Come Lord Jesus

Title: Come Lord Jesus

Bible Book: Revelation 22 : 17-21

Author: Johnny L. Sanders

Subject: Return of Jesus; Christ, Return of



This is sermon number 49 in this series from the Revelation. Or to be more accurate, this is the 49th sermon manuscript I have prepared and delivered in the series. I have often preached two or three times from the Scripture covered in one of the manuscripts. That may remind you of one of those humorous signs on which you read the words PLAN AHEAD - and the last two letters run down the side of the sign because the sign painter did not plan ahead.

This is a fantastic Book! I know I have not answered all your questions, and as I have stressed from the beginning, I have not answered all of my questions. What I have done from beginning to end is keep before you the promise made by Jesus Himself in chapter 1, verse 3: “Blessed is the one who reads and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it, because the time is near!” I don’t know about you, but I have been blessed. Many of you have either been blessed - or you thought I needed the encouragement! Now let me mention a few ways in which I have been blessed:

1) I have a fresh awareness of the attention Jesus is giving His church.

2) I am more aware of the concern He has for me.

3) My knowledge of God’s end-time plans has been expanded.

4) I have a greater sense of His awesome presence.

5) I am reminded constantly that He is in control.

6) I have a deeper appreciation for His omnipotence (He is all powerful).

7) I have a deeper appreciation for His omniscience (He is all knowing).

8) I have a deeper appreciation for His omnipresence (He is everywhere present at the same time).

9) I have a greater appreciation for His love.

10) I have a greater appreciation for His holiness.
11) I have a greater appreciation for His sovereignty.

12) I have a greater longing for His return.

I will stop at twelve. That number appears a number of time in Revelation.

This Book reveals the throne room of heaven, with the Father seated eternally on the throne, the Lamb of God (the Son) standing at His right hand, and the “Seven Spirits” (the Holy Spirit) around the throne amongst the four living creations (heavenly beings, angels, Cherubim, and Seraphim) and the four and twenty elders (the redeemed) who reign with Him. Jesus is the Savior, Who died for us and was raised from the dead, after which He appeared some eleven times before ascending the heaven to make intercession for us until the time of His return. And He does promise to return.

”Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, including those who pierced Him. And all the families of the earth will mourn over Him. This is certain. Amen” (Rev 1:7, HCSB).


“Both the Spirit and the bride say, ‘“Come!’ Anyone who hears should say, ‘Come!’ And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.”

A. Jesus Has Promised to Come, 22:12-16.

Jesus is the one who is revealing God’s end-time plans, but of then the revelation is coming through an angel He has sent. In 22:12-16, Jesus says: “Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Met o repay each person according to what he has done.....‘I, Jesus, have sent My angel to attest these things to you for the churches.”

B. The Spirit and the Bride Invite Him to Come.

Jesus has said, “I am coming quickly.” Now, both the Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” John will add his plea for His return in verse 29. To whom does this refer? The Spirit is the Holy Spirit and the bride is the church. But wait a minute, the Holy Spirit is present in the throne room of heaven. Why would He be inviting Him to come? And I thought you would never ask! This is so exciting the saints in heaven are singing, “Hallelujah!” Remember the shout back in chapter 19: “After this I heard something like the loud voice of a vast multitude in heaven, saying: Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God” (Rev 19:1).

From eternity to eternity, that is, from eternity past to eternity future, God exists in a triune nature I cannot comprehend, and if I could comprehend it I would not be able to explain it. In any prehistoric conference in eternity past when God made plans for creation, we find God in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let me briefly touch on a few very important passages:

1) In Genesis 1:1, we read, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God the Father is the One who says, “Let there be.” From what we read in the first chapter of John, there can be no doubt that Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, was the Agent of creation. Now look at Genesis 1:2: “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters” (Gen 1:2). Evolutionists debate the source of the energy that energized that impossible collection of amino acids and caused them to come to life. Francis Shaeffer said that the most meaningless word in the English language was the word God spelled with a small “g”. If you spell your god with a small “g” you may stumble over this, but I spell my God with a capital “G”, therefore, I have no problem with it. The Spirit of God was hovering over creation - is it possible that the Third Person of the Trinity energized creation! I believe we are going find out someday.

By the way, Francis Shaeffer wrote that it was the doctrine of the Trinity that moved him from being an agnostic to a theist. If God had created man because he needed someone with whom He could have a relationship, then God would be incomplete, and an incomplete God is no god at all. If there is a Trinity, there is fellowship within the Trinity. There is nothing missing. God created man with a need for fellowship with Him, and the capacity to know Him, thus giving Him both a horizontal fellowship and a vertical fellowship. Shaeffer’s first three books for a trilogy, and though I have read, marked, highlighted, and made notes in the margins of twenty-two of his books, and even though I have read numerous volumes three, four, or five times, I always forget the title of the second book. My son John is reading them now, so I do not have them on my shelf. As I recall the titles of books one and three are, HE IS THERE and HE IS NOT SILENT. God exists, and He communicates with us.

2) At the Baptism of Jesus, the Son was baptized, the Spirit descended, and the Father spoke: God in three Persons, blessed Trinity. The Spirit affirmed the identity of the Son at His baptism. We must not neglect the Person or the work of the Holy Spirit. When I was growing up it seemed that some of our neighbors thought it was much more pious to say Holy Ghost, as in “Willie got the Holy Ghost last night during our revival.” Literally, the title is Holy Spirit, but what concerns me is not so much whether you call Him the Holy Ghost of the Holy Spirit, as when you use the pronoun you say He and not It! There is one other thing that concerns me and I think I can make this point with a story I once heard. It seems that ministers gathered to discuss an area-wide crusade and someone suggested that they invite Dwight L. Moody to be the evangelist. After some discussion, a young pastor stood up and said, “Well, I don’t believe Dwight L. Moody has any monopoly on the Holy Spirit.” After a brief pause, an older pastor answered, “It is not that Dwight L. Moody has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit. What counts is that the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Dwight L. Moody.” The question is not “Did Willie get the Holy Ghost at church last night,” but does the Holy Spirit have Willie. Does He have you?

3) On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to empower the church. God sent the Son. The Son suffered, bled, died, raised Himself from the dead, and ascended to the Father after promising to send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came to indwell believers at the point of salvation, to fill them daily as they yield do Him. He came to convict lost people of sin and convince them of the righteousness available to them through the Jesus Christ. Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to reveal the ministry of the Holy Spirit, not only in Justification, but also in Sanctification:

“All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” (Rom. 8:14-17, emphasis added).

He who inspired these words illuminates our hearts and minds so that we can understand them.

4) The Holy Spirit is essential to genuine prayer. We go to the Father, through the Son, as we are empowered by the Holy Spirit. Again, Paul was inspired to write of the ministry of the Holy Spirit:

“In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:26-27).

5) The Holy Spirit has been in on God’s redemptive plan for man from the beginning, and He is the one Who inspired every word of Scripture, Who has preserved it, Who illuminates our hearts so that we can understand it. He is the One Who ultimately teaches us the Word of God - and that includes the promises of Revelation.

6) The only way the bride, the church can say, “Come” is in the power of the Holy Spirit. A. T. Robertson said, “The Holy Spirit, speaking through the prophets or the Spirit of prophecy (Rev 2:7; Rev 16:4; Rev 18:24), joins with the bride (Rev 21:2), the people of God, in a response to the voice of Jesus just heard” [ATR].

C. Anyone Who Hears These Words Should Say, “Come!”

The Holy Spirit, who empowers the church and testifies with the spirit of believers, moves the church to respond to the Lord’s promise to come with their own excited welcome, “Come!” In addition, each individual who reads the Lord’s promise is encouraged to invite him to come. We have read Rev. 1:3 many times since we began this series. Now, listen to it again: “Blessed is the one who reads and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it, because the time is near!” (Rev 1:3). We have highlighted the first part of the verse over and over. We have looked for the promised blessing all the way through the Book. Now, look at the last part of the verse: “the time is near.” Jesus promises to come quickly. Each individual believer is invited to invite him to “come!”

Have you ever invited Him to come? I think it may have been John McArthur who said he had been in a number of countries in the old Soviet block. He said that it is amazing that Christians living under oppression or persecution are much more interested in hearing sermons on heaven than those who are living in luxury. The poor and downtrodden in America in the early decades of the 20th century were the ones who sang those old Gospel songs about the Lord’s return and heaven. They sang, “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.” They sang “Sweet by and by.” They sang songs which invited His return.

I told you about the news letter Dr. Jimmy Draper sent to members of the LifeWay board of trustees, in which someone had asked a leader of the house church movement in China how we can pray for the house churches in China. He said, “You should stop praying for the persecution to stop; it is the persecution that has caused us to grow.” He added that they were praying for persecution to come to the church in America so that the church can grow here too. Let us pray that we will not have to undergo severe persecution before we appeal to our Lord to “Come!”

D. “And the One Who Is Thirsty Should Come.

The invitation changes here. Instead of inviting Jesus to return, all are who are spiritually thirsty are invited to come to Jesus: “Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.”

“I am the bread of life,’” Jesus told them. ‘“No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again” (John 6:35).

“On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him” (John 7:37-38).

I spent nineteen long days in ICU a decade ago, including by-pass surgery and recovery. One day my cardiologist came into the room in the unit and began telling me how the nurses were talking about my spirit and attitude. I was totally resigned to God’s will and to the medical team as they sought answers. At that time there was a debate between angioplasty and stents. Finally, we opted for by-pass surgery. The people in the unit wondered how I dealt with an unknown future with such a positive attitude. I can assure you it was not because I was some kind of super saint. As a matter of fact, the most profound thought I had during those days was, “He chose me, I did not choose Him.” I am as serious as....shall we say, a heart attack? “He chose me, I did not choose Him.” This is not some hyper-Calvinist statement. The “whosoever will” is still there. The subjunctive mood is still there. If you come; If you ask; If you pray; If you believe. “If anyone is thirsty” clearly implies that you have a responsibility before God to respond to His sovereign invitation.


“I testify to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this prophetic book, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, written in this book.”

A. Jesus Is the One Who Testifies to The Prophetic Words of this Book.

In the first place, Jesus is qualified to add this testimony. Is it not logical that the only One who could honestly testify to all we have read is the One who exercises absolute sovereignty over it all?
Did you observe that Jesus did not say, “I hope the Father will send me soon”? While on earth, the human Jesus did not know the day nor the hour of His return, but you can be sure He knew He would return. You can also be sure that the entire plan of God is fully known to Him now. Jesus clearly and dramatically testifies to the prophetic words of the Book of Revelation.

B. Any Effort to Change This Prophecy Will Bring Eternal Consequences.

Any human author may caution his readers not to misuse his material. He or she may include a warning that it is against the law to steal intellectual properties, just as it is against the law to steal physical properties. I am truly indebted to an extraordinary man for helping me to understand this. First of all, retired, Three Star General Dutch Shoffner had to educate me about the value of one’s intellectual properties. Up until that time I had heard more questions about my mental faculties than my intellectual properties! Dutch told me that when he left the army his attitude was that if anyone wanted to use what he had written or said they were welcome to it. But after ten years with Lockheed Martin when all intellectual properties had to be carefully guarded, he had learned to value and protect them.

I this verse, Jesus did not add that this is copyrighted, and that anyone who added to it or took away from it would be prosecuted in a court of law. What He says here is much stronger than that:

“If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this prophetic book, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, written in this book.”

This specifically relates to the Book of Revelation, but you know something? I would not dare add to or take anything away from any book of the Bible. In another message I mentioned some bishop, and I do not know the denomination, who was interviewed on a Fox News program. A senator from Alabama had just said, “I have been a born again Christians for thirty-five years, ever since I received Jesus Christ as my Savior. And since I got into the Word of God I have come to see that anything that happens, God either causes it or He permits it.” The bishop gave him a stern lecture for believing the Bible.

With all my heart, I believe the Bible is the divinely inspired, authoritative, infallible, inerrant Word of God. As I have often said, if God could not have produced a perfect Book why do we call Him God, and if He could do it but would not, what kind of God is He? I listened once at a convention to a man who called my view bibliolatry, the worship of the Bible rather than God. If I had been listening to Solomon I may have remembered his warning, “Answer not a fool according to his follies lest thou be thought like unto him.” But I wasn’t, and no doubt there are some who believe me a fool. I believe the Bible because I worship the Author - I do not worship the Bible because I believe in the Author.


“He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

A. Jesus Promises to Come Quickly.

Jesus has presented His plan for the ages. He has reveled His plans and some of the end-time event that should be of interest to all believers. Now, once again, He promises to come quickly. Some render the word “soon” rather than quickly. We are well past the time (in the series on Revelation) for arguing about this. The word “soon” was interpreted by some to mean that Jesus would return in the lifetime of some of those early believers. Since that did not happen, one must wonder if the word really meant soon, or did it mean quickly, as translated in the HCSB. When end time events begin to unfold, He will move quickly.

B. John Enthusiastically Responds, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

In another message from Revelation, I made a confession. I can recall a few times when I have invited him to “Come.” In fact, I have prayed, “Come.” This is embarrassing, but it gets worse, I have pleaded with Him, “Come!” The flesh wants you to admire my faith, but I must confess that it may have been less a matter of faith looking up than doubt looking down. I still pray, “Come,” but now I pray, “Thy will be done.”

C. Each Believer Should Anticipate the Imminent Return of Christ.

Some people find the Book of Revelation frightening, but the genuine born-again Christian - the only kind of Christian there is - should live life to the fullest, growing daily in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. At the same time, each believer will look beyond time to eternity, beyond the trials of this life to the blessings of the next. You will no doubt remember the words of the old Gospel song, “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.”

I heard the late Dr. Leo Eddleman say that the Rock of Gibraltar is not a solid rock as some may think. In fact, there are many caves inside the great rock. At a time when man’s understanding of his universe was very limited, some Roman soldier or sailor had stopped and scratched into the face of the rock in one of these caves, NO MORE BEYOND, believing that there was nothing beyond the Gates of Gibraltar. Then, Christopher Columbus sailed through the Gates and then returned with news of a vast new world. Sometime after the news was spread abroad, some other sailor took something and lined through the Latin word for “no”, so that the message read, MORE BEYOND. I thank God there is more beyond! I would like to share a story that was making its rounds on the Internet a week or two ago.

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things ‘in order,’ she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "There's one more thing," she said excitedly.
"What's that?" came the pastor's reply.
"This is very important," the young woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."
The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.
"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked.
"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.
The young woman explained. "My grandmother once told me this story, and from there on out, I have always done so. I have also, always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.
'In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! "So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder "What's with the fork?". Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork .. the best is yet to come." The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming. At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. (an e-mail message with no name attached).

Jesus is coming quickly! We have His word on it. So, keep your fork, the best is yet to come.


“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.” This is how Jesus concludes the Revelation, the final installment in the Book of Books from the Lord of Lords. He is the Lord, and there is no other beside Him. This is His Book and there is no other such book in the world. When I was a teenager I was hooked on baseball and boxing. I followed both sports closely, reading everything I could get my hands on about the stars of the game, the great plays and players.
One story stuck with me. Pepper Martin was the shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals, and following a spectacular series some reporter asked him, “What do you want more than anything else in the whole world.”

Pepper Martin, without delay, said, “Above everything else, I want to go to heaven.” The reporter started to Laugh, but Pepper Martin said, “I am not joking. What I want above everything else is to go to heaven.”

I thank God this is world is not all there is. Jesus, in His farewell discourse, declared:

“Let not your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. 4 You know the way where I am going.” “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where You’re going. How can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:1-6).

If you listen to the Words of Jesus, to the Word of God, and He speaks to your heat, that is the work of the Holy Spirit and you are indeed blessed. He will convict you of sin and convince you of the eternal consequences of your sin. If you are a lost person, the Holy Spirit will seek to show you that Jesus died for you because He loves you, and right now He is reaching out to you.


If you have never received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, I want to speak first to you. Either God is speaking to you or He has not. If He is spoken to you heart, thank Him. When you no longer hear God speak to your heart it may well be too late for you, because every time you look your Creator in the face and say, “I don’t want you!”, you are turning deaf ears blind eyes to Him. If you continue to do that you will have a very willing ally in Satan, who would have ever person on earth follow him and turn deaf ears and blind eyes to God. Now - and I want you to listen very carefully - there is something worse than having Satan try to give you deaf ears and blind eyes to spiritual truth. You may be wondering, can this be true? Yes! It is. When the Holy Spirit recognizes that you are spiritually deaf and blind and ceases to try to convict you of sin and convince you to trust Jesus, the Light of the World, for eternal life, you are in real trouble. When God sees that you are committed to spiritual blindness and decides to leave you there it is too late for you.

If you know God is speaking to your heart right now, He has a special word for you: “Today is the day of salvation, this is the accepted time.” You can know Him right now. The only thing you can do to have eternal life is the one thing everyone must do. Believe in Him, believe Him.

Now, I have a word for believers. If you are a born-again Christian, and that is the only kind there is, you are either a faithful Christian, or you are unfaithful. Here is a simple test for you. If every member of this church showed exactly the same devotion and commitment to your church as you do, what would happen to this church? If every member prayed as you do, would this church ever move mountains for God? If every member studied the Word of God and applied it just as you do, how well would they know the will of God or teach others? If every member of this church were only as faithful as you, how would your church meet its budgetary needs? If every believer attended Sunday evening and Wednesday evening services just exactly as you do, what kind of services would we have. If every member was just like you what kind of church would God have in this community?

Jesus is coming again, but do not forget that Jesus has already come! He did not come only to get you into heaven, He also came to get the life and character of heaven into you. He died that you might live (eternally). He lives that you and I might live forever in Him. If you have never received Jesus as Savior, trust Him. If you know Him, obey Him.

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