Follow Me: “Amen. Even So, Come, Lord Jesus.”

You are here

Follow Me

“Amen. Even So, Come, Lord Jesus.”

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×
Downloads
MP3 Audio (18.12 MB)

Downloads

Follow Me: “Amen. Even So, Come, Lord Jesus.”

MP3 Audio (18.12 MB)
×

Over this column’s last three entries we have traveled through three unique garden settings from Genesis to Revelation, all systematically designed to highlight God’s ageless desire: “I will set My sanctuary [or set-apart place] in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle [or dwelling] also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Ezekiel 37:26-27 Ezekiel 37:26-27 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the middle of them for ever more. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yes, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
American King James Version×
; compare Revelation 21:3 Revelation 21:3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
American King James Version×
).

God’s initial intention from the first Adam in the Garden of Eden to the second Adam, Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemane, to the eternal garden setting in Revelation 22 is seamless: He desires a personal relationship with His special creation—and that includes you!

Last time, as we explored the ultimate garden-like setting of the New Jerusalem come down from above (Revelation 21-22) with God and the Lamb’s presence front and center, I left you with the invitation to embrace the reality that eternity isn’t simply a destination, but a way of traveling forever in heeding Christ’s call of “Follow Me.” Let’s continue, then.

With all the highs and lows described in the book of Revelation—the persecution of the Church, the rise and fall of Satan-led empires, God’s just judgment on a world gone astray, and the garden setting of the New Jerusalem—the apostle John was inspired to write: “And the Spirit and the bride [the Church] say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17 Revelation 22:17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
American King James Version×
).

The living Christ declares, “Surely I am coming quickly” (Revelation 22:20 Revelation 22:20He which testifies these things said, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
American King James Version×
). To which John yearningly responds: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (same verse).

Do we echo the same sentiment? Do we really want Christ to come? Not only in the future as promised, but living out that desire in our lives now as we anticipate existing with Him and the Father one day in that final garden of eternity? And how do we, to quote leadership expert Stephen Covey, “begin with the end in mind”—every day in every way?

Must show desire for Christ and the Father to come

The first two lines of the model prayer Jesus Christ taught to His disciples, referred to as “the Lord’s Prayer,” offer a key. Consider that the following words show both reverence and expectation: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed [or treated as holy] be your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9 Matthew 6:9After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name.
American King James Version×
, emphasis added throughout).

Many of us have sincerely recited these lines in times of dire circumstances. Yet how does our Heavenly Father above know such entreaty is not merely a last resort of frustration, rather than the starting point of our existence every day? Talk is cheap. Our witness is shallow if we are not living our prayers now.

When we appear before Jesus at His return, His first question isn’t going to be about what we knew, but about what we did with what we knew! Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into action! Jesus bluntly stated, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21 Matthew 7:21Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
American King James Version×
).

When Christ says, “Follow Me,” and we accept that priceless invitation, He wants more than our talk. He wants us to walk the walk toward that eternal last garden—not merely as a destination, but a way of traveling here and now in the arena of choices we make every day.

Let’s break this down into three important aspects of demonstrating our desire for Christ and the Father to come to us every day and forever—requiring our total surrender and participation in that process.

In spirit and truth

We proclaim “Come” when we heed Christ’s words that God has called us to worship Him in spirit and truth: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24 John 4:23-24 23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
American King James Version×
).

Three key concepts leap out of Jesus’ clear statements:

1. “The hour is … now,” not just later!

2. God looks at our inward motivations. He plainly states in Jeremiah 17:10 Jeremiah 17:10I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
American King James Version×
: “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”

3. Proper inward motivation in following the Father and Christ is not optional. It’s a must. Otherwise we are merely echoing the accent without a trace of the core language that God desires to be expressed from our hearts.

We therefore check and bring under examination not only what we are doing, but also why and for whom.

Let’s be honest. The greatest transmitter call letters in our world are W.I.I.F.M.— standing for “What’s In It For Me?” This is totally opposite from God’s modus operandi proclaimed by the apostle John towards the end of his spiritual journey: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (1 John 3:1 1 John 3:1Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not.
American King James Version×
).

The difference is tangible—on open display toward God, ourselves and others—when we express God-like love toward others, having outgoing concern away from us with no strings attached. This must be our response to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him—exhibiting selflessness just like the One who “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28 Matthew 20:28Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
American King James Version×
).

Let’s appreciate that such love is not ethereal or out of our grasp—and that it leads us to the next step.

By our obedience

We proclaim “Come” and express desire that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven when we obey His law as defined by His commandments. These present God’s way of life in action.

As 1 John 5:2-3 1 John 5:2-3 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
American King James Version×
tells us: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

God has never done away with His law, but He has firmly granted us the realization that keeping the law doesn’t save us. After we repent of breaking God’s laws, His grace, which includes forgiveness through faith in Christ’s sacrifice, does save us! (Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 2:8For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
American King James Version×
). But we cannot be saved if we are not committed to obeying God’s laws, which are a reflection of His perfect mind and character. The law instructs us how to live before God and with our fellow man.

By God’s transcendent design, His law is ultimately spiritual in nature. As the apostle Paul writes, “For we know that the law is spiritual” (Romans 7:14 Romans 7:14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
American King James Version×
). It’s no longer written by the finger of God on stone, but to those who surrender to Him He inscribes it their hearts, as He promises: “I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them” (Hebrews 10:16 Hebrews 10:16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, said the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
American King James Version×
).

Is this a different script from the giving of the commandments in Exodus 20? No! The apostle James likewise wrote: “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:12-13 James 2:12-13 12 So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that has showed no mercy; and mercy rejoices against judgment.
American King James Version×
).

What does this mean? How does mercy triumph over judgment? Mercy triumphs over judgment when we judge ourselves and repent of our sins—the transgressing of God’s law (1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version×
). Then, recognizing that we have been the recipients of God’s mercy and forgiveness, we show mercy and forgiveness toward others.

It’s an echo of Jesus’ prior teaching 30 years before when He stated regarding outward observance of the law not to neglect “the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone” (Matthew 23:23 Matthew 23:23Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
American King James Version×
).

Through the special life from God in us

We can only begin to proclaim “Come” and perform God’s will on earth as it is in heaven when we accept and abide with that special life from God that resides in us—by the Father and Christ living in us (John 14:23 John 14:23Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stayed with him.
American King James Version×
).

This is the only way to keep pressing forward. Let’s fully understand that this world is our tour of duty—one continuous assignment after another of waging spiritual warfare. Jesus prayed to our Father, “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15 John 17:15I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil.
American King James Version×
).

And we must remember that we are not alone in this. Jesus made a promise to His followers long ago on the night of His betrayal: “I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you” (John 14:18 John 14:18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
American King James Version×
). Yet at times of darkness in our lives we can forget that promise.

That’s why the apostle Paul used a scriptural megaphone to blast the message not only into the ears and hearts of the church members in ancient Corinth, but to wake up all of us today to this reality as well: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you … ?” (2 Corinthians 13:5 2 Corinthians 13:5Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?
American King James Version×
). What a powerful homing device to draw upon toward guiding us to the ultimate eternal union with God the Father and Christ!

Yes, the same generous spiritual essence of the One who personally walked and talked to Adam and Eve in the first garden. Yes, the same obedient One who in the later garden called Gethsemane taught us to commit ourselves to move beyond our personal desires to express, “Not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42 Luke 22:42Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.
American King James Version×
).

We desire that God the Father and Christ come into our lives today in anticipation of Their later coming to dwell with us here for eternity.

The Old Testament patriarchs didn’t always know where God was leading them. They didn’t put their faith in knowing where X marks the spot, but towards the Lord who was guiding them. Isn’t that what the apostle John was expressing for all of us when He proclaimed, “Amen [so be it]. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

Until that day when we meet in that ultimate garden by the grace of God, let’s continue the journey to which we have been invited by the One who said to us, “Follow Me!”