We see in this text the first words given to the Apostle John were fear not, fear not for I am the first and the last, I am He that was living and was dead and am now living, and I have the keys of hell and death. Now that fear that our Lord spoke of before this came to pass, that fear of fearing God, for He had the power to not only take our bodies, but our souls in hell, that fear now was no more for the believer, for everyone that believes that our Lord came into the world, and He was the first and He will be the last, and that He has the keys of hell and death. No longer should we fear but we should reverence God’s name and give thanksgiving unto the Almighty God at all time, that He has given to the world this great gift, this gift where one has made a sacrifice great enough to overcome that power of hell and death.
It is only our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who holds those keys, and if we live according to His teaching, those keys He has already said they will be coupled with other keys. He had already said to His Apostles that He gives unto them the keys to the kingdom of heaven. They were not the keys to hell or death, they do not have that power that is only vested in our Lord. But the keys that He gave His Apostles were the Word of God, the gospel of salvation, the keys that open our heart and allow His word to enter in and increase our faith so that we understand that now as we leave this life, whether it is a natural death or whether it is a forced death, we do not fear, for we know that death has been overcome and there will be a resurrection again. Death is only the temporary ending of this body, but it will rise again when our Lord returns.
We should not fear hell for hell is the place of going to wait for judgment and for us in the Christian Church, judgment is with us each day of our lives, that is why we are taught that, that is one of the commissions of the Apostles to preach repentance and remission. We can now in sincerity, repent for our sins, we can receive remission of our sins through the partaking of the body and blood of Christ and through that, we no longer have to answer for that sin. Even all of those sins that are committed, as the Lord said in the quietness of the night, those things that we do when we think others cannot hear them. If we do not recognize them as sins, then they will be broadcast out on the day our Lord returns, but if we are sincere and we are humble and meek and recognize that we are sinners, we can have those taken away from us and therefore then there will be no need for judgment, for we have already judged ourselves unworthy and been given the remission or the righteousness of Christ, to make ourselves worthy so that we can stand before this glorified Christ and look unto the blessings that He will bring unto us when He returns.
Now all of this is only made possible through the teachings of the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit has been sent into the world to give us this guidance and this teaching and it was already foretold many, many years ago that this would happen and we today are blessed that we live in this period of time when the Holy Spirit labours through flesh and can give us that hope, can give us that understanding so that we in our lives, can make this preparation. The Psalmist already wrote of this preparation in Psalm 34:11 “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and liveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivered them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivered him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. The Lord redeemed the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”
We see the great promise foretold those many years ago. We must hold fast to these promises of God, remembering His words, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.”