“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:20b)
The man who found comfort leaning on the chest of the Lord, who was used by the Holy Spirit to write perhaps one of the greatest accounts of the love of God in the Scriptures, was allowed to see firsthand the wrath and vengeance of the Almighty that will occur during the Tribulation time. I would presume that John was changed forever by what he saw and wrote, the One of love coming with a sword of vengeance.
It takes a serious circumstance in a person’s life to alter their perceptions of what they have always considered reality, what they have always believed the truth to be. That is part of our responsibility my friends. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) And do what? “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)
A hardened criminal knows that his life has not been lived for good, and so in many respects it can be easier to reach them with the Gospel, for, at it is said in a popular sport, they are already on first base. The spectators in the stands are another story altogether, they believe they are good, that their sins are minor, and their good deeds will outweigh the bad ones. Romans 3:23 does little good when speaking to many of them, for they will not hear. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
In this same vein, you could consider yourself the umpire, these we speak of are allowed to play the game, but if there is an infraction, you are to see to it that it is taken care of. That man on first base has one goal, to get to home plate, but as the umpire you cannot help him, his teammates must. And the opposing team will do all it can to stop him.
John was shown that there is more, much more to the Lord Jesus Christ than just the healer of all who came to Him, more than one who reveled the love of God to all who would come to Him. He will sit on the Great White Throne of Judgment and cast untold billions of souls into the Lake of Fire, He will rule with a rod of righteousness, He is wrath and vengeance.
Umpires are most generally honest, but there have been times when a strike was called when it was quite clear that the pitch was far outside the plate. But there is one thing he has no control over, he cannot call a man out who is simply standing on a base.
There is only so much that we as servants of the Living God can do, we can love, we can correct, warn, reprove and rebuke, but we cannot make that man on first base move, nor can we draw the spectators into the game. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)
Consider now that the Almighty instead of you is the umpire and you are on the team of that man on first base. In the dugout you can do no more than encourage him, but when it is your turn to bat, there is an opportunity to bring him to home plate. Those on the opposing team, specifically the pitcher will do all he can to stop you, if you hit the ball all the men on the field will do everything in their power to take both of you out of the game.
John was changed he was shown a side of the Lord Jesus Christ he may have never imagined, and I believe it is why he penned those two words, “Even so.”
That man on first base can be changed, you may have the blessing of being the one up to bat to help him to see the truth.