Study 10 THE CLOSING APPEAL OF THE BIBLE
GREAT STATEMENTS OF THE GOSPEL
by Francis Dixon
(Key verse: Revelation 22:17)
Our key verse is found in the very last chapter of the Bible and it constitutes what may be called the closing appeal of the Bible. We rightly attach much importance to the last words of men, and we should take note of the closing words of God’s inspired Word. It seems as though the Holy Spirit said to John, ‘Now, John, before the book closes and before we solemnly warn the reader about taking away from or adding to the Word, we must give one final appeal to the sinner to come to the Saviour’ – and this appeal is in verse 17. If we study Revelation 22:17 carefully we shall notice that seven reasons are given as to why the sinner should come to the Saviour – it is a seven-fold appeal to the sinner to be reconciled to God. Why should you, if you have not already done so, come to Christ and put your trust in Him?
1. Because the Holy Spirit invites you to come
Our verse begins, “The Spirit says, ‘Come!'” The Holy Spirit is the third Person in the Godhead. What is the work of the Trinity today? God the Father planned the work of redemption; the Lord Jesus (His Son) came and procured our redemption by His death and resurrection; but what is the Holy Spirit doing? He is in the world seeking to bring the sinner to the Saviour, seeking to unite the sinner to the Saviour. It is His voice you hear speaking to you through God’s Word – for example, Isaiah 1:18; Isaiah 55:1. It is the Holy Spirit who has recorded the invitations of Christ Himself – for example, Matthew 11:28; Revelation 3:20. Then, He speaks to us sometimes through our joys and at other times through our sorrows. He compels men and women to pause, to stop and think. It is the Holy Spirit who does this. Maybe He is speaking to you now and is saying, “Come!” – look up Hebrews 3:7 and compare Hebrews 12:25. It is a very serious thing to refuse the voice of the Holy Spirit because you cannot be saved without His ministry. Jesus said this in John 6:44.
2. The Church invites you to come to Christ
Our verse tells us that “the bride says, ‘Come!'” In the New Testament the bride represents the Church, and the appeal of the true Church to the sinner is “come to Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20) The presence of the Church, the bride of Christ, in the world today is one big invitation to the sinner to come to the Saviour. The Church says “Come!” by its ministers. Think how many of Christ’s servants around the world are constantly, day after day, proclaiming the gospel and inviting sinners to come to the Saviour. The Church also says “Come!” by its many members scattered far and wide. Every true believer appeals to every sinner to be reconciled to God. Again, the Church says “Come!” by its ordinances – whether baptismal services or meeting around the Lord’s Table.
3. The individual Christian says “Come!”
Our verse says, “Let him who hears say, ‘Come!'” Perhaps you can cast your mind back to a time when someone appealed to you to become a Christian, someone who heard for himself, who believed on the Lord and experienced His salvation, and who then came to you and said “Come!” You might ask, ‘Why is it so important?’ – our verse goes on to tell us the answer to this question.
4. You need to come to Christ
Notice the words “Whoever is thirsty, let him come”. Here is someone who is conscious of a deep need, which only Christ can meet – compare John 4:14; John 7:37-38. Do you not feel the need of His pardon (Mark 2:5), His peace (Romans 5:1), His power (Philippians 4:13), His provision (Psalm 34:10), and Paradise (Luke 23:43)? We are restless until we find true rest in Christ, and He is the only One who can give this – Matthew 11:28-30.
5. There is no excuse for not coming
That is to say, you can offer no valid reason for not coming. The invitation is so wide because it incorporates people of every race, age and condition; and all may receive His great salvation – look up Romans 10:12-13.
6. The way to come to Christ is so simple
If you ask the question in Acts 16:30, the answer in our key verse is simply, “Take!” Salvation is offered, and all you have to do is to take it. God gives, and we take. God gave (John 3:16) and we receive His gift (Romans 6:23). Could anything be simpler than that?
7. There is nothing to pay
Notice the words “free gift” in our key verse. Salvation is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9), and to benefit from a gift all you have to do is to accept it, to receive it – look up Isaiah 55:1-2.
So we have seen in this, our last study of the series, seven reasons why the sinner should come to the Saviour, why you should come to Christ and put your trust in Him – and please notice that whether or not men and women are saved depends upon whether or not they are willing to be saved. How clearly this is stressed in our key verse. Finally, look up the Saviour’s wonderful “I will” in Revelation 3:20, and then give Him your reply.