Revelation 22:17 reads “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosover will, let him take the water of life freely.” The key word in this verse is the word “Come.” This is a simple, yet powerful word of INVITATION. In the first line “the Spirit and the bride say, Come.” Here we have the Holy Spirit and the church, which is the bride of Christ, inviting Christ to COME. In verses 7 and 12 we hear the Lord Jesus saying, “Behold, I come quickly” and the Spirit and the bride respond heartily with one word, “Come.” In verse 20 the Lord Jesus tells us again, “Surely I come quickly” and then the apostle John joins the Spirit and the bride by exclaiming, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” The Lord is COMING to take His bride home to heaven and the earnest desire of the bride, and the Spirit who indwells the church, is for Him to “Come.”

In the next line John adds, “And let him that heareth say, Come.” He appeals to every individual believer to join in this call to Christ to “Come.” This should be the desire of every one who has received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, for His coming is our “blessed Hope.” He promised to come for us and to take us out of this wicked world to be with Him in glory forever. In John 14:2-3 Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Does your heart respond to this with that blessed word “Come?”

In the last two lines the invitation is no longer to Christ, but to sinners who may be reading John’s words. Through the apostle John, God pleads with the sinner with these words of grace, “Let him that is athirst come.” When Jesus was here He extended the same invitation in John 7:37, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.” He was appealing to any who realized that there was nothing in this world that really satisfies and who were thirsting for meaning and purpose in life. He bids them “Come unto Me and drink,” for He alone can fill the void that is in every man’s heart and give them true joy and purpose in living. Elsewhere, in John 6:35, He promises the one who comes that they will indeed be satisfied, “He that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.”

John continues to invite the sinner by saying, “Whosover will, let him take the water of life freely.” The “water of life” refers to “eternal life” and John assures the sinner that eternal life is for the taking; it is a gift that God freely offers to the repentant and believing sinner. His words agree with those of Paul in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Have you received this precious gift, dear friend? Though Christ paid a tremendous price at the cross to offer you this gift, it is absolutely free for you. But you must, with the hand of faith, receive it.

In closing, you asked why some people believe the Spirit is a ‘he’ and the bride is a ‘she’. The Holy Spirit is referred to over and over again in Scripture with the personal pronoun “He.” I would encourage you to read John 14:17, 26; 15:26 and 16:13-14. The church, which is also called the “bride of Christ,” is symbolized by the “woman” in the marriage relationship in Ephesians 5:22-33. This is why the “bride” is referred to as “she.”  (176.2)  (DO)