- Text: Rev. 22:21.
- Revelation was written to Christians in the province of Asia to give them hope and courage in the face of persecution.
- It dramatically tells the story of the triumph of good over evil -- the vanquishing of Satan and the ultimate salvation of God's people through Jesus Christ, "the King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev. 19:16).
- The final statement to these saints -- the end of the story of their victory -- is also the "last word" of the entire Bible.
- The last thought in the Scriptures is the final word of God to man -- the note on which God wanted His word to end.
- This is the truth God wanted to leave with us until the end of the world.
- The last statement in the Bible is this: "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen" (Rev. 22:21).
I. The Bible Ends by Answering the Question That It Began With
- If it is obvious that the world exists, it is also obvious that something very serious is wrong with the world.
- Human beings experience many problems and much pain.
- At the personal level, we recognize that we are not what we would like to be.
- We have no trouble seeing that something is not right about the world in which we live.
- But if this is all we could know -- that the world is not right -- life would be very discouraging.
- The first and last verses in the Bible put the problem of life into its proper perspective.
- Gen. 1:1, the first verse in the Bible, tells us that we are made by God.
- This is the truth that makes the problem make sense!
- The "death" (in all of its ramifications) that corrupts the world comes from broken fellowship with the God who made us.
- The Bible calls this thing that has gone wrong "sin" -- and the story of the Bible is the story of God working out His plan to deal with this problem and save us from sin.
- A "gospel" that does not acknowledge God cannot deal adequately with the problem because it does not see the problem for what it really is. Cf. modern psychology and the "social gospel" of modern Christianity.
- Do we truly believe the truth that makes sense of our deepest problem?
- But Rev. 22:21, the last verse in the Bible, tells us that we are saved by the grace of God.
- This is the truth that contains the ultimate solution to our problem!
- A "gospel" that acknowledges God but not Jesus Christ contains no hope. Cf. Rom. 7:21-8:2.
- This was the problem of the Jews to whom Jesus came.
- It is the problem of many today -- to sophisticated, contemporary people, Jesus is an "embarrassment" and a "stumbling block." Cf. 1 Cor. 1:22,23.
- Do we truly believe the truth about what God has done in Christ to deal with the problem of our sin?
- Without the other one, neither of these truths is of much help to us.
II. The Good News of God's Triumph over Sin Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- The Bible begins with God and ends with Jesus Christ.
- The God of creation is also the God of our salvation - Heb. 2:10.
- Some believe in God but do not believe in Jesus Christ -- Jesus said, "Believe in God; believe also in me" (Jn. 14:1).
- Some would like to have salvation in God without Jesus Christ -- but such is not possible - Jn. 8:24; 14:6.
- Some would accept the grace of God if they could have it without Jesus Christ -- but such is not possible.
- In Jesus Christ "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Col. 2:9). Cf. 1:18-20.
- Revelation (and the whole Bible) is a book of triumph -- and the victory is in Jesus Christ. Cf. Ac. 4:12.
III. The Victory of God in Christ Is Ultimately the Victory of Grace
- Grace is last word -- the end of the story of salvation.
- The gospel which saves us is "the gospel of the grace of God" (Ac. 20:24). Cf. Eph. 2:8; 1 Pt. 5:12.
- Toward those who place their faith in Him, God's intention is benevolent! Cf. Num. 6:24-26.
- To be a Christian is to experience the good things that come from God's grace - Heb. 4:16; 1 Pt. 2:3. Cf. Heb. 6:4,5.
- It is important for us to know all of God's word -- the Book of God from beginning to end, with everything in the middle.
- It is dangerous to limit our study to parts of the Bible that we like, or to be detailed students of parts of God's word and know next to nothing about other parts.
- Our understanding of truth needs to be broad as well as deep.
- Those of us who teach need to be able to say what Paul said to the Ephesians: "I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God" (Ac. 20:27).
- Those of us who study need to read, study, and learn God's book from A to Z, from Gen. 1:1 to Rev. 22:21.
- Can we possibly acquaint ourselves with all of God's word without at least reading the entire Bible regularly?
- Also, we need to be able truly to say the last word of God's word: "Amen."
- Sometimes we do not have the attitude of "let it be so" toward all that God has said in His word, from Genesis to Revelation -- we obey only that part which suits our understanding and preference.
- Whatever God has said, our disposition should be: "Speak, Lord, for your servant hears" (1 Sam. 3:9). Cf. Lk. 1:38.
- The story of the Bible is the story of God saving us from our sin.
- The last verse of the Bible reminds us that the grace of God that saves us is found only in Jesus Christ.
- We must believe in Christ and confess our faith - Rom. 10:9,10.
- We must repent of our sins and be baptized into Christ - Ac. 2:38. Cf. Gal. 3:27.
- Are you "in Christ"?
Gary Henry - WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com