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Life in the holy city (21:22-22:5)
No temple is needed in the city, because God is everywhere. Lights, whether natural or artificial, are unnecessary, because God’s glory fills every place (22-23). Other cities close their gates at night to prevent possible enemy attacks, but this city never closes its gates, because there is no night and no enemy. People of all nations inhabit the city, adding colour and splendour, yet there is complete purity, because sin is excluded (24-27).
Although the original man and woman lost the first paradise, redeemed men and women now possess the final paradise (cf. Genesis 2:9-10; Genesis 3:1-24). Having been healed from the curse of sin, they can now enjoy the blessings of the tree of life that God originally intended for them. The river that flows from God and the Lamb brings life, nourishment and enjoyment to people of all nations (22:1-2; cf. Ezekiel 47:1-12). Life in paradise is not spent in lazy idleness, but in the active worship and service of God. The redeemed see their God, bear his name, and share his glory (3-5).
John concludes his book by stressing that his visions have come from God and are trustworthy. They are given not to help people work out a timetable of future events, but to strengthen Christians so that they will be obedient and not forsake Christ simply to escape persecution (6-7). There is an added warning not to get over-excited because of the visions, but to respond by offering fitting worship to God (8-9).
A special word of advice is then given for persecuted believers. It is useless for them to fight against their persecutors. Rather they must leave such people to follow their evil ways, knowing that the wicked will meet swift punishment at Christ’s return. Believers, on the other hand, must follow the ways of God. They must keep their Christian testimony pure, knowing that at Christ’s return they will be rewarded (10-11).
The risen Christ, who is the eternal God and the judge of all people everywhere, gives a reminder that the climax of the world’s history is approaching. He will return soon. Again this is not so that Christians might try to calculate the date of his coming, but so that they might be faithful to God and pure in their lives. When he comes he will reward people according to the way they have lived. The faithful will enjoy the blessings of life in the presence of God, but their opponents will be excluded for ever (12-15).
Christ, the promised Son of David, is like the morning star, whose coming signifies the dawn of a new day. The Holy Spirit, the universal church and individual believers join in urging him to return. At the same time they urge unbelievers to accept eternal life from him. The book has recorded much concerning judgment, but the invitation to accept God’s salvation remains open to the end (16-17). John closes with a solemn warning to take heed to what he has written in the book and not to alter its contents or avoid its teachings. Jesus Christ is coming (18-21).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Revelation 22". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13