Our scripture this morning is Revelation 1:4-8.
John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
John was given a marvelous vision of what Christ’s return will be like. While many of the images he presents are confusing and terrifying, they are given to us so that we might know the truth. The vision of the end times is intended to let us know there will be judgement of humanity according to our faith and actions.
While the things God has shown John are frightening, they also show God’s justice and His mercy to those who draw near to Him. He has shared His eternal plan with us so that we may know what is to come. I don’t believe God intends us to be “scared straight”, that’s not how He connects with us. However, He has given us this account to help us live through troubled times in faith.
Are we at the end times? Many have believed so before and many think this may be when Christ comes again for us. Remember that Jesus told His followers “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7-8). When He will return is up to God, how we wait faithfully is up to us.
Gracious God, thank You for trusting us with Your holy word. Help us to share this truth with Your children that all may come to You in repentance. Amen.