discredited in the minds of
many. The book of Revelation, when it focuses on the return of Christ, does not list a series of
mysterious hints that the church is left to decode. Nor does it merely tell us what we want to hear,
flattering us by sparing any sense of accountability and judgment at Christ’s return. Before a world
that mocks its expectation as “pie in the sky” and a church that often misunderstands its message as
a riddle to solve, the book of Revelation focuses on the faithfulness and preeminence of Christ.
Because Jesus is the first and the last, the King of kings, and the true descendant of David, the
Christian can rest in His promises. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Application for Activation
If you could have written the last chapter of the Bible, how would you have written it? Often the Spirit
uses the parts of the Bible we find most surprising to drive home the Word’s significance. Read
through these last few verses of Revelation and write down the parts you find unexpected. Think
through what each surprising part means for the church and for you individually, and resolve to make
that meaning part of your regular prayers and conversation with others in the church.

Follow the Spirit
What God wants me to do:
Remember Your Thoughts
Special insights I have learned:

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