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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 22 - Verse 17

Verse 17. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. That is, come to the Saviour; come and partake of the blessings of the gospel; come and be saved. The construction demands this interpretation, as the latter part of the verse shows. The design of this whole verse is, evidently, to show the freeness of the offers of the gospel; to condense in a summary manner all the invitations of mercy to mankind; and to leave on the mind at the close of the book a deep impression of the ample provision which has been made for the salvation of a fallen race. Nothing, it is clear, could be more appropriate at the close of this book, and at the close of the whole volume of revealed truth, than to announce, in the most clear and attracting form, that salvation is free to all, and that whosoever will may be saved.

The Spirit. The Holy Spirit. He intreats all to come. This he does

(a) in all the recorded invitations in the Bible—for it is by the inspiration of that Spirit that these invitations are recorded;

(b) by all his influences on the understandings, the consciences, and the hearts of men;

(c) by all the proclamations of mercy made by the preaching of the gospel, and by the appeal which friend makes to friend, and neighbour to neighbour, and stranger to stranger—for all these are methods in which the Spirit invites men to come to the Saviour.

And the bride. The church. See Barnes on "Re 21:2, See Barnes "Re 21:9".

That is, the church invites all to come and be saved. This it does

(a) by its ministers, whose main business it is to extend this invitation to mankind;

(b) by its ordinances—constantly setting forth the freeness of the gospel;

(c) by the lives of its consistent members—showing the excellency and the desirableness of true religion;

(d) by all its efforts to do good in the world;

(e) by the example of those who are brought into the church—showing that all, whatever may have been their former character, may be saved; and

(f) by the direct appeals of its individual members. Thus a Christian parent invites his children; a brother invites a sister, and a sister invites a brother; a neighbour invites his neighbour, and a stranger a stranger; the master invites his servant, and the servant his master. The church on earth and the church in heaven unite in the invitation, saying, Come. The living father, pastor, friend, invites—and the voice of the departed father, pastor, friend, now in heaven, is heard re-echoing the invitation. The once-loved mother that has gone to the skies still invites her children to come; and the sweet-smiling babe that has been taken up to the Saviour stretches out its arms from heaven, and says to its mother—Come.

Say, Come. That is, come to the Saviour; come into the church; come to heaven.

And let him that heareth say, Come. Whoever hears the gospel, let him go and invite others to come, Nothing could more strikingly set forth the freeness of the invitation of the gospel than this. The authority to make the invitation is not limited to the ministers of religion; it is not even confined to those who accept it themselves. All persons, even though they should not accept of it, are authorized to tell others that they may be saved. One impenitent sinner may go and tell another impenitent sinner that if he will he may find mercy and enter heaven. How could the offer of salvation be made more freely to mankind?

And let him that is athirst come. Whoever desires salvation, as the weary pilgrim desires a cooling fountain to allay his thirst, let him come as freely to the gospel as that thirsty man would stoop down at the fountain and drink. See Barnes on "Isa 55:1".

Compare Barnes on "Mt 5:6"; See Barnes "Joh 7:37"; See Barnes "Re 21:6".

 

And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Re 21:6. Every one that is disposed to come, that has any sincere wish to be saved, is assured that he may live. No matter how unworthy he is; no matter what his past life has been; no matter how old or how young, how rich or how poor; no matter whether sick or well, a freeman or a slave; no matter whether educated or ignorant; no matter whether clothed in purple or in rags—riding in state or laid at the gate of a rich man full of sores, the invitation is freely made to all to come and be saved. With what more appropriate truth could a revelation from heaven be closed?

{a} "bride" Re 21:2,9 {b} "Come" Isa 2:5 {c} "And let him" Re 21:6

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