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Read Introduction to Revelation
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near“
for the time is near
The word for “time” here refers to a unique time of the end. The motive for reading and applying Revelation to our lives is the proximity of the coming of Christ (22:6; cf. 10, 12, 20).\
The idea of “near” here is not the nearness of time but the nearness of prophetic revelation. The prophecies of Revelation carry proximity to fulfillment. The prophecies of this book are imminent (Romans 13:12; James 5:8). There is nothing that needs to come to past before God chooses to fulfill them.
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12).
”You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:2).
“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7).
The idea is that of imminence. Imminence does not necessarily mean near in time. The word “near” means impending. No prophecy needs to be fulfilled before the Lord comes. He could come in the next few minutes, or He might not come for another hundred years. This is the next event on God’s prophetic program.
Jesus coming could happen today. No prophecy needs fulfillment before Jesus comes back. That is why the apostles looked for Jesus to return in their lifetimes. They were disappointed but not mistaken.
Since Jesus could come at any moment, we should be at the top of our spiritual health.
When Jesus comes, we will not have time to prepare to meet Him. We cannot know the time of His coming. We will not have time to bury the hatchet with our enemy. He will rapture us in the state He finds us, even in our carnality. He gives no sign of the rapture. It will come like a thief in the night, unannounced, unheralded, and momentarily. He will whisk us away to receive reward or loss of reward.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).
If Jesus were to come today, all those with cancer and those paralyzed would have their bodies changed in a moment, from paralysis one moment to complete health the next.