I’m about to inaccurately quote Charles Dickens, but it provides a great illustration concerning the office occupied by those who are lacking in this world. Although the story “A Christmas Carol” contains serious (dangerous) scriptural errors, It’s fascinating when “christmas present” unveils before Mr. Scrooge the two children named “ignorance” and “want.” He goes on to say “Beware of them, for on their forehead is written the word DOOM. Doom to you and everyone like you who denies their existance.” Oftentimes, people will wonder, how can a loving God allow poverty, sickness, wars and what have you?” While these are the fruits of a world in which sin has been introduced, there’s another element to those who are lacking; be it a lack of those things needful or a physical hinderance. Their presence makes manifest the hearts of those around them. When we encounter such a one, our response will reveal the contents of our heart and we “will” be judged accordingly.
Matthew 18:10-11 “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.”
If one thing is astonishing above all else concerning the church in the year 2008 AD it’s the lack of understanding that we must all give account for our actions. That we can build massive cathedrals, send money so that milionaire “evangelists” can fly around in private jets, engage in endless debatings, and heap to ourselves riches while quoting Deuteronomy 28:13. (but never I Timothy 6:5-10) All the while our shelters are overflowing with eternal souls who are at their wits end and our land is filled with unseen precursors of judgment, each of whom is precious in the eyes of God. This post has veered from what I was planning to write on, but it seems that very few have an understanding of this. “We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” This should really be thought about, because for many, it hasen’t reached beyond the arena of theology. I fear that I’m also lacking insofar as “having this firmly planted in my heart of hearts as it should” be and so this is another “post to self” as well.
Two passages are needful as this subject is explored further; both of which are vary familiar, and yet, for many, they seem to have become “stuck” somewhere between the mind and the heart. Both tell of those who thought they were “alright” only to stand before Jesus and learn that they were NOT alright. This should be sobering to every person who proclaims that they know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. In fact, CEI ( site here ) puts out a tract entitled “Savior, but not Lord” which would make a great post. Here’s the first passage:
Matthew 7:21-23 ” Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have case out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
This is incredible. Folks who outwardly had such an authentic looking facade that they even deceived themselves. Astonishingly many in this crowd; if one were to approach them and ask “what must I do to be saved?” they would be able to show them in the scriptures. But inwardly, where the eyes of the Lord see, but ours don’t, they are trusting in their works, looking to be held in high esteem, or clinging to any number of things which appear right but are not. They profess that they know Jesus, but they don’t. While I often use the following statement in the context of one who questions the gospel, it can apply to professing christians also. When we enter eternity, we don’t want our first word to be “uh oh!” Here’s the other familiar passage:
Matthew 25:41-45 “ Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an humgered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not unto me.“
A We long to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. We ponder this moment daily, and yet too often, we don’t seriously consider the aspect of judgment. We are not save by our works, but if we are truly in Christ, our actions will reflect it. So much today is focused on self instead of the needs of others. I wonder how many of us have blown opportunities to entertain angels unawares. Again, I’m writing this to myself as much as placing it out there. So often, I feel completely trapped by circumstances in life, and yet I know that I should be doing more. Somehow, the excuse of “well I have a family to take care of and Matthew requires a lot of care” misses the point. True; we must take care of those in our household and true, Matthew is a challenge like most cannot fathom. But souls are perishing by the hour. In the time that it takes to read this post, souls will slip into eternity and any glimmer of hope lost. Our land is filled with tormented souls who are in utter despair while we sing “Everything I touch is Blessed.”
There are so many scriptures that should accompany this post. Yet I must be going for now and most of us have several bibles, commentaries, the bible on CD, concordances and what have you. If the brothers of the rich man had Moses and the prophets and were warned by them, how much more warning do we have in this generation? May we all arrive at a place of complete obediance unto the Lord Jesus who paid for our sin with his own blood.
I’m sorry if this post has an edge on it; it was written out fast.