Monday, June 14, 2010

Revelation 22:17, Quench Your Spiritual Thirst

Have you ever experienced dehydration? During a working trip in Mexico when the weather was consistently near 100 degrees, we worked every morning from 6am-12noon outside, pouring the foundations for buildings, with cement we mixed by hand, into holes we dug with pick axes and shovels. Cutting edge technology. During one of those hot summer days, we were near completing one of our six foot by six foot by six foot holes in the ground, and when everyone else took a coke break, I kept working. I thought I was helping the team, and that if anything, people would think I was really hard working for skipping the break. I was wrong. On the ride home, something terrible happened to me. Suddenly I had a burst of energy, and remember talking really, really fast, and then my legs went numb, and the numbness and tingling went through the rest of my body. I said I needed help, and we stopped the van and pulled off the road by a drink stand. One of our helpers was a nurse, and she realized I was dehydrated, and according to her I was on the verge of heat stroke. She and others hauled me out of the van, and over to the drinking stand, and I drank 5 12 ounce Joya drinks in a row before I started to feel better. It took the whole ride home and the rest of the day to recover, and a lot of fluid later, but I finally did. I was desperate, and dangerously thirsty, and by God’s grace I was satisfied.

Need: Whether or not we’ve been to Mexico, whether or not you’ve worked all day without a break, all of us are thirsty this morning. We are thirsty spiritually for something that will satisfy

Look with me in your Bibles at Revelation 22:17. If you’re looking for a place to satisfy that desperate thirst, here it is. You can be a Christian and still be thirsty, or someone who has never heard about Jesus Christ and be thirsty.
This book of Revelation is just that—John’s vision from Jesus Christ Himself, as he was on an island as a form of imprisonment for his faith in Jesus. He is at the end of his vision and after everything he has seen, both the positives of the blessings of following Jesus that wait for us, and the judgment and suffering that waits for everyone who rejects Jesus, John says, “Come!”
Notice there are three parts to this verse: The Spirit and the Bride, the one who hears, and the one who is thirsty. All of them are different persons, but all of them are thirsty for the same thing—Jesus Christ.
Like a three leaved clover, they all have a life giving stem in common—the life giving Jesus Christ who died and is alive again so you can believe in Him and have that eternal life.
The first ones are the Holy Spirit and the Bride. The Holy Spirit was sent after Jesus went away, in Acts 2, to occupy every person who follows the teaching of Jesus Christ. He groans, in Romans 8, waiting for that time when Jesus will come back. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to give you guilty feelings when you sin and to give you feelings of assurance when you are obedient to God, to open peoples’ eyes to Jesus Christ, to work through Jesus’ church until He comes! The Holy Spirit waits and desires for Jesus to come.
The Bride—which is the New Testament’s way of describing the Church (Eph 5). It says, “And the Spirit and the Bride say ‘Come!’” This is in response to Jesus’ words in verse 12 before, where he said, “Look, I am coming soon!” This is an informational statement, meaning “this is what the Holy Spirit and the Church do—they desire that Jesus Christ will come, and come soon!”
It means God the Holy Spirit and the history of Christians for 2,000 years have wanted this! Jesus is coming back in order to fix everything broken, heal, help, and to make “all things new.”
It means Jesus is coming back
A few days ago I was in charge of making my kids' lunch. I decided to have peanutbutter sandwiches and the first compliment I found was fudge. So I told my kids we were going to have peanutbutter and fudge sandwiches. You should have seen their faces! They were so excited because they were about to receive peanutbutter and fudge. Some of them tasted the fudge and were even more excited. That's expectation, and how we should feel about Jesus coming back!

The second group spoken of is “the one who hears,” and instead of John saying “people who hear say come,”
The word “say” here is a command. John commands the people who hear everything he has said to also desire Jesus Christ to come back. John wrote about the churches needing to be faithful, about how there will be evil to sway us away from following God, about how your faith will be tested, about how terrible judgment waits for people who decide not to follow Jesus, about how we who follow Jesus must endure to the end (the one who endures to the end will be saved) and then says, “let the one who hears say ‘Come!’”
In the Bible, Deuteronomy 6 is called “The Great Shema” among the Jewish people, and it says (quote), and when they said, “the one who hears” they meant “the one who hears and obeys.” Jesus said, “let him who has an ear, let him hear!” He meant “the one who hears and obeys.” John knew that all of you who are sitting here today would not understand or appreciate what he is saying. So he says, “let him who hears and obeys” say come!
Jesus said in John 7, “let the one who believes in me drink. Just as the Scripture says, ‘From within him will flow rivers of living water.’”
This is the picture of someone who has drank from the water of life Jesus has to offer and turns around, waving his hands, saying, Come! Come on! Trust me, it works!
A man was walking in the desert, and came to a jug of water by an old well pump. The jug had a sign on it that said, “you have to pour the full jug of water into the pump in order to get fresh, cool, clean water out.” The man hesitated, debating whether he should take what he knew was drinkable water (though it probably was old and had bacteria), or take a risk so he could get clean, pure water. He took the risk. He poured the water into the pump to prime it, and the jug was soon empty. He pulled the pump handle and worked it up and down, but nothing came out. Again he pumped it, and nothing. Again, nothing. Finally, he was thinking it was a hoax--a cruel trick, when he pumped one more time and water began dripping. He pumped again, and more water slowly trickled out. He pumped again and it became a steady flow, and the more he pumped the bigger it got until it ran all over the desert ground, and he filled up the jug and drank, and drank, and drank until he couldn't drink anymore. He filled up the jug one more time, put the cork on it, and took a pen (don't ask where he got a pen in the desert--just work with me) he wrote on the jug, “It works! Trust me!”

We who have tasted and know should say, "Hey! It works! Trust me!"
Desiring Jesus to come back is the natural outcome of a follower of Jesus.
The ones who follow Jesus, believing in His death and resurrection have had their thirst quenched, but haven’t drank enough! Because life has a way of making us thirsty for God! We try to find all kinds of things that satisfy, but only God satisfies.
Have you become satisfied with what little water you have received? Do you want Jesus to come back more than anything? Do you want His healing? His power? His new life?

3) The third group of people John appeals to are the people who thirst, and haven’t yet discovered that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to relieve your thirst. This third part is for those who don’t yet have Jesus to quench their thirst, but they are thirsty.
What does God say in response to you when you need help? When you can’t make it? He says, “Come!”
In the Bible, God has always said, “Come” to those who are thirsty and needy.
The Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark with you and all your household.”
In Exodus 32:26, Moses said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!”
In Isaiah 1:18, God says, “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow.”
Jesus said to his disciples when he called them, “Come to me!”
Jesus said to go to the highways and byways and compel people to “Come in”
Now, Jesus says in Revelation, “Come! Come! Come! Come!” “I am the bread of life, so come! I am the water that you can drink from forever, so come! I am the comfort, the peace, the love, the awesome party you’ve been waiting for! Come! I am the father, who welcomes every rebellious son or daughter home and says, “Throw a party, he’s back! She’s home! Come!”
Like in Mexico, there was no doubt that something was wrong with me. I didn’t know what until the nurse started handing me drinks.
You, who don’t believe in Jesus Christ, you are desperately thirsty, and know that something is wrong with you! But you don’t know what. You don’t know it, but the thing that is wrong is there is a hole inside of you that is shaped like the 1st Century carpenter from Nazareth in Israel. It’s a thirst that water can’t quench, that only by giving up your life to Jesus Christ can you find this water of life!
At the end of Revelation, Jesus speaks again, and says, “Come! Come, all who are thirsty!” Do you hear his cry, see his hands with nail holes in them, see his feet and side, the head with deep thorn scars?
Are you looking for a high that will last longer than a bottle of brandy or roll of weed, or a weekend of sleeping around? Have you tried your best but keep coming up with emptiness? Are you lonely? You don’t know it, but you long for that water of life.
What did Jesus say, “And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wants it take the water of life free of charge.”
If you’ve never understood until now that you can have eternal life simply by believing in Jesus’ death and resurrection, and that He paid what you had to pay so you can have life with Him, and you want to believe in Him and have that life, then pray now and tell him.

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