“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 (Revelation 22:6b-7a).”
From the very first verse of this book we heard that this revelation was meant to show God’s servants “the things that must soon take place (Revelation 1:1).” From my perspective, much of what we read in Revelation describes what people in John’s day and in every age, including our own, have experienced. We also hear what will take place in a time that is yet to come - including the return of Jesus. Yet even in regard to our Lord’s return, the language emphasizes imminence (“I am coming soon”).
So how are we to understand this, if these words were recorded roughly nineteen hundred years ago? We are to understand this as an answer to the question of “what’s next?” “Soon” then means that the next event on the prophetic calendar is the coming of Jesus. Obviously, we see things only as they unfold in our short lives, but not so with God.
Famously, even Peter felt the need to address this issue: “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:8-9).”
Our eyes should always be looking to the horizon with an excited expectancy for the return of the one who has loved us most. But we also are to see those around us with a sense of urgency, “not wishing that any should perish.” Do we look out on our future with these eyes or with the eyes trained by the world, eyes that strain only to see short term pleasure? Our call is to always live knowing that the Lord’s return is coming soon.