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7 Steps to be Ready for Jesus' Return

Anticipate it eagerly--for he comes quickly!

When Jesus came the first time, he wore a crown of thorns.

But, when he comes again, he will wear many crowns that will be stacked upon his head.

When Jesus came the first time, he stood before Pilate.

But, when he comes again, Pilate will stand before him.

When Jesus came the first time, he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

But, when he comes again, he will be seen as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

When Jesus came the first time, he came to die.

But, when he comes again, he will come to dominate.

It is critically important that we are ready for the return of Jesus Christ and for the full display of his matchless glory. Jesus said in Luke 12:35:

“Be dressed in readiness and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes. Be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect."

So, how are we to be ready? How must we prepare ourselves for the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ? How may we be dressed in readiness? How may we be on the alert? How may we answer the door immediately when He knocks?

Revelation 22:6-15 speaks to this very issue—and it is very practical!

All that can be said is not contained in this passage, for no text of Scripture can ever contain the whole of any subject that we would address. However, we do find, in part, how we should prepare ourselves for the display of the glory of Christ that will be made known and manifested at the time of his second coming.

7 ways we can we ready of Jesus’ return:

#1 – Believe the Book (of Revelation – Rev. 22:6)

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

“These words” mentioned here are the entirety the book of Revelation. This book presents black and white words, objective words, words that have a specific meaning, and words that convey a specific truth. And the book of Revelation, in these words, has set before us in unmistakable fashion the absolute sovereignty of God over world events. It sets before us the soon triumphant return of Jesus Christ to come back to this world and to come for us. It sets before us the truth of the final judgment.

It sets before us eternal heaven and eternal hell. It sets before us the new heavens and the new earth and the new Jerusalem descending like a bride out of heaven.

We must believe this book.

We cannot discount it.

We cannot marginalize what we read here.

We cannot explain it away.

We cannot refute it.

We must not disbelieve it.

We must not negate it.

This book must be believed!

Verse 6 goes on to say that these words are “faithful.” This speaks of the infallibility of these words. That is, that these words will be brought to pass, for they are faithful words and words that God himself will bring about the fulfillment.

Isaiah 40:8 says:

"The grass withers, the flower fades away, but the word of our God abides forever."

 Jesus said it would be easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one jot or one tittle of the word of God not to come to pass (Matthew 5:18). Everything in this final book of the Bible will come to pass.

And then not only faithful, but you'll note in verse 6 “and true.” If faithful speaks of the infallibility of scripture, this speaks of the inerrancy of scripture, that everything that we read in this final book, which seems to some perhaps to be an exaggeration, almost fantastical, the angel says to John, no, it is absolutely accurate.

It is flawless without any error. It is unvarnished and unadulterated. And then we read of the inspiration of these words:

“And the Lord, the God of the spirit of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants what must come to pass.”

Literally, this has come from the mouth of God himself. Everything that we find in this final book is the capstone of the canon of Scripture.

“Must what come to pass” refers to the total record in the book of Revelation. And there’s a certainty about this: They will come quickly, and when they come, they will come speedily.

So, to prepare for Christ’ return, let us study this book. Let us read this book. Let us believe this book. Let us not neglect this book. Let us embrace this book into our very.

Do you read this book? Do you ponder it? Have you put your trust into things that are written in this book? It is necessary in order to be a complete Christian who is fortified in the sufficiency of Scripture.

#2 - Expect Christ's Return (Rev. 22:7a)

“And behold, I am coming soon. 

We're eagerly awaiting Christ's return, and now he's speaking directly to us, saying, "behold, I am coming quickly" (Revelation 22:7). His words aren't just a distant promise; they're a call to readiness. It's like he's already on his way, and when he says "soon," he means it. As Peter tells us, "with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day" (2 Peter 3:8). So, his timing isn't like ours. We're not just reflecting on the past; we're keeping our eyes fixed on the sky, anticipating his grand entrance.

Think about it: Christ riding in on a white horse, leading a heavenly army. It's not just a scene from a movie; it's real, and it's going to happen. John saw it in a vision: "I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called faithful and true" (Revelation 19:11). He's not just any king; he's the King of Kings, the ultimate authority. And when he returns, it's game over. He's here to settle scores and set things right once and for all.

So, are we ready? Because he's not giving us a heads-up. When he comes, it's happening fast. As he says, "Behold, I am coming quickly" (Revelation 22:12).

#3 – Obey this Christ (22:7b)

"Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Here, "blessed" means graced and favored. The opposite of being blessed is to be cursed. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.

And the first step is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ—to repent of one's sin and to put one's trust in Jesus Christ. This brings one into a state of blessedness.

It is an ongoing pursuit of obedience to the word of God. And the word of Christ that gives evidence that one is in a state of blessedness.

Not everyone who says to me: "If we really believe that Jesus could return at any moment—that he could come quickly—it would stir our hearts to be living in a state of heightened obedience to the word of God.” Despite this, when Christ returns, may we be found in the pursuit of keeping his word and heeding his law.

#4 – Worship the Lord (22:8-9)

"I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, 9 but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

Not only about keeping the word, but also about worshipping the Lord. Notice starting in verse eight, John identifies himself. Throughout the gospel of John and his letters, he never mentions his name, always humbly referring to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20). It's in Revelation that he finally acknowledges himself. He's overwhelmed to be a chosen disciple of Jesus Christ. John heard the seven letters to the churches and saw the unfolding vision, leaving him awestruck.

Yet, when he fell to worship the angel, he was sternly corrected. "Worship God," the angel insisted. It is a reminder that the truth and theology of Revelation should inspire worship in our hearts, directing all glory to God alone.

As we await Christ's return, we must worship God, acknowledging his authority over all events and history. Revelation magnifies his greatness, sovereignty over nations, and his plan for the future. Let's worship him for guiding history to its appointed end and anticipate his return with reverence and adoration.

#5 – Study the Book (of Revelation - Rev. 22:10)

And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

Do not close this book. Do not ignore its message. 

And it must not be hidden. We must share it far and wide. Let these truths be known of the glorious triumph and the matchless sovereignty of our God in the heavens and the soon imminent return of Jesus Christ.

"'For the time is near,'" he says, meaning it is close at hand, soon to come to pass. When it arrives, there will be no second chances. It will unfold like lightning, swift and final.

In verse 11, he indicates the suddenness of this return: "Let the one who does wrong still do wrong...," signifying that there will be no time for repentance or belief when Christ comes.

For us who have believed, our eternal state will be sealed at his return. This underscores the urgency of sharing this message with others, knowing that the time could come at any moment. We must be certain of our standing in grace because when Christ returns, it will be too late.

#6 – Serve the Lord (Rev. 22:12)

 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

What a responsibility it is upon us to fulfill the Lord's will, knowing that when he returns, every deed, no matter how small, will be acknowledged and rewarded! Even giving a cup of cold water to a little one will not go unnoticed (Matthew 10:42).

In 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul reminds us that we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, not just to show up, but to be made manifest and recompensed for our deeds. Our works will be evaluated, whether good or worthless (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). While we are saved by grace, we will be rewarded for our service for the gospel. Every sacrifice for the kingdom will be remembered and rewarded by our Lord, without delay, on the day of his return.

Every trial endured, every suffering endured for him will be acknowledged and rewarded. May we hear those precious words, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master" (Matthew 25:21).

#7 – Wash Your Robe (Rev. 22:13-15)

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Jesus is emphasizing his divine nature profoundly. It's like saying, "Simon, Simon, Simon," or "holy, holy, holy." Jesus underscores that he is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the source and the aim of all things. This statement unequivocally asserts his deity. Jesus is God and truly man.

In verse 14, we encounter the seventh and final beatitude in Revelation. “Blessed are those who wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb,” emphasizing our responsibility for repentance and faith. Only the blood of Jesus can cleanse our sins (1 John 1:7), granting us access to the tree of life and entry into the city.

But what about those who refuse to cleanse their robes in Christ's blood? Verse 15 reveals their fate: they are barred from heaven. John describes them as dogs, immoral persons, murderers, idolaters, and liars. They will not enter the holy city; they are excluded from its purity.

As we conclude, the message crescendos: be ready for Christ's return. Anticipate it eagerly, standing on tiptoes, listening for the trumpet, the archangel's shout, and the voice of Christ calling us to himself.

Let's await his return with glorious anticipation and seek, by his grace, strength, and Holy Spirit, to do these seven practical steps.