These five words are the last prayer found in the Bible. It is interesting that the last gospel invitation is found in verse seventeen contains the word “come” too, “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.” Those who do not accept Him now will not be accepted by Christ when He returns. Only those who have truly received Him as Lord and Saviour have any desire for Him to come again.
Twice in the closing verses of Revelation we hear the Lord Jesus speaking of His return, “Behold, I come quickly” … “Surely I come quickly” (Revelation 22:12, 20). Is our response the same as the apostle John’s? Do we really want the Lord to come right away?
Jesus promised that His return to this earth would be sudden and would take almost everyone by surprise. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:37-44). This is why we need to be spiritually alert. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13). His coming to catch away those who follow Him will be all done in a split second. “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
We make long term plans for our lives, but are we willing for the Lord to interrupt them by His return? If we had the time at His coming, would we leave everything and go to Him? While it is wise to plan for the future, we must accept that the future is not guaranteed for any of us. We have to accept God’s will for our lives. “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:13-15).
There are many things besides the Second Coming of Christ that might halt our plans, such as death, disaster, and disease, but John prays for the best interruption of all. He is basically praying, “Lord, here am I suffering for Your sake on Patmos, please come right now!” Yet the prayer is not just for the bad times, for true believers ought to say, “Lord, return today” even when everything is smooth and problemless.
In all of this we must never forget that it will be the Lord Jesus Christ that we will see. One day we will come face-to-face with the One who purchased our salvation through His blood. This is the most important part of what we call “the blessed hope”, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:13-14). Is this really our hope or do we hope for a long life on earth? Are we eager for Jesus to come again? If we are, then not only will be look forward to seeing Him, but we will live as though He was coming today. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).
The Lord Jesus Christ will come again even if we are ready or not. There are some who wickedly hope that He would not come today because they want to fulfil their dreams. “That evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming” (Matthew 24:48). Instead, let us faithfully obey Him and ever gaze up with anticipation in our hearts for His return. “Then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).