“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves the practices of falsehood.” Revelation 22: 14-15
There’s a blessing and a curse within this passage.
Blessing: to those who have been cleaned they are blessed with entrance into the city (the new Jerusalem).
Curse: to those who have not been cleaned and have embraced the practices of falsehood they are cursed with being an “outsider” and are barred from entrance into the city.
These are the words of an post-ascended Jesus spoken to John in his vision of what is to come. Recently I taught the book of Revelation in our bible study class and we went through each chapter together. This wasn’t some sort of theological teaching of eschatological theories and dispensationalism. This was a study of what is written within this book. This was a look into what we understand and what we do not understand. It was also understood that it is okay to acknowledge that we don’t have to comprehend everything in the text to understand what Christ is and will be doing at the end of all things…and at the restart/beginning of all things. Salvation and justice will be handed to out to us all. Reward and punishment, blessings and curses. His reign will be absolute in that there will be no question of who He is and will be for all time. His city will shine because God will be at the center providing light and love. The vision of John is both glorious and too majestic to fathom. We cannot grasp it all. Yet His wonder and might will be all consuming and powerful.
“Behold I am coming soon!” (Revelation 22:7)
This isn’t some billboard or poster board written by a street preacher who is screaming through a bullhorn and attempting to scare the hell out of people (Sorry if I offend you with that, but isn’t that their purpose?). These words of Jesus aren’t supposed to be interpreted as horrifying and foreboding, yet many times that is exactly how people use them. This isn’t some catch phrase to a horror movie. These words should be read and interpreted with loving expectation and with a heart of preparation. Jesus doesn’t say these words to scare us but rather prepare us. In the Apostle John’s day these words would have evoked in the listener (the early Church) a sense of longing and hope in a world of fear, evil and Roman oppression. To us, we should see Jesus’ words as not just a warning of His return but of a time to prepare our hearts, souls and minds for Him.
How is your heart today? Is there peace in your heart and life because you have a relationship with Jesus? Are you in a good place spiritually? What things still need to be surrendered to Him today? The Holy Spirit still works within us to prepare us and to “cleanse our robes”. Are you willing to surrender every nook and cranny of your soul? Jesus doesn’t want to rent a room in your heart, He wants you all to Himself. He longs for this right relationship with us, and we must decide how full our surrender to Him will be.
I want blessings not curses.
I want His presence, not the “outsiders” view of the city.
I want to be completely His, not an ‘on again, off again’ relationship.
Is this your desire?
Chorus and Prayer:
If on my soul a trace of sin remaineth,
If on my hands a stain may yet be seen,
If one dark spot a weary soul retaineth,
O wash me, Lord, that every part be clean;
For I would live that men may see thyself in me,
I would in faith ascend thy holy hill
And, with my thoughts in tune with thy divinity,
Would learn how best to do thy holy will.
Be Blessed today, not cursed!
-Just something more to ponder.-