Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
This invitation might seem cryptic and mysterious to some, but to those with spiritual sensitivity it is absolutely glorious. The reference to the Church as the bride of Christ isn’t unique to Revelation, or even to John. Paul used that figure in his famous discussion of marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33. With that said, this makes it very clear that everyone who knows the Gospel should be active in communicating the Gospel to others. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, He will be calling people to life in Christ. If we are genuinely part of the Church, the Body of Christ and the bride of Christ, we will be calling people to life in Him. To break it down even further, if we have genuinely heard God’s invitation ourselves, we are to be sharing that invitation with others. All it takes to come is recognition of need. This particular passage doesn’t mention repentance, but that is included in the recognition of need and the ability to act on it. Verse 15 mentions the sort of people who won’t accept this invitation, but it is extended to them as well. As Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11) Accepting God’s invitation doesn’t depend on what you have been, it depends on what you want to become. We can’t force anyone to accept that invitation, but we are compelled to extend it. Again as Paul said, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.” (2 Corinthians 5:14) “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) The better we understand what God has done for us in Christ, the more eager we will be to share God’s invitation with others.
As someone with Teacher gifting, I am not a natural evangelist. It was when I abruptly realized that I was sharing the Gospel with a total stranger that I knew God had indeed baptized me with His spirit, just as He had promised. Though I am not a natural evangelist, by the grace of God I am a supernatural evangelist! It is indeed the Spirit saying, “Come” through my lips, my words. That requires my permission and cooperation; if I stay in my comfort zone, it won’t happen. However, I have learned that even as a Teacher, there is no greater joy than extending God’s invitation and having someone accept it. At the same time, I have learned over the years that there is no way I can force anyone to accept that invitation. If they just go through the motions, to be polite or from some other motive, it can do more harm than good. I’ve got to cover everything in prayer. However, if I don’t extend the invitation, it is certain they won’t accept it! I am to give the Holy Spirit full permission to speak and act through me, whenever and however He chooses, because He alone knows who is ready to receive and act on God’s invitation.
Father, thank You for this clear reminder. I ask for wisdom and anointing to act on it, so that many may be brought from death to life, from darkness to light, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!