The Lord reminded me of a verse in Rev 22: 10. Do not seal up the words of prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Now that the time is near, what is the Lords message? What is the Lords word for the one who has heard the prophetic words who has heard many wonderful truths? We have heard much about repentance, restitution, living a holy life, a life of bearing the cross, a life of sitting at Lords feet and seeing His glory, a life filled with His Spirit. We have quiet often heard in our Church meetings and conferences that anger is sin and we cant serve Jesus and money. We have heard much about judging others and that judging others is worse than adultery. We have heard about the 50 marks of a Pharisee. The words of prophecy were not sealed to us. We have heard it repeatedly. Though the time is near, the Lord has been merciful to us. So what is the Lords word for such people as we? We read that in the next verse (Rev 22: 11). Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong and the one who is filthy, still be filthy, and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness and the one who is holy, still keep him holy. The Lord is saying: from Genesis to Rev, you have read and heard what I expected from you? Why I created you? In spite of this in spite of hearing all the warnings, if we want to live a life of wrong, the Lord gives you and me the freedom to live such a life. Lord says, if you want to be filthy, you are free to be filthy. I am not going to stop you by pulling your hands. If you have decided to live a defeated life, you can live that. If you want to be like a dog which eats what it has vomited, you can eat. If you want to go back to the world, you can go. If you still want to love and enjoy evil, sexual thoughts in your mind, you can do that. If you want to love money and give that first place or if you want to murder somebody with your anger, you can do that. If you still dont want to forgive somebody your wife or your husband or the one who had done some evil to you you can be like that. If you want to love and practice lying, you are free to do so. All these above sins are mentioned in verse 15 (Rev 22: 15). At the same time, after hearing the words of prophecy, if you want to live righteously, and if you are living righteously, continue to practice it. If you want to be holy and if you are striving to live such a life, continue to keep yourself holy. The Lord says, I am the Alpha and Omega, First and the Last, Beginning and the End. If you want me to start such a holy life, Ill start and finish it in you. I am the Author and the Finisher. I am the Beginning and the End. I have started that and Ill be finishing in you.
There were two significant times of judgment in the Old Testament. When our Lord was speaking about the last days to His disciples, He mentioned about. We all know it. One is the time when God destroyed the whole earth by flood and the second one is when fire and brimstone descended on Sodom and Gomorrah. In Luke 17, the Lord spoke about it. There were two groups in Rev 22. One group, who are holy becoming more holy. Another group, who are filthy becoming more filthy in spite of hearing the prophetic word. We can see a similar thing in Luke 17 - one family becoming more holy and another becoming more worldly and filthy. One family- Noahs family took the prophetic word very seriously and became more holy. When God told Noah in Gen 6: 13, I am about to destroy all flesh with the earth and so make an ark etc.,, he took the prophetic word very seriously. He was thankful how God in His mercy helped him to hear the prophetic word. He was getting ready and his readiness did not diminish until rain came. We read that in Heb 11: 7 how he was growing in the fear of God. We read in verse 7, in reverence prepared an ark. He did not hesitate. He believed the warning from God though he had never seen rain until then. He obeyed God to protect his family from the coming destruction. He preached righteousness to his family and the people around him. So it will be in the last days. One group or one family who want to be holy, live holy and becoming more holy like Noahs. And there is another group who will be like Lots family. You can see how he and his family took Gods warning. We read in Gen 19: 15. When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city." Only few minutes were remaining. The angels urged Lot but he hesitated. Noah did not hesitate when God told him to build an ark. Noah knew that flood will come after he would complete the ark. He had a lot of time but still he did not hesitate. On the other hand, Lot had only few minutes or hours to escape but he hesitated. He put his own salvation and the salvation of his whole family at risk. He was not ready and so were his family members. To his sons-in law the judgment of God was a joke.
Young bros and sisters, how do you take when you hear somebody telling you to be ready for the coming of the Lord? Do you take it like Noahs family or Lots family?
But the Lord was compassionate (vs 16).
the compassion of the LORD was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city. And said in vs 17 "Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away."
He was told, Dont be stagnant. Keep moving. Dont be stagnant spiritually. Become more righteous. Become more holy. Become more like Jesus. But see the response of Lot in vs 18-20: But Lot said to them, "Oh no, my lords! 19 "Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die; 20 now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) that my life may be saved." Lot was saying, Oh! no my lords! I thank you for the salvation. But I can not escape to the mountains. Thank you for forgiving my sins. But, I dont want a higher life. I dont want to be a disciple. There is a comfortable place here. Climbing a mountain is too much for me. Living a life of a disciple is too much for me. Its too difficult. Ill go to this town which is near by. I dont want a narrow way. Ill die. I dont want to die to my self, my ambitions and my lusts. If my life is saved thats enough. Ill be happy. I dont worry about my wife and children. If I am saved thats enough. Vs 20 Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) that my life may be saved." Even if I live in a cave, thats enough.
Even in that life or death moment, he did not fail to take wine with him. He was not willing to forsake the world. It was in his heart and it influenced his daughters. Using that wine, they committed a shameful thing. They were not a blessing to the world like Noah or Abraham. Again the Lord said about Lots wife in Luke 17:34, Remember Lots wife Oh! the privileges she and her daughters had. But the world, worldliness and worldly friendship destroyed them.
In Rev 22: 12 we read: The Lord says, I am coming quickly. I am Alpha and Omega. I am the Beginning. I can start again and keep you till the end. I am the End. And if you repent, you will have access to the tree of life. Vs 14. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city
The Spirit says, Come. Let the one who is thirsty come.
Those who have ears to hear let them hear what the Spirit says.