TEXT: Revelation 22:12-21
At this time of year, people are in the business of sending and receiving invitations -- invitations to Christmas parties, New Year's parties, end-of-year get-togethers, and, for the politically correct among us, "holiday parties." Essentially, the message of these invitations can be summed up in one word -- "Come." Come, join us. Come, celebrate with us. Come, ring in the New Year. These happy events are, in some way, an escape, a reprieve from the daily grind of the world.
Here, in the Revelation, a book of judgment and wrath, we find an invitation to "Come" -- such a little word, but such great comfort is in those four letters. After 21 chapters, mostly filled with unpleasant reminders of the fallen state of man, the evil governments that oppose Christ, and the persecution of the saints, how pleasant it must have been for the believers who first read this book to be invited out of this world and to come to a better place. How pleasant it is for us to receive this invitation to leave this world of "swift death and little bliss" (in the words of J.R.R. Tolkien).