Today we conclude our study of the book of Revelation, looking at the final two verses of chapter 22, which end John’s record of the visions granted to him. John tells us in verse 20 that the last words Jesus has for the church are that He is coming soon. Indeed, those are the last words Christ has for us until He returns. Although we will continue to grow in our understanding of all that the Lord has revealed until He comes back, the final revelation from the Savior until that time is that He surely has not forgotten us and will certainly consummate His plan.
Indeed, the message that Christ has not forgotten His church and will return to consummate His promises in the new heavens and earth constitutes the main message of Revelation. The original audience of Revelation desperately needed to hear these words, for they were under persecution and were tempted in many ways to compromise in order to preserve themselves and their livelihoods. Thus, Jesus appeared to John in order to assure this audience that their suffering was worth it, that when He comes He will give to those who conquer—to those who persevere in faith—eternal blessings (Rev. 1–3).
This audience, and all later readers of Revelation, can be sure that Jesus can make good on this promise. After all, He reigns even now with the Father and Holy Spirit, and He has conquered sin and Satan. Thus, He is worthy to open the divine scroll and to bring to pass the last things that must happen before He returns (chs. 4–5).
Jesus has opened this scroll, and the final period of tribulation in history is underway. During this period, believers will suffer much, but God has placed His seal on them. The enemies of the gospel may be able in this current time to go as far as to kill believers, to take away their physical lives, but that is no real defeat because the servants of Jesus will be with Him (chs. 6–11). In fact, the war against the church is motivated by Satan himself, who, frustrated at his failure to destroy Christ, is lashing out at the church. He does so by calling forth evil kingdoms who oppress God’s people. Many of these kingdoms will think that they are actually in charge, but even they can be sure of Satan’s betrayal in the end (chs. 12–18).
The good news is that even now, the devil is bound and the gospel is going forth. Satan and all who follow him will be cast into the lake of fire forever. But those who are in Christ will be raised to enjoy Him in a beautiful new creation for all eternity (chs. 19–22).