Jesus Is Coming

by Mike Ratliff

I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. (Revelation 3:11 ESV)

knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4 ESV)

It is one thing to say, “Come soon Lord Jesus!” and quite another thing to live as if you mean it. There are even some today who are of the emergent mindset that teach we should live this life with our focus on the here and now rather than eternity. Why? This is to create a better world or make this world a better place. However, I also tire of those who treat eschatology much like the world handles conspiracy theories always looking for the right combination of “signs” that our Lord’s return is imminent. I used to do that myself, but I do not do that very much anymore. Why? My focus is on living this life for the glory of God and that means I focus on my relationship between me and my Lord first and from that flows my relationships with everyone else. Yes, the sad shape of the visible Church grieves me and, to me, this is the most telling sign that our Lord’s return is imminent. 

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.” “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:6-7 ESV)

6και ειπεν μοι ουτοι οι λογοι πιστοι και αληθινοι και ο κυριος ο θεος των πνευματων των προφητων απεστειλεν τον αγγελον αυτου δειξαι τοις δουλοις αυτου α δει γενεσθαι εν ταχει  7και ιδου ερχομαι ταχυ μακαριος ο τηρων τους λογους της προφητειας του βιβλιου τουτου (Revelation 22:6-7 WHNU)

And he said to me, these the words trustful and true, and the Master the God of the spirits of the spokesmen delegated the messenger of him to show the slaves of him what it is necessary to become in quickness. And look I come quickly. Fortunate the one keeping the words of the speaking before of the small this. (Revelation 22:6-7 word for word from Koine Greek to English)

Our Lord and His messenger angels told us that He is returning to the world quickly. Or is it soon? Here is Revelation 1:1.

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, (Revelation 1:1 ESV)

1αποκαλυψις ιησου χριστου ην εδωκεν αυτω ο θεος δειξαι τοις δουλοις αυτου α δει γενεσθαι εν ταχει και εσημανεν αποστειλας δια του αγγελου αυτου τω δουλω αυτου ιωαννη (Revelation 1:1 WHNU)

The word translated in v1 as “soon” is ταχει. This word’s best English synonym would probably be “quickness” or “quickly” or “shortly” or “soon.” The context should determine whether it refers to something happening soon relative to the time of the reader or quickly instead of slowly. Here is the note from The Reformation Study Bible for the word ταχει translated as “soon” in Revelation 1:1:

1:1 soon. See 22:6,7,10,12,20. Spiritual war takes place throughout the church age, and the seven churches will soon experience all dimensions of the conflict. Moreover, the “last days” spoken of by Old Testament prophecy have been inaugurated by Christ’s resurrection (Acts 2:16, 17). The time of waiting is over, and God is conducting the final phase of His victorious warfare against evil. By such reckoning, today is “the last hour” (1 John 2:18).

I agree with this. Instead of being concerned about being narrowly focused on the time of the very end of this age, we are to live in such a way that we will be found in obedience when our Lord does return.

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” (Revelation 22:8-11 ESV)

Let us focus on v11, “Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” Here it is in Greek, “ο αδικων αδικησατω ετι και ο ρυπαρος ρυπανθητω ετι και ο δικαιος δικαιοσυνην ποιησατω ετι και ο αγιος αγιασθητω ετι.” The word translated as “evildoer” here is αδικων. This is “the one who is unjust or who does not do right.” This is referring to those whose sins are not covered by the blood of forgiveness. These are not Christians. All they do is αδικησατω, which is the actual doing of evil. These would also be the ρυπαρος or “dirty.” These have not been cleansed by the washing of regeneration. These are the unconverted. They are to continue to ρυπανθητω or “be dirty.” These are contrasted by those who are righteous (δικαιος) who do right (δικαιοσυνην) and the holy (αγιος) who are still holy (αγιασθητω).  This speaks of the sovereignty of God but the difference between the two groups is that the first two are controlled by their unbelief while the last two are controlled by their faith. When the Lord comes, these things will be set for eternity. All who are righteous now will remain righteous from now until then and forever, but some of the evil and dirty will be converted by the grace of God in the Church age and once they are they remain forever, but those who are unconverted when our Lord returns will be so forever, which is illuminated for us in the following passage.

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. (Revelation 22:12-17 ESV)

The call to “Come” is for the soon return of Christ so that those whom He has saved will be with Him forever. All truly in Christ want this. The longer I live the more I want it. The offer of the water of life is by God’s grace and is for those in Christ for spiritual refreshment. This enables us to persevere in this evil age.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (Revelation 22:18-21 ESV)

18μαρτυρω εγω παντι τω ακουοντι τους λογους της προφητειας του βιβλιου τουτου εαν τις επιθη επ αυτα επιθησει ο θεος επ αυτον τας πληγας τας γεγραμμενας εν τω βιβλιω τουτω  19και εαν τις αφελη απο των λογων του βιβλιου της προφητειας ταυτης αφελει ο θεος το μερος αυτου απο του ξυλου της ζωης και εκ της πολεως της αγιας των γεγραμμενων εν τω βιβλιω τουτω  20λεγει ο μαρτυρων ταυτα ναι ερχομαι ταχυ αμην ερχου κυριε ιησου  21η χαρις του κυριου ιησου [χριστου] μετα των αγιων (Revelation 22:18-21 WHNU)

I have been adding the Greek version of v20 to the end of my last few posts. Here it is in English, “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” Our Lord says, “Surely I am coming soon.” The Church then responds, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” I wonder when I hear Christians not wanting our Lord to come back soon. I suppose that has a lot to do with the fact that they are not really being obedient right now, but are living for self. However, I have heard preachers say they would prefer that our Lord’s Return be far into the future. I just do not get it. I say, Come Soon Lord Jesus!

λεγει ο μαρτυρων ταυτα ναι ερχομαι ταχυ αμην ερχου κυριε ιησου

Soli Deo Gloria!

17 thoughts on “Jesus Is Coming

  1. Hi dear Mike
    I remember a few months ago, my dad-in-law and I were talking about the return of the Lord. He was quite astounded that I almost daily ask the Lord if it will be today. He said he had almost never considered it and this is a man who has walked with the Lord longer than I have lived. It was eye-opening for both of us, but he took away in humility, a great truth about himself and about the Lord. These things I find most exciting. The Lord can use a single sentence from one small, insignificant vessel to open a truth to another, where none were even looking – “My ways are not your ways” comes to mind as I write. He is just so gentle and kind.

    I have too heard friends and family say that they are in no rush for the Lord to return – they have so much they want to achieve or do still. I too could never understand not that long ago. Now, I long for the Lord to return. It is not that I am unhappy here or that I am not blessed or do not love my family or friends, for I am and I do , but I love Him more and to be with Him will be a full completion of this life here and the whole purpose for me having been born. It never leaves me.

    Each day is a new day with Him to learn more of Him, to get to know Him better than yesterday. We can take each day head-on in Him, as he unrolls it before us, allowing it to be all He intends it to be for each one of us. Then One Day it will become something we cannot even begin to comprehend now. It is an incredibly exciting thought!

    Your post again brings fully to me, the realisation and magnitude of my salvation and God’s incredible loving Sovereignty.

    Thank you and bless you! :-D

  2. It is the natural cry of our hearts when we are in right relationship with Him, Mike. We long for that day, but we also know that we are to live for Him all the while He tarries.

    Maranatha!

  3. Hi Mike!

    I’ve been reading your articles for a couple months now and really appreciate the work you do for the Lord, and this was a great article! I have a question specifically about the Lord’s return…you mentioned in the article that His return is imminent, and that the condition of the church gives you confidence that this imminence is even more so. So does this mean you are expecting His imminent return before the tribulation? His return wouldn’t be imminent otherwise.

    p.s. Amen Heather! Our hearts long to see His face, but in the meantime, we must take care to be beacons of light for Him now so we can be His vessels to carry out the Great Commission.

    Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

  4. Justin,

    Your line up of these end time events show that you believe the pre-trib, mid-trip, or post-trib, dispensational view of eschatology. That’s fine, I am just interpreting what the word says. I have discarded all of that stuff over the last few years and I suppose that my eschatology view would be that I believe that at the end of this age Jesus is returning to fulfill His Kingdom and initiate the Age to Come. Other than that I do not know how any of this stuff lines up. :-) The reason I have done this is that we are told throughout the New Testament to look forward to His return with great anticipation and preparedness. That is what I am doing. :-)

    Thanks for your comment brother.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  5. Thanks for the reply, Mike. Not only should we be looking up because our Redemption draws near, I am awe-struck that even creating groans with eager anticipation. Oh what a glorious day that will be!

  6. lol…i’m sure you knew what i meant, but to avoid confusion for readers, that should have said *creation groans*, not “creating groans” haha…. =D

  7. Hi Mike,
    The only reason I can think of that a Christian wouldn’t want Christ to come back yet is because they have friends or family that still haven’t bowed the knee to Christ. Other than that, come quickly Lord Jesus.

  8. Hi Mike – I agree with your comments about discarding all that eschatology “stuff”!! As an ex pentecostal, I always assumed “pre trib”, or “mid trib” was the “correct” interpretation of scripture!
    I have many pentecostal friends who are convinced the Lord’s return is imminent. (just look at the increasing natural disasters, and the UN climate change summit where a “new world order” is about to be signed by nations across the world – all in the name of “saving the planet”!)

    Mike, I have decided that my end time view is that of a “pan-milleniest”. That is, in God’s own timing, all things will “PAN OUT IN THE END”!!!!!

  9. Amen Mike!

    “The only reason I can think of that a Christian wouldn’t want Christ to come back yet is because they have friends or family that still haven’t bowed the knee to Christ.”

    That’s so true Paul, it’s a burden sometimes to know that they are still in their sins meanwhile we desire to leave and go to Jesus. The Bible says that the Lord will wipe out our tears at the end however.

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