It is amazing how days seem to “fly by”. It is another reminder how short life can be. On February 01, 2012 I began this 90 day adventure reading through the Bible in the shortest period of time I have ever done so. I was not sure that it was something I wanted to do. It was going to require that I get up a bit earlier, and especially since I committed myself to writing about it everyday for that ninety days.
It was, however, a journey and adventure well worth the time and the reading. Let me challenge you to do it; the reading. It will be a blessing to you. Even if you have read the Bible through 100 times or a 1,000 times, there is something about moving through it quickly that gives you a new insight into the Scriptures. Whether you read it through in ninety days or 365 read it through.
My reading for the final morning of the 90 days was The Revelation of Jesus Christ chapters 13 – 22. The title comes from Jesus speaking this in the first chapter verses 8 and 11, then again in 21:6 and 22:13.
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Revelation 22:13 (KJV)
Life for man, according to the Bible, began in the Garden of Eden. Let me say that I believe what the Bible says, because it is the very Word of God. It has not failed, it will never fail. Not one jot or title will pass away. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the Word of God will never pass away. From the Garden of Eden in Genesis Adam and Eve were cast out because of sin. They were cast out to keep them from the Tree of Life which was in the midst of the garden, and was the source of eternal life.
From Genesis we see God’s call of a man, Abraham, who believed God; God counted it to him for righteousness; and through Abraham all the earth has been blessed. In the Old Testament we find a journey of the seed of Abraham. We see their victories, their faults, failures, and their sins; most of all we see God in His grace and mercy preparing a people, for a Saviour, for the whole world. In the New Testament that Saviour comes, dies on the cross, giving His life as atonement for the sins of mankind, making it possible for those who will believe to partake of the Tree of Life and live forever.
I mentioned yesterday on Day 89 that “Inhabiters of the earth”, “All that dwell upon the earth” is used to show those whose hearts and lives find their treasure in this world. That phrase is mentioned again in chapter 13 four more times; in verses 8, 12, and twice in verse 14. It is used again in 14 verse 6 and chapter 17 verse 8. If I have not counted wrong or missed one that is eight times the phrase is used. Every time it is used it has to do with those who will be judged because of their rejection of Jesus Christ.
There may be some who will say, “Well, I have never rejected Jesus Christ.” If you have not received Him as your Lord and Saviour you are in a state of rejection. What must you do to be condemned? Nothing. You are already condemned. What must you do to be saved from your condemned state? Trust the Lord Jesus Christ, and His finished work on the cross, His death, burial and bodily resurrection. Depend solely on the grace given you through faith in Him.
It is mentioned in the Revelation of a “First resurrection”,
“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:5-6
Just what is this “First Resurrection”? First, let me say that we all want to be in the first resurrection; at least we should want to be. Jesus is the “first fruits” of the first resurrection, making it possible for the dead in Christ to be raised to life again (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Then at the end of God’s judgment upon the earth dwellers, and the redemption of Israel, those who died for their faith in Him during the judgment will also be raised, and counted in the first resurrection. Those who do not have their names written in the Lamb’s book of life will have part in what is called the “Second death”. At the great white throne (20:11-15) all the dead of all the ages of those who were not written in the book of life will be cast alive into the lake of fire.
When you read the Bible keep your eyes and heart tuned in to seeing Jesus, because it is about Him. We human beings need to realize that this life is not about us, or even for us, but it is for God and for His glory.
The invitation is given. The life of man began in the Garden of Eden. When we believe God through His Son Jesus Christ we can live in the Heavenly Garden forever.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let him that heareth say, ‘Come.’ And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17 (KJV)
Hear the invitation. Come to Jesus and receive eternal life.
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. He is where new life begins.
-Tim A. Blankenship