Day 30: Standing Alone
Today’s reading is drawn from Revelation 22:6-7.
THE BACKGROUND of the writing of the book of Revelation involved the persecution of the early church. This is implied in the letters to the churches at the opening of the book (Rev. 2–3). We see the theme throughout the book of encouragement for believers to stand with Christ as the faithful few and to stand alone when necessary, in spite of persecution. As the book closes, this theme is addressed again in the words of an angel and Jesus Himself (Rev. 22:6-7). He gives a helpful testimony as to how a person can stand alone when doing so is not popular and not easy. The first thing the angel tells John in Revelation 22:6 is that all that John has seen and heard in the vision is “trustworthy and true.” These are the same Greek words as those used in Revelation 19:11 to describe the Lord Jesus Himself as He returns from heaven on a white horse: “Faithful and True.” It is safe to believe what is faithful and true. The words of the book of Revelation have the same validity as the One who gave them.
This may not seem all that important to the hurried reader, but it gives us security to know that the words of this book have come from the very mouth of the Lord Jesus. They are trustworthy over the long haul, and they are never wrong or false. When we believe truth like this, we become more secure. Security comes from knowing truth. We’re living in a time of such intellectual erosion that if you call anything absolute truth, some academics will think you have lost your mind and that you have bought into a false notion. But in spite of the so-called wisdom of the age, everything is not relative. Some things are absolutely sure, and these faithful and true words are among them.
In Revelation 22:7, the angel delivers a message from the Lord; that is, he quotes directly what the Lord Jesus says. The message is that Christ is coming soon and that believers are to heed what has been written—to hear it and act accordingly. The book of Revelation is designed to spur holy living, since Christ’s coming could occur at any moment. It should prompt us to honor Him in the way we conduct our affairs and do business and relate to others. The word obey is key. The Greek word used here means “to keep,” “to hold fast,” or “to guard.” Obedience to God is not just the preacher’s job; it is the job of every follower of Jesus. Something wonderful occurs deep in a person’s life when he or she has a submissive spirit and a willingness to obey God.
So the testimony of the angel urges us to be sure of God’s true and faithful message and to act accordingly. It is profoundly simple, yet it is the only way we can stand alone for the faith in difficult times.
[call out text: The book of Revelation is designed to spur holy living, since Christ’s coming could occur at any moment.]