Revelation 22

A FINAL WORD BEFORE YOU READ TODAY’S BLOG: On the last day of this year, and as I complete this daily blog, I want to thank you for reading what I have written. This blog began as part of a challenge to my church family this time last year. I asked everyone to spend time in God’s Word every single day in 2013. I provided a list of key chapters and promised to lead by example as I made the commitment myself. As proof to our church family, and as a way to model how to read the Word for application, I pledged to write every day about my observations. I wanted to offer a fresh, same-day, real-time journal of my experience in the Scripture throughout the year — and the journey has been so rewarding. I feel that I have grown. I have had to think through some difficult passages and dig more deeply into the Word than ever before, and I am glad for the experience. Please forgive any typographical errors, as I have typed it all with my own hands and proofed it all with my own eyes. Please forgive any errors in content, any misleading statements, any overly-long posts, any poorly-written posts, and any grammatical rules that I have broken during the year. “When words are many, transgression is not lacking” (Proverbs 10:19).

This task would have been tedious indeed without the steady, gracious flow of encouragement from readers of the blog. Through your emails, cards, Twitter and Facebook messages, and face-to-face conversations, God has provided the encouragement necessary to give my best. Thank you.

I also want to thank my amazing and invaluable assistant, Jana Chapman, for helping with the details of the blog. Teresa Rae of Pea Tree Designs has also been a tremendous help as the administrator of our WordPress account. Finally, I owe so much to my soul-mate, Tresa. She has been patient this year as I have spent around 750 hours writing (that’s equivalent to about a month). I have blogged at home, in hotel rooms on vacation, and even in a tent while camping a few times! Thank you, Friend, for understanding. I love you truly.

I have had several questions about continuing this blog and about the availability of it in the future. I want to continue blogging in some manner, but definitely not in this same format. I hope you will want to read what I write in the future. The “Every Day in the Word” blog will still be available if you would like to re-read it or recommend it to a friend. Simply search for the date or chapter you desire at 365intheword.wordpress.com. Some have asked if I would put all the posts together in a book. I need to think about that; it would be an expensive undertaking. Beginning tomorrow, I hope all my First Baptist Church of Sevierville friends will participate in our church-wide campaign called RE:NEW. In the RE:NEW Journal (which I hope you have picked up) there are daily Bible readings and “prayer points” for the first 75 days of 2014. Many thanks to Craig Mintz for writing that material.

That’s all for now. Stay in the Word!

TODAY’S BLOG:

The final chapter of the book of Revelation (and of the Bible) finds the Apostle John standing on a “great, high mountain”, looking up into New Jerusalem (see 21:10). It seems right that our last glimpse of John is on a mountain, for many of the defining moments of his life happened on the heights. It was on a mountain that John heard Jesus teach (see Matthew 5:1); on a mountain John was named an apostle (see Mark 3:13-14); on a mountain John saw Jesus transfigured (see Matthew 17:1-8); on a skull-shaped hill called Golgotha John saw Jesus crucified (see John 19:17); on a mountain John heard the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:16-20); and on a mountain John saw Jesus ascend into heaven (see Acts 1:9-12). And here, standing on a heavenly summit, John sees a place that is yet-to-be.

John’s angel guide showed him the beautiful water feature of New Jerusalem, “the river of the water of life” (v.1). I believe it will be a real river, but I can’t ignore the symbolism of it. Jesus used the image of “living water” to refer to eternal life (see John 4:10) and the life-giving ministry of the Holy Spirit (see John 7:37-39). It is significant that the river flows “from the throne of God and the Lamb” (v.1) because God is the singular source of eternal life. It is a gift that is offered freely to all who desire it (v.17). I remember when I became desperately thirsty for that life as a 16 year-old. I called on the Lord to save me and He filled me with His living water! I will be able to see (and maybe wade in?) that water throughout eternity in the New Jerusalem.

John saw another symbol of salvation, “the tree of life” there by the river (v.2). It’s miraculous yield and its healing properties will be everlasting reminders of the abundant life of Jesus that heals our souls. I want to see the river and the tree in the New Jerusalem, but the sight that will make heaven heaven is found in verse 4: “His face”! Imagine seeing Jesus face to face for the first time — the one to whom we have prayed countless prayers, the one about whom we have sung innumerable songs, the one whose face we have imagined in a million daydreams. Suddenly we will see His face, and we will worship in His very presence (v.3). What a moment!

As John’s vision faded away, he recalled three statements of Jesus, each containing repeating the same promise: “I am coming soon” (v.7, 12, 20). That promise is simultaneously a word of hope to those who love Him, a word of warning to those who don’t, and a word of motivation to those who have been tasked with sharing His gospel (that’s you). Every true believer longs for the fulfillment of that promise. Every true believer can identify with John’s exclamation in verse 20, “Come, Lord Jesus!” Yes!

Come rapture Your church, Lord Jesus!

Come break the seals of judgment, Lord Jesus!

Come defeat the Antichrist and imprison Satan, Lord Jesus!

Come reign on the earth for a thousand years, Lord Jesus!

Come create the new heaven and the new earth, Lord Jesus!

Come bring down that New Jerusalem, Lord Jesus!

I just love that the last sentence in the Bible is about the grace of Jesus (v.21). We first saw that grace in action in Genesis 3:21 when God covered the sins of Adam and Eve. We saw that grace personified in the God-man, Jesus (see John 1:14). We heard that grace preached on the streets of Old Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. We experienced that grace personally as we repented and were saved by grace through faith (see Ephesians 2:8). We are sustained by that grace daily as we follow Jesus, and we will abide in that grace forever! “Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.

Revelation 21

While the Apostle John was living in exile on the prison island of Patmos, the Lord Jesus gave him a preview of the praise-filled throne room of heaven, the dreadful events of the Great Tribulation, the defeat of the Antichrist at the Battle of Armageddon, the glorious Millennial Reign of Christ on earth, and the final judgment of the unsaved at the Great White Throne. What an experience that must have been for old John! And what a gift to us! Through the miracle of Holy Scripture, God inspired John to record this revelation on paper, and then preserved its accuracy through the copies that were distributed and later combined with other apostolic writings in the New Testament. The book of Revelation is a treasure — without it our perspective on the future would be dim indeed.

In today’s chapter John is given a look at “final heaven”, the place where believers will live with the Lord forever. Planet Earth as we know it will not last forever, but will “pass away” and be replaced with a “new earth” (v.1). The implications of that future reality boggle the mind, as the beautiful creation of Genesis chapter 1 will be “set free” (see Romans 8:21) from the curse of Genesis chapter 3. We can’t be sure exactly what the new earth will look like or exactly where it will be located, but we can be sure that all who have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be there forever with God. (Note: verse 1 says that the new earth will not have a sea, suggesting a world without oceans or continents as we know them. This fact would have been significant to John who was separated from his friends and family by the Aegean Sea.)

Verse 2 indicates that the holy city, the New Jerusalem, will descend from God as the capital city of our recreated planet. I may be wrong, but (as crazy as it sounds) the New Jerusalem may hang suspended in the atmosphere as sort of a near-earth satellite which will be eternally accessible to all the inhabitants of the new earth. I offer that guess for three reasons.
1. New Jerusalem is a self-contained cube (v.16) which John said will descend out of the new heaven, but he never said it will touch down on the new earth.
2. New Jerusalem will take the place of the sun as the new earth’s light source (v.23), suggesting that it would need to be suspended above the new earth in order to shed its holy light on the nations of the new earth (v.24; this presupposes that light will behave then as it does now; it may not).
3. John was able to view New Jerusalem from the vantage point of “a great, high mountain” on the surface of the new earth as it descended. To me, this suggests that from the new earth we will have to look up to see it. In order to look down upon New Jerusalem, the mountain on which John stood would have to have been taller than the city-cube, which is “12,000 stadia” or nearly 1,400 miles high (at present, the highest mountain on earth is a mere 5.5 miles).

Thank you for indulging my guesses for a few lines; now on to what we know for certain…

New Jerusalem must have been a struggle for John to describe within the limits of human language. Cubic in shape (the same shape as the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s Temple), he saw the city sparkle and glow with reflected and refracted light (v.11). Although it had the appearance of “pure gold”, John also said that it was “clear as glass” (v.18, 21). New Jerusalem is apparently very colorful, as John used twelve precious stones (in addition to pearls) to describe its design. John noted the dazzling beauty of the gates, the walls, and the streets — all so amazing that they defy adequate description. I can’t wait to see it with my own eyes!

Maybe the most beautiful qualities that John recorded are not what he saw, but what he didn’t see. The presence of our good God (v.3) will mean the absence of many bad things. John said there will be no death, no mourning, no crying, and no pain (v.4). Just think of life without any of those heart-breakers! There will be no perpetrators of crime or wickedness (v.8). There will be no temple, no place to “go” in order to worship God, for we will be in the very presence of the objects of our worship (v.22). There will be no sun or moon to give light or to measure time — the glory of God will light an everlasting day (v.23)! The gates of ancient cities were shut at night for security, but in the presence of God the gates are always open because there will be no more night (v.25). Finally, there will be nothing unholy there and no one impure there (v.27). It will just be our glorious God and His redeemed people — forever!

Revelation 20

I must say at the beginning of today’s post that I feel somewhat inadequate to comment on this chapter. I have not been a diligent enough student of eschatology (the study of end times) to even summarize an intelligent explanation for the events described here. I can only rejoice in the generalities: Satan’s ultimate defeat, Christ’s ultimate victory, and judgment’s ultimate end. Bear with me, dear reader.

The chapter opens shortly after the Battle of Armageddon has been fought, on what must be the opening day of the Millennial (thousand-year) Reign of Christ on earth. During this glorious era we will meet our brothers and sisters in Christ who were saved and martyred during the Great Tribulation (as I understand it). They will be raised to life and will enjoy the reign of King Jesus along with the Church.

The Millennial Reign will be the first Satan-free period of human history, as he will be locked away, unable to deceive anyone (v.1-3). Imagine a world without Satan’s influence! John does not say why “that ancient serpent” will be released “for a little while”, but apparently he will be (v.3). After 1,000 years with no access to humanity, he will emerge to do what he has always done: deceive people and lead them into sin. I gather from verses 7-8 that the free will of mankind will be intact throughout the Millennial Reign of Christ. There will be a great many people — whole nations of them (v.8) — who will exercise their will by choosing to follow Satan’s deceit rather than Christ’s truth. Satan will lead them into battle against the Lord and His people. There will be no fighting, but there will be lots of fire: the deceived will be “consumed” with the fire of judgment and the deceiver will be thrown into hell-fire to burn forever. And just like that, Satan is over and done with, eternally silenced in hell.

Verses 11-15 describe the final judgment of sins and sinners. It is known as the “Great White Throne” judgment. There will be billions of people standing before that judgment, each one a person who has died in their sins. My understanding is that this judgment is only for the lost. As each person is judged individually, the record of their life will reveal their lost condition (v.12) and the absence of their name in the book of life will seal their doom (v.15). (Note: the only way to get your name written in Lamb’s the book of life is to repent of your sins and place your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior; see 21:27.) All of those present will be thrown into the “lake of fire”, or hell (v.15). Each of them will have already experience the first death (physical), and their entry into hell will begin an eternal “second death” (v.14). I praise the Lamb that since I am saved, the second death has “no power” over me (v.6)! A thousand years — or a million years, or a billion years — will not be enough time to adequately thank Him for His grace. Amen?

Revelation 19

For the last few days we have been reading the initial visions of the Apostle John in the book of Revelation. The Lord Jesus appeared to him on the prison island of Patmos (see chapter 1) and gave him messages for the seven churches of Asia Minor (see chapters 2-3). Then Jesus transported John into another dimension and forward in time, allowing him to witness the worship going on in the very throne room of heaven at the end of human history as we know it (see chapters 4-5). We have skipped chapters 6-18, which use highly symbolic images to describe the events of what Jesus called the “Great Tribulation” (see Matthew 24:21). When Jesus breaks the first seal on the scroll of God’s end-time plan (see 6:1), the Tribulation begins and lasts for seven years. (Note: the Tribulation is the last “week” of the 70 “weeks” or “sevens” of Daniel 9:24-27 — at least as I understand it).

In chapters 6-18 we read of the “four horsemen of the Apocalypse”, the seven seals, the seven bowls, and the seven trumpets. All these are symbolic of the devastatingly thorough judgment God will pour out on the world. The Tribulation is a time of judgment. While all that takes place, the church (all believers) will be with Jesus in heaven, having already been raptured, saved from Tribulation wrath.

When we come to chapter 19, the time is the very end of the Tribulation period, and John is still in the throne room of heaven. From his vantage point he has seen the horrifying events of the Tribulation unfold, but he is also privy to the exuberant reactions around the throne of God as the excitement builds toward the final climactic events of the end times. At this point the battle lines will have already been drawn for the greatest conflict in human history, when the Antichrist and his vast armies gather to attack Israel at a place called Armageddon (see 16:16).

Knowing the great victory that Christ is about to win, a “great multitude” in heaven bursts into loud praise (v.1-4). The shouts come in waves as they celebrate God’s salvation of repentant sinners and His judgment of all evil. The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fall down before the throne of God, saying, “Amen! Hallelujah!” Their voices had hardly died down when the “great multitude” picked up another chorus, even louder than the first (v.6). This time their praise became thunderous as they announced the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (v.7-9). We do not know much about this event, but we do know that the entire Bride of Christ (all believers, the Church) will be in attendance, we do know that it will be a time of great celebration just before the Battle of Armageddon, and we do know that a “supper” involves food! (Note: Whether the food is literal or symbolic we do not know, and it does not matter. Christ will be there, and in His presence all needs are met. The celebration will be more important than the menu!)

The next thing John saw was the majestic figure of the Lord Jesus sitting on a white horse and dressed for battle (v.11). He is poised and ready to fight, and the “armies of heaven” are following Him. In this setting one title is not enough to describe the Savior — He is called “Faithful and True”, “The Word of God”, and “King of kings and Lord of lords” (and one additional name that only He can read; v.12). He is pictured with a sword between His teeth, ready to “strike down the nations” (v.15; in the New Testament, a sword represents the truth of Scripture, as in Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12).

In contrast to the beautiful banquet of the Bride of Christ in heaven, an angel calls scavenging birds to “the great supper of God”, a morbid invitation to devour the flesh of the soon-to-be-fallen soldiers allied with the Antichrist (v.17-18). The actual battle takes place quickly, with Christ easily defeating His enemies — apparently with just a verbal pronouncement of judgment (v.21). Now that’s power! According to verses 20-21, everyone is killed except for two prisoners of war captured alive. The Antichrist (“the beast”, v.20) and his high priest/prime minister known as “the false prophet” are thrown alive into the fires of hell, never to be heard from again. Their defeat signals the end of the Great Tribulation and the beginning of the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth. We will cover that tomorrow in chapter 20. Until then, live for Jesus, join your voice with the praise of heaven, and think about the victory you have in Christ. Hallelujah!

Revelation 5

As the Apostle John stood in the very throne room of heaven, straining to process all the mind-blowing sights and sounds, he realized that he had been transported forward in time. He was seeing future events that were yet to take place. As John listened to the songs of the white-robed elders and the multi-winged creatures, he saw something in the Lord’s right hand. It was a scroll, “written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals” (v.1).

In ancient times there were no books as we know them today. Instead, paper would be written upon and then rolled up and sealed with wax or clay (I have seen pictures of an ancient scroll of the book of Isaiah that when unrolled measures 44 feet long!). My understanding is that the scroll in God’s hand is a visual representation of His plan for the end of the world. From God’s perspective, the end of human history as we know it has already been written. He is not making it up as He goes; He is not allowing things to happen by chance; He has already written the future. It is revealed in seven consecutive phases or events that will take place as God unleashes His judgment on sin and sinners. As each of the seven seals are broken, they reveal another phase of judgment (see Revelation 6:1-8:5).

In dramatic fashion, John looked on as a search was made for someone who was “worthy” to break the seals of the scroll and set the events of final judgment in motion — someone who was qualified, someone who was good enough, someone who was righteous enough to handle it. Anticipation built as the search was made (v.3). John was completely taken in; he was overcome with emotion (v.4), perhaps because of his desire for sin to be abolished, for God to be glorified, and for redemption to be completed.

With the entrance of the Lord Jesus, the Lion of Judah and the Root of David (v.5), the search was over! Because He alone has “conquered” (v.5), He alone is worthy. Christ alone has conquered sin, death, and Satan; Christ alone has fulfilled all prophecy; Christ alone has been “slain” (v.6) for the sins of mankind — so Christ alone can be trusted with the future of the world He made (see John 1:3). He is pictured as the ultimate sacrificial Lamb, His perfection indicated by the three “sevens” in verse 6: horns, eyes, and spirits.

When Jesus approached His Father’s throne and took the scroll, ALL HEAVEN BROKE LOOSE! All at once, the elders and the creatures began to sing, falling down on their faces and accompanying themselves with 28 golden heaven-harps (v.8). Then innumerable angels joined their chorus in a triumphant refrain of worthiness and power and glory (v.11-12). The song crescendoed as the voices of angels were joined with the voice of all creation (v.13), as every bird and fish and animal and force of nature lifted their own sounds, together saying, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” With a loud and final “Amen!” from the four living creatures the song was over as all the singers prostrated themselves before the Great Redeemer (v.14). What a song! What a Savior! He is worthy of the highest praise — and He is worthy of your very best discipleship today.

Revelation 4

John, an exile on the prison island of Patmos, was all alone when he received a visit from the Lord Jesus. Speaking from behind His friend, Jesus told John to write down a message for seven churches that were under John’s supervision (see chapters 1-3). Sometime after that, Jesus appeared to him again, this time speaking from above. Hearing the trumpet-loud voice overhead, John looked up and saw a door in the sky, a portal to another dimension (v.1). Jesus, apparently from inside the portal, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once John was transported to the very throne room of heaven.

Before Jesus showed him the frightening and chaotic scenes of global upheaval related to the Second Coming, He showed him the beauty of heaven, a place of holiness and order in which God is in control. John noticed that God was “seated”, not pacing about, wringing His hands and fretting about the future — but seated, unthreatened and in command. I can almost sense John’s struggle to describe the indescribable with the limits of human language. He used the most beautiful and precious objects he had seen on earth as reference points for God’s dazzling appearance in heaven, colorful gemstones: jasper, carnelian, and emerald (v.3). In front of the God-throne there was a “sea of glass” (v.6). Crystal-clear glass was extremely rare in John’s day, but that is how he attempted to put the sparkling brilliance of God’s glory into words. Imagine the flashes of celestial lightning (v.5) reflecting off of the glass! It must have been blindingly beautiful.

Somewhere around the “sea of glass” John saw seven burning torches (or lamps), a visible representation of the Holy Spirit (v.5). Throughout the Bible, the number seven is always associated with the idea of perfection or completeness — I think the point is that the Holy Spirit, in all His light-giving, glorious perfection was powerfully and wholly there. Along with God on the throne and Christ guiding John’s tour, the Spirit made the vision of God complete. (Note: seeing those torches in heaven, I wonder if John recalled the scene in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost when there were not seven, but 120 Spirit-flames, each hovering over a disciple of Jesus. A flame was above John’s own head that day, as the Holy Spirit filled him with evangelistic power and sent him out into the streets to preach the gospel and to change the world. Wow!)

Maybe the most difficult things for John to describe were the other beings present in God’s throne room. The apostle quickly counted twenty-four (probably smaller) thrones encircling the God-throne, and seated on them were “twenty-four elders” dressed in white robes and golden crowns (v.4). John does not identify the elders, and so we can only guess at who they are. The best guess I have heard is that half of the thrones were for Old Testament saints (the twelve sons of Jacob, twelve other patriarchs, or twelve of the prophets), and the other half were occupied by the twelve Apostles (that makes sense, but it means that John would have seen himself sitting there; what a mind-bending moment!). John saw the elders descend their thrones and fall on their faces before the Lord. They worshiped Him by voicing a beautiful, simple hymn (v.11), one that expressed the Lord’s worthiness, acknowledged Him as Creator, and highlighted His power. (I can’t wait to hear that song for myself!)

The song of the elders was not the only praise John heard. In addition to the human voices with which he would have been familiar, he heard the non-human, other-worldly praises of “four living creatures” (v.6-8). These fantastic beings were positioned on each side of the throne. Like Isaiah’s seraphim (see Isaiah 6:2-3) and Ezekiel’s creatures (see Ezekiel 1:5-10), each had six wings. One resembled a lion, perhaps to symbolize God’s majestic bearing and holy ferocity. The second resembled an ox, a representation of God’s power and tenacity. The third looked like a human, maybe to symbolize God’s intellect. The fourth creature resembled an eagle in flight, perhaps to symbolize God’s limitless sight and sovereignty. The song they were singing (or speaking) was similar to the one Isaiah heard: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” I believe that song, and the song of the elders, is being sung right this moment before the throne of God. If you agree, will you sing or say those holy lyrics out loud (v.8, 11)? Do it, right now, and you will be joining the praise of heaven. God deserves it! Amen?

Revelation 3

This chapter records the messages of Jesus to the last three “lampstands”, churches over which the Apostle John had supervision. The church in Sardis (v.1-6) was a “zombie” church. John had previously written of Jesus, “in Him was life” (see John 1:4) — and if Jesus is life, then His church ought to be lively! But Jesus said of this congregation, “You are dead” (v.1). They had the reputation of being alive, but appearances can be deceiving. A church can have good music but never really worship. A church can have a full schedule but no real ministry, busy programs but no evangelism, good doctrine but no measurable discipleship. The solution Jesus commanded was to “wake up” (v.2). A church awakening is often called “revival”, and it must happen on an individual level before it can happen on a corporate level. Revival comes when people make their way back to their original commitment to Jesus through repentance (v.3). I don’t understand all the implications of Jesus’s warning to “come like a thief” and “come against” the church that persists in its deadness — I just know I don’t want it to happen to mine.

The church in Philadelphia (v.7-13) had a bright future. Jesus introduced Himself as He who “has the key of David”, an expression of His supreme authority. David was the greatest king in the history of God’s people. Jesus was saying, “I have King David’s key; I have the authority over kings; I am the King of kings!” With that authority, what He opens stays open and what He shuts stays closed (v.7). Jesus gave the Philadelphia church “an open door” for ministry and evangelism. Jesus opens doors to churches that find their strength in Him. This church had “but little power” (v.8), but they believed God’s Word and they were standing firm in their faith. That is the key. Let’s be careful about what we depend on for strength. When we think we can do it all on our own, and we’re depending on our facilities, our budgets, our staff, and our organizational plans, we can only accomplish that which is humanly possible. We will be limited by our own ability. Jesus opens doors to those who will trust Him for the strength to do the impossible, and then give Him all the glory!

The church in Laodicea (v.14-22) was sickeningly lukewarm. They were not cold toward Jesus, but neither were they hot. While Jesus certainly wants all of His churches to be fired-up, He indicated that He preferred coldness to lukewarmness (v.15). Why would He say that? Why wouldn’t He want a church to be half-way for Him instead of totally against Him? Because lukewarm Christians and churches are misleading; they are a poor representation of the life-changing power of the gospel.

Jesus requires that we love and serve Him with our whole heart: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (see Matthew 22:37). If Jesus really is the virgin-born, sinless Son of God who died on the cross for guilty sinners, rose victoriously from the dead, and offers forgiveness and life to those who believe — then anything less than our wholehearted love and devotion is a slap in His face. It is the height of arrogance to say, “Jesus, I’ll take Your forgiveness and eternal life, but then just leave me alone. I want my ticket to heaven, but I don’t really want You.” The church in Laodicea had that attitude. According to verse 17, their greatest need was to see their need. Jesus said, “be zealous and repent” (v.19), indicating that lukewarmness is a sin — not a weakness, but wickedness. There is only one cure for lukewarmness: to eagerly and earnestly pursue repentance, turn your back on sin, and make a conscious effort to live a holy life in the power of the Holy Spirit.

A Christmas greeting: When Jesus was dying on the cross, His good friend John was the only disciple present on Golgotha (see John 19:25-27). As Jesus hung there dying, He assigned John to care for His mother, Mary. Early church historians say that from that day on, John never left Jerusalem or the care of Mary until her death. Surely John was curious about Jesus’s early years, and surely Mary was eager to share about her amazing life with the Son of God. What would it have been like to hear Mary share the story of the first Christmas? And what a thrill for John, having heard the memory of Christ’s First Advent from Mary, to hear the promise of Christ’s Second Advent from the Lord Himself! On this Christmas Day, think of the Baby in the manger of Bethlehem…but don’t stop there. Let your mind wander to the exalted Lord of Patmos, the Glorious One “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty”!

“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so. Amen.”
– Revelation 1:7