Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 16

Be ready for Christís return

Revelation 16:15

John has been describing the preparations for the final great battle at Armageddon. Suddenly, he interrupts his description with a message that is clearly from Christ. It is like Christís words in Matthew 24:42-44. Both Paul and Peter use the same word-picture (1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10). Christ is coming like a thief in the night; that is, at a time when the people of this world do not expect him.

After this familiar word-picture, Revelation 16:15 has one which we may not expect. ĎHappy is the person who keeps his clothes on. Otherwise, he must walk naked and people will see his shameí. Such a word-picture is uncomfortable; it disturbs us.

This seems to refer to the awful experience of soldiers who lost battles. With great cruelty, their enemies led them away, ashamed and frequently naked. They were going away to die or to become slaves. Happy was the soldier who had any clothes whatever to cover his body after such a defeat.

God has all power. The people who join the devil to fight against God will certainly suffer defeat. Their defeat will be total. God has already declared his judgement against them and it is awful (14:9-11). To be on the devilís side is to be on the losing side.

The only remedy, therefore, is to be constantly ready for Christís return. All Christís enemies will suffer total defeat; therefore, we must be on Christís side. By nature, we are evil and our acts are against Godís law (Romans 3:10-20). While we oppose God, we are not ready for Christís return. However, because of Christís death, we who are his enemies can become his friends (Ephesians 2:11-17). That was Paulís experience (1 Timothy 1:13-16), and it can be our experience too (Romans 4:8). So, we must turn to God. We must confess our evil deeds to God, and we must invite Christ into our lives (Acts 3:19).

Next part: The battle at Armageddon (Revelation 16:16)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.