Revelation ends with an invitation: “Both the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Anyone who hears should say, ‘Come!'” (Rev. 22:17). I’ve often heard that the Spirit and the bride are saying “Come” to Jesus. But the next sentence says, “And the one who is thirsty should come.” John does say, “AMEN! Come Lord Jesus” when Jesus promises He is coming quickly. But the Spirit and the bride seem to be speaking to people and inviting the thirsty to come. Come into what?
There is the immediate invitation to drink from the water of life (Rev. 22:17). But this is only part of the grand vision Revelation lays out. In a word, that vision is Christ–Christ in 3D technicolor fullness.
Human government (the beast) is defeated in Christ, along with its authoritarian systems (Rev.13:5-8, 19:19-20).
The beast of false religion comes in the name of God but forces everyone to worship its socio-religio-polictical system (Rev. 13:11-17, 16:13). Christ brings an end to the deceptive beliefs that burden us and keep us from the true God (Matt. 23:4, 13).
The economics of lust and consumption (Babylon) are thrown down in Christ (Rev. 17:1-6, 18:15-17). Our new economy is the love of the Father (1 John 2:15-17).
These beasts and the whore of Babylon make up the world. The world was crucified in Christ (Gal. 6:14).
We are raised with Christ and sit with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). Revelation 20:6 calls this the first resurrection. Those of the first resurrection do not come to the judgment John sees before the great white throne (Rev. 20:11-15). These have already passed from death to life in Christ (John 5:24).
In Revelation 21, John sees a new heavens and earth. Anyone in Christ is a new creation (Rev. 21:1; 2 Cor. 5:17). The old order of things has passed away. Who we were apart from Jesus is gone. All things are being made new in Christ! (Rev. 21:3-5; 2 Cor. 5:17).
We have been joined, wedded, married to Jesus. Revelation declares us “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:9; 2 Cor. 11:2). We are one heart, mind, and body with Jesus. He cares for and cherishes us as His very self! (Eph. 5:29-32).
Out of us, the bride, flow rivers of living water (Rev. 22:1; John 7:37-38).
The tree of life bears a continual harvest within the bride (Rev. 22:2). This shows the living cross at work within. A harvest can only come from a seed which falls into the ground to die (John 12:24). We know the power of His fruitful life because we know His suffering and death (Php. 3:10).
The gates of the New Jerusalem never shut (Rev. 21:25). So the one who is thirsty should come. God has removed all barriers!