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God's Last Invitation, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
December 29, 2021 3:00 am

God's Last Invitation, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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December 29, 2021 3:00 am

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The whole book of Revelation. Of course, is the prophecy of the second coming of Jesus Christ is the final statement on the unveiling of the glory of the son of God when he returns in every need bows and every tongue confesses that he is Lord in this book ends with a final invitation in the light of that reality family members to follow Christ a person's last words carry a lot of weight and the same is true of our Savior's last words in Scripture, the message he gave could not be more important. Those words are John MacArthur's focus today on grace to you, so stay here for his study from Revelation chapter 22, titled final call and now with the lesson here is John well let's open our Bibles to the final chapter of the Bible.

The 22nd chapter of Revelation.

Revelation chapter 22 God's last invitation the Bible opened with a promise. The promise of a coming Savior. The promise of the coming deliverer who would rescue people from their sin that promise came in the third chapter of Genesis in the 15th verse he shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel that is a promise of a deliverer that is the promise of a Savior, one who would come and rescue men by destroying the enemy Satan himself. The Bible then begins with the promise of a Savior and that is how it ends. Verse 20 of this last chapter, yes I am coming quickly. Only this is the promise of his second coming, whereas Genesis 3 was the promise of his first coming. W.A. Criswell wrote this. First, the Savior is the company might be crushed, bruised, crucified and made an offering for sin is to come to die as the Redeemer for the souls of men. After God made that promise and Eden hundreds of years past millennium's past and the Lord did not come when finally he did arrive he came into his own and his own received him not. He was in the world and the world was made by him in the world knew him not the thousands of humanity had forgotten the promise or else they scoffed at its fulfillment.

When finally announcement came that he had arrived to the learned scribes pointed out the place where he was to be born, but never took the time to journey to 5 miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to welcome the promised savior of the world. But however long he delayed it. However, men forgotten, scoffed, and however few of the faithful band waited for the consolation of Israel as a is old Simeon yet he came in keeping with the holy faithful promise of God, the Lord Jesus came is thus says Criswell in the text that God speaks in closing his Bible.

Surely, I come quickly here a second time. However, infidels maced off. However, others may reject and however the centuries may grow into the millennium. This is the immutable word and promise of the Lord God surely I come it is all throughout Scripture reiterated the Old Testament there are many prophecies of his first and second coming in the New Testament. Many prophecies of his second coming in June 14 for example, it says, behold, the Lord came with many thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done an ungodly way, is coming not as a Savior but next time as a judge and thus you have at the end of the book of Revelation, not so much a promise as a warning. We have been looking at this tremendous closing invitation. The whole book of Revelation. Of course, is the prophecy of the second coming of Jesus Christ.

It is the apocalypses. It is the apocalypse. The revealing the manifestation of Jesus Christ is the final statement on the unveiling of the glory of the son of God when he returns in every need bows and every tongue confesses that he is Lord in this book, which is all about his second coming ends with a final invitation in the light of that reality as the Revelation reaches its end.

The certainty of Christ's return is now clear.

The Holy Spirit calls for a response. First of all, in verses six through 12 a response from Christians.

The response of immediate obedience immediate worship immediate proclamation and immediate service. But secondly, beginning in verse 13 and down to the end a response from non-Christians. God's final plea is given to those who are still rejecting this final section weekend divided this simply two points. The invitation and the incentives to respond to the invitation comes in verse 17. The invitation comes right in the middle of this passage from verse 13 to 21. Surrounded by the incentives but we have to start with the invitation verse 17 of the spirit of the bride say, come. And let the one who hears say, but the one who is thirsty, come.

But the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

We suggested you that are two parts to this verse. The first half is the plea for the Lord to come. The second half is the plea for sinners to come to the Lord enjoying the plea for him to come. First of all, in verse 17 the spirit, the Holy Spirit and then the bride which is the church they desire the Lord to come because they want to see the end of sin they want to see the exaltation of righteousness. They want to see the glory of the kingdom. They want to see the majesty of Jesus Christ. They want to see the enemy Satan destroyed sin dealt with in the eternal glory of God manifest throughout the universe so the Holy Spirit in the church are crying come the striving convicting grieved, quenched, and blasphemed Holy Spirit says, and the struggling burden to troubled sinful week church says come Holy Spirit wants Christ to come because she wants the work of redemption completed the enemies of hell banished the church wants to be a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and without blemish. And so the Spirit and the bride say to Christ, Tom, come. And then the verse shifts in the middle, and others are invited to say come anybody who hears the message of the gospel and joins the church and joins the spirit can say come, Lord Jesus.

Then comes the call to sinners, but the one who is thirsty, the one a wishes to take the water of life without cost. There is a call for sinners to come to recognize their need to see the source of help for that need in Jesus Christ and to take of the water of life without cost. Salvation comes to those who recognize their desperate threatening condition and sin, which is here pictured as thirst, salvation comes to those who understand the provision God is made in Christ to see him as the living water, and who repent and believe taking and drinking what is provided for them. Though there is the invitation to sinners, come come join the spirit and join the bride eagerly awaiting the return of Jesus Christ.

You don't need to look at the return of Christ is a frightening reality. If you'll come to Christ.

You can love his appearing. You can anticipated.

So first of all, we looked at the invitation. Secondly, and what occupies the surrounding text is the incentives to respond. There is the invitation to come in the incentives to come. There are a number of incentives we began to look at them last time and let me remind you of the first one we are to come. Sinners are to come because of Christ's person because of Christ's person. Remember verse 13. He said I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end and down in verse 16 he says I am the root and the offspring of David, the bride MorningStar what is the significance of that it is.

This is not just anyone who is calling the sinners to come. It is none other than the Alpha and the Omega, the first, the last, the beginning the end the root and offspring of David, the bride MorningStar.

Those are all titles for Christ Jesus the son of God, the living Lord, the eternal, infinite transcendent one. He is the source and end of all, he is the goal and consummation of all he is the root of David, that is, he is the source of David that is to say he is deity. He is God. He is also the offspring of David, that is to say he is a child of the line of David that speaks of his humanity is the God man, then he is called the bride MorningStar I told you the Jews use the term start to describe a hero.

He is the hero of heroes, the brightest star of the morning star that shines brightly to shatter the darkness just before the herald of the dawn. It's not just anybody who's inviting the sinner to come is the majestic living Lord of heaven. The preacher is not the inviter. He is he is the one who has sent the invitation. We just deliver it or what the majestic one calls you to eternal life calls me to eternal life calls every sinner to eternal life to turn down the invitation is to spurn the supreme being in the universe. In such an affront to him comes with an immense cost. Secondly, the incentive to come is because of Christ's person and secondly because of heaven's exclusivity because of heaven's exclusivity. There's another compelling reason to come to Christ. Another compelling reason to believe in the one who died and rose again to repent of your sin and embrace him as Savior and Lord. And that is because of what verse 14 and 15 says blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and manner by the gates into the city outside of the dogs and the sorcerers and immoral persons in the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying what that tells us is about the exclusivity of heaven is not a place for everyone.

Everyone doesn't go there. There are some people in verse 14, who are inside participating in the tree of life.

There are others who are outside shot out. According to verse 15, it is likely that in verses 14 and 15.

Jesus is still speaking and if I had been the editor on a red letter Bible. I would've made sure that all the words from verse 12 clear through verse 16 were in red because I think there's no reason to assume our Lord is not continuing to speak right here. Look again at verse 14. Blessed are those who wash their robes refers to the idea of removing sin by purging by cleansing, such as we saw in Psalm 51 verse seven Isaiah chapter 1 verse 18, and other places in Scripture and we noted that the only agency by which such cleansing can be accomplished is by the blood of Jesus Christ. First Peter one very very familiar and very important. Scripture says you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold, from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ is the blood of Jesus Christ is the death of Christ's atoning work. That alone can wash away our sins. This is again repeated in the book of Hebrews. In fact, many times I think of just one verse, Hebrews 914 how that the blood of Christ to through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God cleanses us from dead works to serve the living God is only those then who have been washed. It is only those who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, who have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Only the cleansed have the right to enter only the cleansed have the right to eat the new Jerusalem and as well the new heaven and the new earth is only for those who are cleansed of sin. So forgiveness is the requirement for anyone who would enter into heaven. That's why the gospel promise includes forgiveness. Listen to it in the words of Paul.

It says in Ephesians 17. In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses. If our sins are not washed away, cleansed away, absolutely and totally forgiven.

We cannot enter into heaven in the world is full of people who assume they're going to get to heaven. Apart from that, but they're not one sin shuts you out. This is a compelling exclusivity.

The only way to heaven is to have your sins forgiven by faith in Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection. That is the only way in verse 15. On the other hand, says outside outside the new Jerusalem. The new heaven and the new earth are the dogs and the sorcerers in the immoral persons in the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying outside look at chapter 21 verse 27. The last verse of that chapter. Remember that chapter describe for us the new Jerusalem describes for us the eternal heaven new heaven and the new earth. In verse 27 it says nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination lying shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Heaven is exclusively for those who have been cleansed.

Those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Now where are these people that are outside verse 15 of chapter 20 tells you if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life.

Here's where he was. He was thrown into the lake of fire. Heaven is exclusively for those who are forgiven and it is abundantly clear from verse 15 of chapter 22 that if there's any sin to be held against your account, you're going to end up in the lake of fire.

Verse 15 gives you a list of sins. A list of descriptive sins mark this.

It is not exhaustive summary might read it and say, well, a seat I'm not a dog, a sorcerer and immoral person of murder and idolater, one who loves and practices lying. I'm just a thief, so I'm not included. That's not the idea. These are not exhaustive, but these are representative over chapter 21 verse eight, the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable, and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. So again, we know that being outside means to be in the lake of fire. The list there is a little bit different indicating to us that this is a representative list and not an exhaustive one. These are people who will still bear their sins and the punishment for them. Now I want to look at this list because while it is very apparent what he's talking about. In most cases there is a least one word here that might baffle you a little bit and that is the first one outside are the dogs we have domesticated the dog pretty much in our culture, so we might understand that that you might have a little dog that is a more friendly to you than other members of your family that seems to be true in some cases you may look at your dog almost as if the your dog had a personality in the something more than just instinctive behavior. You might cherish her little dog taking very fine chair of it that was not how dogs were treated in the ancient world. They were often called Curtis they were scrounging stay milled around the garbage of the city.

They were despicable creatures.

For the most part and calling someone a dog was referring to the person of the most low character. Dogs were not particular about what they did. In view of everyone.

They had no desire to hide the list, the less desirable functions and you will know that dogs will leave their mark anywhere and everywhere and they were synonymous with the lowest scum.

Such indications are found even in the Old Testament as well as in the new. For example, when I will read will a lot of them but just a couple to give you the idea second Kings chapter 8 and verse 13 then his ale said, but what is your servant, who is but a dog they should do this great thing to call someone a dog was the lowest infected Jews would call the Gentiles dogs that was an epithet that infuriated them and demeaned them in Isaiah 5610 talking about unfaithful men who were supposed to be in spiritual leadership. It says them all of them are dumb dogs, unable to bark.

It is used as well.

In the New Testament with similar kinds of significance is yours. I guess we could say I was looking for some words to describe it as simply as I could.

It is used to describe the impudent Lee impure is used to describe those who were blatantly impure. Now this may really surprise the first reference were dogs are used to describe humans because of their impudent Lee impure behavior is Deuteronomy 2318 you can write it down if you want to look it up. Deuteronomy 2318 and it refers to homosexual prostitutes, male prostitutes for homosexuals.

They were the lowest of the low, the lowest of the low they're going to be outside the king, and so are sorcerers that refers to people engaged in magic drugs farm AK is the word from which we get pharmacy magic was associated with drug supposedly to induce some euphoria and some ascent to the deities and engage them. Also in demon activity outside our immoral persons porn us from which we get pornography. Those who commit immoral sexual acts outside our murderers, that's pretty clear outside or a doll, idolaters, those who worship other than the true God outside his everyone loves and practices lying in here.

We have been another representative list like the one I mentioned earlier in chapter 21 and verse eight. A representative list very much like to first Corinthians chapter 6, the New Testament is full of these neither fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate homosexual.

Steve's covetous drunkards revile or swindlers shall inherit the kingdom of God. That's first Corinthians 6 Galatians chapter 5 is another such list talks about those people who will be outside the kingdom, immoral, impure, sensual talks about their sin of idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, and being drunkenness, carousing, and things like these similar list in Ephesians 55 of the point that I want to make out of verses 14 and 15 is simply this. Here the invitation, my friend, because heaven is exclusively for people who sins have been cleansed.

It isn't that none of us have ever done those things. It is that we have been forgiven. Who doesn't want to be forgiven. The one who cherishes that sin if it is unforgiven. If you do not come to the foot of the cross and embraced Jesus Christ you will die in your sin. Jesus said in John seven and where I go you cannot come. You will not go to heaven you will burn forever in the lake of fire, and so the invitation is not the one who is thirsty, come and let him take the water of life without costs. There is no charge. Just come and drink receive eternal life receive forgiveness you should be compelled to do that because of the person who asked you and because of the exclusivity of heaven.

You will be left out if you are not forgiven, and you will not be forgiven unless you come to Christ alone grants forgiveness. This is grace to you with John MacArthur thanks for tuning in today. John has titled his current study.

Final call. It's a look at Christ's last words in Scripture and an urgent warning to every generation. John the profound warning of God's judgment that we are seeing in this study while it's been an important subject to consider in every generation. I think you recently have said that this issue of coming judgment is something that God's people especially need to be focusing on in an even more concerted way nowadays. Maybe you could talk about that for a minute clearly in my mind it is true to say that this society which we live is under judgment.

Western societies under judgment Americas under judgment. How do I know that because the first chapter of Romans lays out the fact that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. So when you have a culture that has the truth and possesses the truth and rejects the truth and becomes unrighteous the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against that always Isaiah goes beyond that. And Isaiah says I will give you week incompetent rulers and I think were experiencing that pretty clearly now. Hosea put it this way when God judges the nation he gives them rulers in his anger. So the very fact that we have the kind of rulers we have now is another symptom of judgment. Clearly, all these indications are that God is judging a nation who has had the truth and has held the truth, but rejected it and living in unrighteousness has been turned over to the consequence of its own sin. That should mean that churches now step up to declare judgment always monitor the words of Paul knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men we we are to be will be shouting from the house tops the judgment is coming. We we ought to be like Isaiah, we ought to be like Jeremiah we we ought to be declaring judgment has arrived judgment has arrived. Repent, repent, repent, but that's not happening in this pragmatic kind of evangelicalism there still wanting to say what unbelievers want to hear her sister make a church into what will unbelievers want and there is no no a sense in which they take the responsibility as the Paul put it, for judgment to begin at the house of God and that doesn't mean merely that judgment starts there in the fact that God purges his church, but the judgment comes from their II think the church is the voice of God for judgment in the world. We we have failed to pronounce that judgment. And that's a dire dire act of unfaithfulness. We need to warn people and it is true that were closer to the return of Christ is Ruben saying than we've ever been in all the indications are that he could come any moment and then all all heaven breaks loose. And then all hell breaks loose in the final judgment so the church needs to be the voice of God, which is the voice of judgment and warning of what is to come and friend to be a voice of warning means being saturated with God's word along that line the MacArthur daily Bible is a great tool to keep you on track with the daily intake of biblical truth.

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