Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Time is Near or Ready


Revelation 1:1-3 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

The Race is Run Quickly
I have been interested in the Kentucky Derby the last few years.  If you watch it on television, there is a lot of pageantry leading up to the race.  Horses are analyzed.  In addition, we hear about their owners and jockeys.  Some people even bet on the outcome.  It is an all afternoon affair for those who go to see the horses run.  For me, it seems like it takes forever to get the horses to the starting gates; but once those horses are there, all the preparation time is over.  The horses are ready to run.  And when they run, they finish the race quickly.  The race is over in about two minutes.   I think this is a crude illustration of what the Lord is trying to tell us in Revelation 1: 1-3. 

The Book of the Revelation is not the revelation of end time events so much as it is the revelation of Jesus Christ.  It is the rest of the story. The cross wasn’t the end of the story. The Lord’s resurrection and ascension to heaven followed.  But the resurrection and ascension weren’t the end of the story.  The Lord left his disciples with the promise that He would come again.  In this book, He has given John the Apostle the rest of the story which has to do with that second coming.  John has been told that these things must shortly take place.  That doesn’t mean that these things will happen immediately after this revelation is given; but that when they happen, the events will happen quickly.  The Kentucky Derby is run in two minutes after a lot of preparation and pageantry.  Once the Lord sets the events in motion that are described in chapters 6-19, they will take place quickly.  It has been two thousand years since the promise of the Lord’s return has been given; but once the starting gun is fired, these events will take place in seven literal years of 360 day years.   Then the Lord will set up a righteous kingdom that will last a literal one thousand years. 

The Events Have been “Ready” for Years!
The Kentucky Derby is not ready to be run until the horses are in the starting gates.  But in a sense the horses have been waiting in the starting gates for years if we let the race represent the things that happen once the Lord gives the command to start the race.  The Lord says the time is near.  He really means that the time is ready.  Nothing has to take place for the Lord to start this “race.” 

Now some might argue that Peter had to be crucified since that had been predicted and that the temple had to be destroyed since the Lord had said that would happen.  But if scholars know what they are talking about, the book of the Revelation was written after those things had taken place.  However, Daniel 9 indicates that an unbelieving nation of Israel will be willing to sign a covenant with a world leader who offers the nation false peace.  Signing this covenant starts the seven years predicted in Daniel 9.  And while it is true that there was not a nation of Israel until 1948, I believe that the Lord could have established the nation overnight if he had wanted to over the last two thousand years.  Remember how fast the Soviet Union disintegrated and the Berlin wall fell?  We are told to be always ready because the events are “at hand”, “near,” or ready to happen.

Why is the Lord Waiting?
So why has the Lord not fired the starting gun?  Because He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (and thus to faith).  See 2nd Peter 3:9.  It is because of the Lord’s mercy and longsuffering that this race has not been set in motion.  People who have rejected the Lord in this period of grace when the Gospel is being preached will not be saved after the Lord comes.  They will believe a great deceiver because they wouldn’t believe the Lord.  See 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12.  It is because the Lord wants to save one more person that the starting gun has not yet been fired.

This race will not be started until present believers are caught up to heaven. They are to be saved from the “wrath to come.”  Because the time for end time events is “at hand” or “ready”, that must happen just before or at the same time that the peace treaty is signed.  But the skeptics and rebellious and the unbelievers of this day of grace are going to experience wars and famines and natural disasters that will exceed anything this world has seen.  There will be no escape once the starting gun is fired.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of August 10, 2014

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