“. . . that there should be delay no longer . . .” – Revelation 10:6
Delay no longer. Have you been following those Qanon posts? Do you listen to political pundits or those who claim to have access to privileged informants in high places of government? Are you waiting for the hammer to drop on corrupt politicians but it just never seems to actually happen? Can you relate to “delay no longer”?
Maybe you’re in a personal predicament of delay. Are you waiting for a job offer? Have you filed all the paperwork but bureaucracy seems to delay every day? Are you waiting to hear from someone special? Maybe you’re married and trying to have children and each month you’re thinking, “please, delay no longer God, give us a child.” Or maybe you’re in an affair or sexually intimate with someone and they are “late” or you are “late” with a period. Have you indulged in some sin or some wrong thing and gotten yourself into a predicament where the consequences will, “delay no longer”? “Delay no longer” can be looked at in a number of ways. Can you relate to the phrase, “delay no longer”?
Did you know that even God knows about “delay no longer”? The Bible says The LORD is “merciful, and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6). That word “Longsuffering” means just what it says. It means to suffer for a long time. Thankfully, God is “a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15). How do you feel about that? God’s longsuffering I mean. Does it move you? Do you care? In Romans it asks, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentances?” (Romans 2:4). You know, there is a time when even God will tell us, “Delay no longer.”
Do you know that God loves you? Do you know that He has gone and continues to go way out of His way to contact you? Do you know He wants to have a relationship with you? And mixed in with all of His efforts to reach us, is His call to “Delay no longer.” The first seven verses of Revelation 10 give us an example of God making contact with humanity. And in these verses we will learn why we should “delay no longer.”
In the book of Revelation, it states:
Revelation 10:1–4 – I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.”
These verses speak of a mighty angel. He’s pretty impressive I think. Some would say this is Jesus based on the earlier description of Jesus found in Revelation one. But what we have here is evidence that when you spend time with Jesus, you begin to look like Jesus. (More on this later.) These verses speak to us about the further extent that God will go to reach out to those who are distracted by the things of this world. God sent His only Son to us. He could have stopped with the one incarnation. But because He is a God of love and grace He is going to send His Son a second time. In between His first and Second Coming God is going to take further measures to reach the lost people of this world.
These verses answer the question, “How does God let us know something?” Let’s take a look at them.
First, God contacts us through a messenger. God lets us know something through a messenger. The word “angel” (Greek anggelos) means simply a messenger. It can refer to a pastor as we see in Jesus’ letters to the seven churches in chapters 2-3. It can refer to a person like you or me, used by God to communicate a message to someone. Or it can be an otherworldly angelic being that comes from heaven. God uses messengers either from this world or from heaven to communicate information to us.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians he referred to how God used him to communicate to them. Paul wrote, “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Paul was used by God to provide 14 of the twenty-seven New Testament epistles. He was greatly used by God to communicate God’s message.
God has completed His inspired word. There are no new revelations today. In fact at the end of the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, God through John warns, “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19). That applies particularly to this last book of the Bible, Revelation. But it also applies to the inspired books of the Bible as a whole as well (e.g. Deuteronomy 4:2; 1:32; Proverbs 30:6).
Therefore, while God communicates to us through people, through “messengers,” today, He does not provide us additional or “new” revelations. The Bible is complete. The messengers of God today are sent by God with a message that is in line with His word, the Bible. God gifts people in the church with spiritual gifts to communicate His word. Such gifts are, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles [there are no more apostles such as those found in the New Testament, this now refers to modern day missionaries or itinerant teachers], some prophets [who speak of future events in God’s prophetic plans as well as “edification and exhortation and comfort to men” – 1 Cor. 14:3], some evangelists [who share the gospel in witnessing – 1 Cor. 15:1-4], and some pastors and teachers [a pastor shepherds a flock of God and teaches them God’s word in order to], for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Commentators disagree about the identity of this “mighty angel” in Revelation 10:1. This angel descends from heaven. The angel is described with many of the attributes previously associated with Jesus. Jesus appears in Old Testament Theophanies or Christophanies as “the Angel of the Lord.” But is this “mighty angel” Jesus?
This angel is described as “another” (Greek allos) which refers most often to another of similar kind. This would seem to connect this angelic being as being similar to the other angelic beings who preceded. This angel also was “coming down from heaven” as the other angels in Revelation do (cf. Revelation 18:1; 20:1).
It is undeniable that this “mighty angel” is described as having similarities with the earlier description of Jesus are:
- “clothed with a cloud” – In the first chapter of Revelation it describes Jesus as “He is coming with clouds” (Revelation 1:7). In Acts 1:7 and 11 it tells us that Jesus ascended to heaven via a cloud and that Jesus would return in like manner (Acts 1:9,11). In 1 Thessalonians 4:17 it reiterates that Jesus will return “in the air.”
- “And a rainbow on his head” – The rainbow seen above the throne in Revelation 4 is on the angel’s head hear. The rainbow is a sign of the Noahic Covenant that God would never again destroy the earth with a flood (cf. Genesis 9).
- “his face was like the sun” – Jesus is described in Revelation 1:16 with a countenance “like the sun.” That his face is like the sun makes us think of the light God provides to us.
- “his feet like pillars of fire” – In Revelation 1:15 Jesus has feet like brass “refined in a furnace.” Fire speaks to us symbolically of purity and power.
If this were Jesus, John would have said so. These are clear similarities to the description of Jesus in Revelation. However, since John has personally received the revelation of Jesus Christ and is the one who saw Jesus in Revelation one, it would seem odd that he would not refer to this “mighty angel” as Jesus if it were indeed Jesus in this context. If this “mighty angel” was Jesus, John would have indicated it was Jesus. Instead John simply refers to this being as a “mighty angel” as distinct from Jesus who he knew.
It’s more likely that just like Moses whose encounter with God left a holy glow on his countenance (e.g. Exodus 34), this angelic being who has been in the holy presence of the Lord evidently has taken on some of the features of Jesus. When you spend time with God it reflects in your being.
Revelation 10:2 – “He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,”
Second, God communicates with us through the written word. Verse two speaks of “a little book.” God reveals information to us through written material. The Bible is something that He communicated to us in writing. He used human means to write down His revelation to us. He then demonstrates its unique origins as being from Him by the power His written word has to change lives. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any tow-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). And “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God [Greek theopneustos – lit. God-breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
In Revelation 5:1 the “scroll” is a translation of the Greek term biblion. In 10:2 the “little book” is a translation of the Greek term biblaridion. Another way to translate “little book” or “little scroll.” It could be “booklet.” It could be what we call today a “Compact Bible.” The mighty angel is descending with a “little book.” The “little book” may be representative of a subdivision of the title deed to the earth mentioned in Revelation 5:1ff. That scroll contained our inheritance in Christ. While this is possible, I think this “little book” is simply “little” in perspective as it rests in the huge hand of this mighty angel.
It says of this angel, “And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, . . .” (also 10:5). That he puts one foot on the sea and one on the land speaks to us of the scope of what he has. Th entire earth, sea and land, are covered by what he is about to disclose.
God uses His written word to transform us into the likeness of Jesus. We come to saving faith through God’s word (1 Peter 1:22-25). Our faith is nourished by God’s word (Romans 10:17). God’s word equips us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17). We come into the presence of Jesus by prayerfully entering into the Word of God. God transforms us into the likeness of Christ by using His Word in our lives. God wants us to know about His Son and reveals Him to us by His Word. To know Jesus is to become like Him.
Revelation 10:3 – “and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.”
Third, God speaks loud and clear through His messengers. What God wants us to know He communicates to us clearly. When someone comes and claims to speak for God or be a representative of God, and then speaks esoterically or mysteriously, your spiritual warning antenna should perk up. Always use God’s word for “reproof” of those who claim to speak for Him (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17). God speaks clearly. The only fog we experience is due to being distant and removed from the original culture and historical context in which God originally provided His revelation. God gifts Bible teachers to help us see clearly God’s original intent and truth.
This angel speaks with a loud lion-like voice that thunders. Jesus in Revelation 1:10 and 15 speaks with a loud commanding voice “as the sound of many waters.” In Revelation 5:5 Jesus is described as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah.” It makes sense therefore that an angel, coming from the presence of the Lion of Judah, would speak with a commanding voice to relay the powerful message of that Lion of Judah with “a loud voice, as when a lion roars.”
Just as we are given authority in the name of Jesus, so are His angels who serve Him (e.g. Luke 10:17-20). In Revelation 6:1 however we see that one of the four living creatures from the throne has a “voice like thunder.” This if further evidence that this angel is not Jesus and instead a messenger from Jesus.
So, who is the angel? I believe the angel is “another mighty angel” and not Jesus. If this were Jesus, He would have been identified as Jesus. If this were Jesus, then He would be descending to earth in the middle of the Tribulation and there is little if any Biblical support for this.
But why does the mighty angel appear so much like Jesus? Ah, that’s an important question and the answer reveals an important Biblical principle. The angel is coming from heaven, the location of God Almighty, the location of Jesus, the Lamb of God. I believe what we have here is a mighty evidence of a mighty and marvelous truth: THE MORE TIME YOU SPEND WITH GOD, WITH JESUS, THE MORE YOU BECOME LIKE HIM.
Conformed to the likeness of Jesus. One of God’s primary purposes for us is to be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). This is the fruit and product of the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of every Christian. This is what God’s priority is for the life of His children.
The flesh versus the Spirit. Being conformed to the likeness of Jesus cuts against our sinful nature or our “flesh.” Indeed, the Bible states. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:17). How can we overcome the obstacle of our flesh and be conformed to the likeness of Jesus? It goes on to say, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. . .. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16 and 25). It’s as though there are two warring factions within us, the flesh and the Spirit. The flesh directs us to live for self, rely on self and pollutes everything with self-centered living. The Spirit empowers us to love – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22).
Who do you feed? Here we are in the middle of this inner conflict. And this can be very conflicting. The struggle between these two residents can rip us up if we aren’t careful. The key I believe is in the feeding. What you feed will flourish and live. What you starve will become weak and die. Feed the Spirit and your spiritual life will grow and mature. Feed your flesh and you will become more and more carnal. As you feed one it means you starve the other. This is what Paul means when he is inspired to write, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
What’s your spiritual diet? Some say health is 90% diet and 10% exercise. You are what you eat! Our flesh craves a steady diet of junk food like carnal cupcakes, selfish sweets, and cotton candy casual religion. The Spirit hungers for the word of God, fellowship, worship and prayer (e.g. Acts 2:42). What’s your diet look like? What’s for breakfast this morning, lunch this afternoon, and dinner tonight? What you feed will live. What you starve will die.
This mighty angel from heaven has the likeness of Jesus because he has been in the presence of Jesus. Herein is a tremendous truth. The more time we spend in the presence of Jesus, the more we will become like Him. Jesus rubs off on us!
Paul wrote of this to the Corinthians in his second letter. He spoke of how Moses face shone with a glory of God when he descended from Mount Sinai after he was given the Ten Commandments. But that glory in the face of Moses faded (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:1-16). He actually wore a veil to cover his face so the people would not see the glory fading (2 Corinthians 3:13). That connected with the Old Covenant of human works was fading. What we do always fades with time. The Old Covenant faded out of the way when Jesus provided a better more effective way.
But what God does lasts. For those who partake of the New Covenant of Jesus Christ there is a glow of glory too, but it’s very different. Paul described this glow in the following way:
- 2 Corinthians 3:17- “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Incredible! We don’t have to wear a veil or hide that done in our own efforts. We don’t have to worry about what is done under the New Covenant fading away. No, the New Covenant is a work of the Holy Spirit in people which does not fade away. It is a work of “being transformed” (Greek metamorphoo) into “the glory of the Lord, . . . from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” The “glory of the Lord” refers to the image of Jesus. As we gaze at Jesus it has a transformative effect on us. How do we do that? In Hebrews 10:7 it states that the entire Bible is all about Jesus. Therefore, as we gaze into the Bible and see Jesus, we begin to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus as revealed in scripture. This is very practical. But it’s not something we do on our own. This is a work done “by the Spirit of the Lord.” The Holy Spirit does a holy work in us.
What the Holy Spirit does, lasts. His work in us is dependable. His work in use is durable. His work in us is eternal. That should give us assurance, confidence, peace. And that should give us hope because the Holy Spirit is transforming the New Covenant saint into the Holy likeness of Jesus (e.g. Romans 8:29). That’s a wonderful thing my brothers and sisters. But how does the Holy Spirit doe this holy work in us?
Revelation 10:4 – “Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.”
This verse brings us to another question, “Why doesn’t God let us know everything? Picture this, a mighty angel who looks like Jesus descends from heaven with a book, naturally John would want to know what is in this book and share it with others as he will do with the rest of the Revelation. But no, a voice from heaven says, “Seal it up!” Wait a minute. This is the book of Revelation, a book of unveiling. Why is God keeping John and us in the dark now? Why does God do that to us sometimes? Why doesn’t God let us know everything? Why does He keep some things from us?
God lets us know only that which He wills us to know. God lets us know only as much as He determines we need to know. This is what His word says. We see this in the following scriptures:
- Deuteronomy 29:29 – “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
There are things in life that God chooses to NOT reveal to us. Why does God choose not to reveal certain things to us? I believe there is a blessedness to not knowing at times. I believe that blessing comes in three forms. There are three reasons for God no letting us know everything.
First, to humble us. We like to think we know everything, but we don’t. God doesn’t let us know everything so that we will have to depend upon Him for what we do and do not know. Not knowing something forces us to wait on God for direction. Not knowing everything is humbling because it forces us to realize we don’t have all the answers. Knowledge tends to have a prideful effect on us. When we feel we know more than others we feel superior. The world tells us “knowledge is power!” The Bible tells us “knowledge puffs up.”
- 1 Corinthians 8:1-2 – “Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.”
And since the Bible also tells us that “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5), God withholds some things to humble us so He can provide us His sufficient grace. Grace is God’s means to make us who we are (1 Corinthians 15:10). God’s grace is sufficient for our every need (e.g. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
God wants us to enter into a personal relationship with Him. This relationship is built on faith. God ‘s will is that we trust in Him. By limiting our knowledge, He draws us to Himself and provides a means to facilitate a close relationship with Him. Proverbs speaks of this:
- Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
When we depend on God for what we know we learn of the depth of His riches and His love for us. Once we come to the realization of the immensity of God’s knowledge, it humbles us. We are humbled in the shadow of God’s greatness. But when we are humbled God pours out His grace upon us. Humility is essential to receive the sustaining grace of God. Peter who had so often and severely failed the Lord because of pride knew this well. This is a life changing truth. He wanted Christians to learn this truth from the youngest age. Therefore, Peter wrote of this truth in his first epistle:
- 1 Peter 5:6 – “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,”
Humility before the Lord leads to revelation and grace from the Lord.
Second, to make us useful. God sometimes does not give us all understanding in order to help us focus attentively. Once our lack of knowledge has its humbling effect on us, instead of seeking great and grand types of knowledge we begin to lower our sights a bit. As we lower our sights we begin to humbly ask God, “Lord teach me the basics. Lord, the more I know You, the more I realize how little I know. Help me Lord, to know about the things in my life.” We go from a telescope to a microscope type of knowledge. We begin to focus on being a sharp shooter rather than a shotgun blaster. As our lack of knowledge has its humbling effect we begin to focus on taking smaller bites of what God reveals to us and it makes us more effective and useful. And in so doing we begin to learn.
There are some things that are unmistakably revealed to us by God, like the plan of salvation and Who God is. Many of His promises are clearly revealed to us. These are, “those things which are revealed” which “belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” But there are other things which are, “The secret things” which “belong to the Lord our God.” God in His sovereign wisdom determines what we need to know. The Holy Spirit is the One Who “will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit helps us understand what God wants us to understand. Some things, the things which God doesn’t reveal, we simply have to trust God about.
God gives us insight. The knowledge of the Spirit is not only about God’s word, but is also about how God has determined where, when, and how we are to serve Him. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). It’s true, God really does have a plan for each of us. What’s God’s plan for you?
When we are humble before God we are less likely to obstinately cling to our own interpretations of God and life. When we are proud we discriminate about what God directs us to do. When we are proud we call the shots. When we are humble we trust God to direct us. When we are humble, we are in a position to receive from the Lord. And when that happens we are more open to the inductively discerned revelations of God that equip and direct us in how to serve Him. Paul further wrote:
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Like little chicks totally dependent on their mother for food we wait on God with humble open mouths ready to receive revelation from His Holy Word.
Third, to stabilize us. The things we do not know bless us because it causes us to trust them with the Lord. Sometimes we will have to take a problem or question and put it aside until the Lord matures us and brings us to a point where we have the capacity to receive the solution and answer. Jesus said this to Peter when he said:
- John 13:7 – “Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
What I have learned in my walk with the Lord is that there are many things that I can’t explain, but as I depend upon Him and walk by faith in the Spirit through the darkness, God eventually brings me to a place where I can look back and understand. Some things I will have to wait until I get to heaven to understand. Meanwhile, His peace stabilizes me.
Paul speaks of a peace that goes beyond our understanding. God’s peace does not entirely come from our understanding. The “peace of God” surpasses our understanding. That’s what Paul said to the Philippians when he wrote:
- Philippians 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Stability does not come from what you know but Who you know. We come close and “know” the Lord through our times with Him in prayer. Paul did not rest his faith on what he knew but Whom he knew. The context of this verse tells us it is “prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving” that we can receive such transcendent peace. And it is in the Word of God that such helpful truth is revealed to us by God.
Paul testified to young Timothy:
- 2 Timothy 1:12 – “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”
It’s Who you know not what you know that is important. When we know the Lord, we can get through anything. When we know the Lord, we can be at peace no matter our life circumstances.
Revelation 10:5-7 – “The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer,7 but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.”
These verses will answer a final question, “How should we respond to the message from God?”
First, recognize the authority of the messenger. Who is backing up this messenger? We might say, “What credentials does this messenger have?” When a messenger speaks God’s word they bring the authority of the God of the Bible inasmuch as that word is spoken correctly, in context, according to the truth of the word. Authority is in proportion to the alignment with God’s word. Everyone in the Church, regardless of position, bows to the authority of God’s word. Every person in the Church should be a Berean who “receive the word of God with readiness and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:10-11).
We also should be concerned with who is backing up the messenger. Who do they speak for? Who do they represent? Do they have the backing of someone we can trust? The “mighty angel coming down from heaven, . . .” This angel comes from heaven. Those are some impressive credentials.
This book is delivered by a mighty angel from heaven who “swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it. . ..” “Swore” (Greek omnyo) means to swear, to take an oath, to affirm strongly, promise, confirm by solemn oath. An oath is as impressive and reliable as what it is taken by. Here the angel swears by God who is eternal (“lives forever and ever”) and is the Creator of everything in heaven, earth and sea. That is a solemn oath that should make us take notice and trust what is coming.
Second, reverence that which comes from heaven. This heavenly messenger comes with a solemn oath about origin as well as the contents of this “little book.” This description gives us a sense of solemnness, of reverence, of holiness in regard to this heavenly message.
It’s fitting that at the halfway point of this Tribulation a mighty angelic representative from heaven comes and is holding a “little book” from the Lord.
The great Bible teacher H. A. Ironside once stated:
[It] is important that with every message something of an intensely practical character should be incorporated lest its hearers be carried away with the glowing pictures of the future and the visions of such prophecies as set forth in Daniel and The Revelation, while very careless and indifferent as to their life. Once when I was asked to give some addresses on the Second Coming of the Lord, a speaker sitting beside me remarked as someone entered before the meeting commenced, “There is one of the most godless men in our community and yet he is always on hand if anyone lectures on prophecy.” He is so interested in finding out all about the future–When I got through preaching, this man came up to me. “Brother,” he said, “I’m glad to know that you hold the Second Coming – I hold that too.” I asked, “Do you? Does it hold you? It is one thing to hold the Second Coming, it is quite another thing to be held by it. The Word says, ‘Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.’ Does it have that effect on your heart and life?”
The Bible is not something God has given to satisfy our curiosity. It is so much more than that. The Bible is a revelation from the heart of God given to us to illuminate our heart and mind with His eternal life and light. The Revelation os Jesus Christ is a book about prophecy, but that revelation is not given to us to titillate us but to practically impact us with the truth of God.
Third, identify the message. Ask, “What is the central message being relayed to us by God here?” Sometimes we can get caught up in so many details that we miss the central message being relayed. We miss the forest for the trees so to speak. It’s important to pay attention to details, but never at the expense of the message that is being relayed.
The message from this “little book” is “delay no longer.” Why has God delayed at all? He has delayed because it gives Him no pleasure to see humanity lost for eternity. He is waiting for more people to be saved from their sins. Peter wrote of God’s heart in this regard:
- 2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
God doesn’t desire any to perish. He desires that all would repent. He wants you and me to spend eternity with Him. And today is the day of salvation! (Hebrews 3). If you have not received Jesus as Savior and Lord, TODAY IS YOUR DAY! You are not guaranteed any additional time to receive Jesus as your Savior. Right now, may be your last chance. God has been very patient with you. But God’s patience does not go on forever. A time will come when there will be no more opportunity for you to receive Jesus as Savior. You will be lost in your sins, condemned because of your sins, and justly sentenced to an eternity of torment.
The message of God to you today is “delay no longer!” Do not presume on the patience of God. Do not procrastinate away your God given opportunity to be forgiven your sins. Now is the right time for you to accept Jesus as your Savior. Now is the time to be forgiven your sins and receive the regenerating eternal life offered by God’s grace through the work of the Holy Spirit.
And if you’ve heard the Lord in some way through this teaching, I encourage you to listen a bit more. Just one more last, last question. How can a person come to God and receive eternal life? The Good News is that entering into a relationship with God is as simple as ABC. First Admit your sin. Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). And we all have sinned and fall short of what it takes to enter heaven (Romans 3). If we acknowledge and admit our sin before God and turn from them to Him, we’re headed in the right direction. The next thing to do is Believe on Jesus; trust in Him and His redeeming death on the cross. The wages or consequences of our sin is death, but God offers us salvation from our sins freely through Jesus’ death on the cross (Romans 6:23). That’s because Jesus paid our death penalty on the cross for us. He’s the only One qualified to do that. Jesus took our sins on Himself on the cross and in exchange offers us His righteousness to be put to our account (cf. Isaiah 53; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Lastly, Confession is involved. We confess our sins to God and receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). But we also confess Jesus to those around us; we tell others about Jesus. The Bible states, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). Look up these verses and pray over them. “So, then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Get into God’s word and let Him contact you more and more. Contact me through the comments section of my blog if you have any further questions.
There are things that will come into our lives that we do not understand. If we base our faith only on what we know or what we understand, we’ll always be unstable in our faith. There will always be more to know, more questions, more depths to plumb. But when we can come to the place where we can say, “I don’t know, I’m not God. But I do know WHOM I believe in and I’m going to trust in Him no matter what.” That is where God wants to bring you. Open your heart and know Whom you believe in. Delay no longer my friend. Delay no longer.
 Henry Morris, The Revelation Record, (Wheaton IL, Tyndale House Pub; San Diego, CA: Creation-Life Pub, 1983) p. 178-179.