Saturday, 16 November 2013

Every knee will bow.

Romans 14:11 (Paul quotes from Isaiah 45:23)
It is written:“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
Here's a simple, but hard truth. Every knee will bow before Jesus. Every person will submit to him as the one true God who reigns over the whole universe.

Note: Jesus is God, along with God the father and God the Holy Spirit. They are all the same one true God, but in three persons with three different roles. That idea is hard to fathom and work through, but just keep in mind that God is immeasurably wiser than us and he can do what he wants (even if we can't quite grasp it)

The thing is, these people will come in two categories.

Those who bow the knee now and willingly.
Christians are the people who will submit to God here and now. We are the ones who (by the Holy Spirit working in our lives and God's grace) have recognised that we are sinful and that we deserve God's wrath. We realise that disobedience to God means that we fall short of his standard (perfection), and therefore we deserve his justice, which means hell eternally.

But, Christians also know that God is merciful and gracious. Instead of just allowing us to face his wrath he made a way for us to be forgiven. He sent Jesus into the world, his one and only son. Jesus came to earth and lived a perfect life. He did not disobey God at all. Therefore he alone did not deserve to face God's punishment (death and then hell). Yet Jesus came to earth to die in our place and take God's wrath for us.

On the cross Jesus took the punishment that we should have suffered for eternity in hell. He did not do it because of anything desirable in us, because where is nothing good or worthwhile in us (we are wretched, horrible sinners) - he did it entirely out of his awesome mercy, grace and love. It hurts to hear that. But that is what Christians believe.

As a result we repent of our sins - we say sorry for them and try to obey God, and we trust that Jesus has truly dealt with our sin and God's perfect just wrath against them. As a result we bow the knee willingly. We submit to God in our lives here and will rejoice when he (Jesus/God) returns to judge the living and the dead, because we will know that through Jesus alone we are completely forgiven and will go to be with him forever in heaven. We will rejoice and should rejoice now to submit to Jesus.

Those who will be forced to bow the knee at judgement.
But there is another category. Jesus has promised that he will return to judge all people. The thing is that all people deserve his punishment (hell) because all people have sinned.

When Jesus returns it will be awful for those who have not given there lives to him, for those who have tried to liv their best life now on tis earth. Jesus will return, and there will be no more time to repent and turn to him - there will only be his justice. And Justice means hell for all those who refused to give up their sins and be forgiven by Jesus.

On the last day these people will bow the knee to Jesus, but it won't be with rejoicing. It will be with much crying and wailing and terror. It will be terrible. They will stand before God's throne condemned, like we all should have been, because they don't stand there with Jesus interceding with God for them.

The challenge.

  • First up: Are you a Christian? Are you submitting to God now? Or are you continuing to reject him and live your own way? We are all sinners and we all deserve hell. It's only those who put their faith in Jesus who will be saved. If you aren't then talk to people about it! Ask the questions you have and keep asking until someone gives you and answer that makes sense. If you want then send me a message or an email - I'm more than happy to chat! Read the bible, look into what this is all about and be honest with yourself.

  • If you are a Christian then you should love those around you enough to tell them the gospel. If their continued rejection of God will lead them to his punishment in hell eternally and we love them, that should terrify us. I don't want my friends, my grandpa, or even my enemies to suffer that wrath. We need to tell people about God and Jesus! In saying that, this is one of the areas of my life that I fall short in all the time. I am constantly chickening out and not sharing the gospel with people who I should be telling it to. I am always making excuses. I fail at it miserably. Thankfully God is forgiving and merciful. But that's something I've got to change - maybe you do to.
  • Keep in mind that God is not the evil one in this scenario. We are the evil ones. He is the good one. He judges because he is just, god and right, and because we are evil, wretched and sinful. He shows his mercy entirely out of his grace and who he is - not based on anything in us. God isn't the bad guy. We're the bad guys.

Soli Deo Gloria!
God Bless!

Philippians 2:5b-11
have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

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