Revelation 22:12 (ESV) … “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.”
Christ’s words that He is coming soon are repeated. Then He speaks of His ‘reward’: ‘My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.’ We see so clearly throughout the book that Christ brings rewards and punishments—rewards to the righteous and punishments to the wicked.
The reward to the righteous, which as with all Christ’s rewards is a reward of grace, is set forth in verse 14: the glories of salvation, sanctification and eternal security described in the by now very familiar language of the washed robes, access to the tree of life and citizenship of heaven.
The reward to the unrighteous is set forth in verse 15, beginning with the terrible word ‘outside’. We cannot help thinking back to Noah’s day—how when Noah and his family, saved by grace, had gone into the ark, it is recorded that ‘The Lord shut him in’ (Genesis 7:16). Everyone else was outside and perished in the flood. So it is with those who refuse to enter the kingdom of Christ.
Who is it who declares all this? It is the Lord Jesus Christ, magnificently described in verse 13: ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End,’ He who has divine authority to save and destroy, for Christ is God. Isaac Watts wrote,
Before Jehovah’s awful throne,
Ye nations, bow with sacred joy;
Know that the Lord is God alone,
He can create, and He destroy.