The last few weeks I’ve been leading a study of the letters from Jesus to the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3 in the book of Revelation. The next five weeks I will be leading a basic overview of the entire book. In my reading for this flyover of the book I came across a simple declaration I found encouraging.
Towards the end of his book about the seven letters author Stanley D. Gayle reminds his readers that “Jesus is the risen, reigning, and returning KING.” All three of those descriptive words of Jesus give comfort, hope, joy, and anticipation to his followers.
We are almost a month past our Easter celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, but we never tire of having our attention called to his victory over death. Calling our attention to Jesus’ resurrection also reminds us of his death on the cross through which he paid the penalty for our sin and provided for our forgiveness.
Gayle not only reminds us that Jesus rose from the dead, but also that following his resurrection (and a variety of appearances) Jesus ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And it is from there, of course, that Jesus reigns as king. The Apostle Peter made it clear in his Pentecost sermon in Acts 2:32 and 33, “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.” The writer of Hebrews makes the same point: “After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” (Hebrews 1:3b).
The third of Gayle’s reminders is the one for which we are still waiting and looking forward to. One of the best known statements from Jesus himself about his return is in John 14:2 and 3, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” One of Paul’s best known teachings about Jesus’ return is in I Thessalonians 4: 16 and 17, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
Jesus, the Son of God, is indeed the risen, reigning, and returning KING. Aren’t you glad; and don’t you look forward to his return? Keep in mind what Jesus said, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done” (Revelation 22:12).
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