The Last Prayer in the Bible
by Pastor Lee Roberson, D.D. (1909-2007)
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." — REVELATION 22:17-21
We have just read the closing words of the book of Revelation and the last words of the Bible. For many weeks we have been studying together the truth of the Lord's second coming and events related to His coming. Now, we come to the last words given by the Spirit of God to John. You will notice that these words are on the subject of the second coming. Once more I repeat that it is impossible to understand the bible apart from the message of the blessed hope. His coming is mentioned three hundred eighteen times in the two hundred sixty chapters of the New Testament. One verse out of every twenty-five refers to His glorious appearing. Therefore, the Bible becomes a new book to the person who reads it in the light of His return.
There are three last things to which I call your attention.
I. The Last Invitation
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. -REVELATION 22:17.
Your soul will be blessed if you will take a good concordance and study the many verses where the word "come" is used.
God invited Noah into the ark with these words, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation" (Genesis 7:1).
In Isaiah 1:8 we have God's invitation to come for cleansing, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
The Lord Jesus extends an invitation to those who are weary. In Matthew 11:28--"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
In a parable Jesus invited men to come to the gospel feast. "And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready" (Luke 14:17).
In verse 17 of the last chapter of the Bible we have a chorus of invitations. The Spirit says, "Come." It is the work of the Holy Spirit to invite men to come unto Jesus. It is His work to convict them and by conviction to point their eyes to the Lamb of God who is able to save from sin. The bride says, "Come." This refers to the redeemed ones who extend the invitation also for guilty sinners to come and be saved.
"And let him that heareth say, Come." Yes, the one who hears the invitation also joins in the chorus and passes the word along and says, "Come." Some commentators make this threefold invitation from the Spirit, the bride, and him that heareth refer altogether to the coming of Christ. Dr. Pettingill interprets the passage to an invitation to lost sinners. Here is his comment: "Is any sinner out of Christ reading these words? To such the Spirit and the bride say, Come. That 'come' is from the very heart of God, and it has been sounding out for thousands of years." We can be certain of the interpretation of the rest of the verse, for it is calling to the thirsty and to "whosoever will" to come and take the water of life freely. With the words, "whosoever will," God swings the door of salvation wide open. He invites all sinners to come and to drink of the water of life. No one is excluded. All are invited. What is the water of life? Freely, without money and without price. It is for everyone.
This is God's last invitation. It is His strongest call to every sinner in the world.
II. The Last Promise
"Surely I come quickly." --vs. 20
There are many people who laugh and scoff at the preaching of the Second Coming. They say that we will never see Jesus again unless we go to Heaven. They say that we are wasting our time looking for His return and talking about it. But what will the scoffers do with the plain Word of God? Jesus said, "I will come again." Now if He comes not, He will be a liar and impostor. We know that Christ was true and is the truth. Therefore, we accept His promise that He is coming again. The coming of Christ is the Christian's blessed hope.
There are three announcements of our Lord's return given in the closing chapter of the Bible. In verse 7 we have the promise of His return, and it is connected with our keeping the sayings of the prophecy of this book. "Behold, I come quickly: blessed is the that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book."
The second announcement is in verse 12, "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Christ is coming again. He is coming suddenly, and He is coming to bring rewards to His servants.
The third announcement is in verse 20 where He simply states, "Surely I come quickly." This last plain factual announcement of His coming makes the second coming of Christ to this earth from Heaven a great event of the future.
When He comes, some very definite things are going to happen. First, He is going to receive us unto Himself. This is His promise, "I will come again, and receive you unto myself." "The dead in Christ shall be raised first, and the living will be changed, and together we shall be caught up into the air to with the Lord."
Second, He is coming to inspect our labors. We must stand before Him at the judgment seat of Christ and there give an account of ourselves. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" ( 2nd Corinthians 5:10).
Third, He is going to reward us if we are found faithful. "If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward."
The promise of the Lord's return should stir us to three things.
First, to life of purity. John said, " And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (1st John 3:3). "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming" (1st John 2:28).
If Christ should come today, would He find you with a clean heart? Is your heart right toward others? Is it empty of rebelliousness? Would you be shamed to stand before the Lord?
Second, the promise of the Lord's return calls us to live a life of separation. When He comes in the twinkling of an eye, we shall be changed into His likeness and called up into a heavenly atmosphere. God wants us to get ready for that time by living a life of separation now. He wants us to come out from the world and be separate.
Third, the promise of the Lord's return calls for us to live fruitful lives. There will be rewards for those who are faithful in service and there will be crowns for those who have engaged in winning souls to Christ.
Are you ready for that time when Christ will fulfill His promise and will come and receive us?
III. The Last Prayer
"Even so, come, Lord Jesus." --vs. 20.
Christ promised to come again and John said at once, "Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus." John was speaking for himself when voiced this last prayer, for his had been a life of great suffering. He had been persecuted severely for his faith in Christ. He was anxious to see the Lord.
The Apostle John spoke also for every persecuted saint of his day. The scattered believers were hungry for the sight of Jesus. John spoke for us also, for we too want to see His face. The more we study the truth of His coming and the more we observe the trends of the times, the more we feel like fervently praying, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
Are you praying this prayer? I believe that the way we say these words is an indication of our spiritual state. If we are indifferent in the Lord's service, we will not pray fervently, "even so, come, Lord Jesus." The lazy, indifferent, do-nothing Christian is not anxious to look into the face of the Lord, for he realizes that his life and service will be judged. If we are compromising with the world, we will not be anxious to face Him. You will never find worldly Christians praying this last prayer, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
If we are doubtful of the truth of His word and His promises, we will not be found praying this prayer. When doubt comes in, it usually begins working on the great fundamental, foundational truths of the Word of God. No modernist believes in the premillennial return of Christ. It is one of the first things that he tries to exclude from his preaching; therefore, doubters and modernists will not be praying, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
Finally, if we love material things more than we love Christ, we will not pray earnestly, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." There are too many Christians who do not want to see Christ because His coming would disrupt their business affairs. There are other professing Christians who do not manifest an interest in His coming because they have their plans made for certain trips and vacations in years ahead. Oh, friend, may we set our affections on things above and look for His return.
He is coming again. He is coming in power and great glory. The Christ who was prophesied to come as Saviour hundreds of years before He was born; the Christ who walked upon the earth and died upon a cross; the Christ who arose triumphant from the grave; the Christ who ascended back into Glory; the Christ who gave His promise before leaving this earth that He would come again--this Christ is coming. He is coming just as the two men said on the day that He ascended. "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." He is coming with the nail-prints in His hands and feet, but He is coming to be King of kings and Lord of lords.
Some golden daybreak
Jesus will come;
Some golden daybreak
Battles all won,
He'll shout the vict'ry,
Break through the blue,
Some golden daybreak,
For me, for you.
SOURCE: Chapter 15 from the excellent book, Some Golden Daybreak, by Dr. Lee Roberson, D.D. (copyright 1957)
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