By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)
Scripture Readings: Revelation 18-22
Key Scripture Verse: Revelation 22:17 (NIV, Life Application Bible) “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
The last chapter of Revelation includes an epilogue with the words of Jesus which say, “‘Look, I am coming soon!’” The reader is invited to accept His grace and to be with him for eternity:
“‘Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life,’” he says, and, “let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
The gift of salvation is free, it’s already paid for. Jesus paid for it when he died on the cross. He offers it to anyone who will accept it and follow him.
To accept it is to believe in Jesus, to confess sin and accept his forgiveness, to follow his commandments—to love him and to love others.
It’s a simple invitation and a simple gift. It can’t be earned by being a good citizen and doing nice things for people—it’s not our works, but our love and acceptance of him that he demands.
Why do we want to so stubbornly hold on to the sins that bind us and enslave us when the freedom of God’s love could be ours forever? Here’s why: Spiritually, we thirst…and thirst…and we take a cheap substitute to quench our thirst, because it’s enticing and easy to do, and we believe it makes us feel better—for a time—but it is a trick, it’s Satan’s drink and he deceives us into believing we have something we want and value. Once we realize it is a lie and it does not quench our thirst, and it does not satisfy, we are already “hooked” by the lies and it’s hard to release ourselves from its power.
Revelation tells us: “be not deceived” by false teachers. Only the one true God, the one true Messiah—Jesus Christ—can offer salvation. Only he can allow us to eat of the tree of life, because he is the “Alpha and the Omega”—he was there when the earth was created, “for he made it,” and he was the one who paid the price for our sin which separated us from pure love and being in his presence forever.
Jesus removed the veil between us and God and reconciled us forever. Real salvation can only come through Jesus, the Messiah, the only one who can quench our spiritual thirst.
He’s coming soon. It’s time to accept his love and his grace, if we haven’t yet done so.
“Let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”