Time of Trouble Bible Study 5
This is Part 5 of my Bible study series on the biblical “time of trouble” (see Daniel 12:1). Here we will examine three power-packed verses from the final chapter of God’s Book. Notice carefully:
And he [an angel] said to me [John], “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book [Revelation] , for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:10-12).
Unlike that portion of Daniel’s prophecy that was sealed “until the time of the end” (see Daniel 12:4), the angel specifically told John not to seal Revelation because “the time is at hand.” Obviously, the angel earnestly wants us to understand exactly what this “time” is all about, so we are not caught unawares. Sadly, the average person today has no idea what this “time” refers to, and even most Christians are clueless. Some assume it means the time of Jesus Christ’s second coming.
But this is not correct.
A close look at Revelation 22:10-12 reveals exactly what this “time” is. Immediately after the angel warned, “the time is at hand” (verse 10), Jesus Christ Himself speaks solemnly, “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still (verse 11). Thus “the time” that is “at hand” is the closing of heaven’s door of salvation and of God’s offer of mercy to sinful men. In the very next verse Jesus clarifies that this closing of the door (in verse 11) is not the time of His return, but a time shortly before it. After the door closes, then Jesus says, ” And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (verse 12). This is His second coming when He will “reward” the “righteous” and “holy,” and punish those who have persistently chosen to remain “unjust” and “filthy.”
Even most Bible-believing and prophecy-minded Christians are ignorant of these truths. Popular end-time teaching declares:
- After Jesus returns at the rapture, souls can still be saved during a seven year tribulation.
- At the end of the tribulation, at the visible Second Coming, many Jews will be converted at Armageddon.
Both of these doctrines are proved bogus by Revelation 22:10-12. The Bible really teaches:
- The “time” of the closing of Heaven’s door comes first, before Jesus returns at all.
- After that time Christ will descend to “reward” everyone, for good or ill.
Dear friend, don’t be deceived by false doctrines. After the Revelation 22:11 announcement is made, there will be no more conversions. Also, our greatest need is not merely to prepare for the Second Coming, but for “the time” just before it, that is, for the closing of the door and the time of trouble. Those who are ready for these events will be ready for the Second Coming. The biggest question now is: how can we be among the “righteous” and “holy” when Christ ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above? The answer is: By putting away sin, and by trusting entirely in the blood of the Lamb.
No one knows for sure when Jesus will say, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still.” The word “still” means that then it will be forever too late. And amazingly, when Jesus finally says it, no one on earth will even know it.
Can’t you see why the angel so earnestly told John, Don’t seal the book of Revelation, ” for the time is at hand!”
Dear friend, now is the time to prepare and to make sure that we will finally be found among those who have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).
To be continued…