The Spirit and the Bride Say, “Come”
Today we close not only the Book of Revelation but the Bible as well, and the last chapter of Revelation is a fitting way to do so. It is an invitation from Jesus Christ himself who sent his angel to testify to everything written in this book for the churches—those seven in Asia Minor at the close of the first century and every church today. And in addition to Jesus, “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’” The Triune God has issued an invitation and the Church of Jesus Christ proclaims it to all the world. No one is excluded. Indeed, we might even call it a summons. Oh, people may resist, but they do so at their eternal peril. After all, it is Almighty God who orders everyone to believe; someday He will order everyone to appear before His Tribunal to answer for their response to that summons.
Still, the invitation is made: “Come.” And how beautifully it is spoken: “Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” The gods of ancient paganism couldn’t care less about human beings qua human beings, nor do the gods of other religions today. But the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ says, “Come!” Salvation is real and it is freely offered—at the price of faith and repentance. That is, salvation is free but not cheap. Ask the crucified one.
Then a stern warning is given that no one change the contents of “this prophecy.” And that is what Revelation is—prophecy. And as prophecy, it is given for the edification of the Church. She is a pilgrim people. She is not at home in the world nor does the world desire her. But that’s okay with her; she belongs to another. And she waits for him knowing that one day he shall come for her and their nuptials be complete. For he has said, “Surely, I am coming soon.” And she responds, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
And so where Genesis began with a man and a woman being driven from a garden, Revelation ends with nations entering a city; where Genesis began with innocence; Revelation ends with redemption; where Adam failed Satan, Christ felled Satan; where Eve birthed the first man, Mary birthed the Last Man; and where once a tree proved man’s ruin, now a tree provides man’s repair. What bookends Genesis and Revelation make! And yet, we are enchanted so to move beyond this world up yonder—further up and further in. And so we say with the love-stricken woman of the Song: “Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountain of spices (8:14). And never stop praying, “Thy Kingdom Come.” Amen.