Scripture: “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.
Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they have done.” Rev 20:11-12
Observation: The great white throne of judgement. All will appear, none will pass without appearing. The legal aspects of the Gospel and the Justice of God must be settled.
Analysis: In the economy of God there isn’t a “get out of jail free” card available.
It is a shame that the Gospel and Salvation is presented that way at times. When it is, it waters down the enormity of the Atonement and cheapens Grace, I think. It also leads “responders” away from the Truth and provides hope through deceit.
I remember Matt 7:22 and imagine the “Yeah, but…” line before the Lord Jesus.
There are two things that are imperative to the disciple to take away:
- According to the doctrine of Election, none will fail to enter if Chosen. There will not be a roll call with a heavenly creature saying, “Bob? Bob? Where are you, Bob?” “Uhm, Gabriel—I think Bob took a left instead of a Right.” “Oops, that’s too bad. Oh, well, accidents happen. Bill? Bill…”
My success or failure in evangelism supports the Sovereignty of God, but it does not affect the execution of God’s Sovereignty, either positively or negatively. In other words, I can be an instrument in God’s Hands, but I am unable to make a mistake that affects His Purpose.
- If I am to be an instrument in God’s Hands, I should be as sharp, accurate, and as much a multi-purpose tool as He would have me be. In other words, an instrument in God’s Hands is a phrase that describes being a Disciple.
I almost prefer the phrase “becoming a disciple” rather than the presumptuous “I am a Disciple.” After all, a sledge hammer has no business saying “I am a precision instrument” when it is obvious it isn’t an accurate statement.
And? And? Is there a point here?
Yes, Virginia, there is. From the day that I said, “I surrender to You, my Lord. I want to do your will all my life…” I have been on a journey governed by the Potter. It is well to remember that I am only clay and submit myself to be whatever the Potter wants me to be.
And then, tottling on in Faith, knowing that He has my life and best in His Hands, to be made a vessel of honor and not dishonor.
PS: After writing this, I encountered a situation where my conviction of God’s Sovereignty was put to testing due to a child passing. If there ever was a situation where constantly hammering the Gospel in all its aspects to my wayward heart (prior to NEEDING the fortification) it is this.
This child was not born yet. I was one step generationally from the child. And the hurt and pain that I feel is not even close to the pain that the parents are going through—yet, as I am writing this my heart constricts and the tears begin to well.
I was asked, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” In the passing of a child that is such a difficult question to answer and not sound detached and religious. Yet, if I didn’t remember (for myself!!) that if God is Good (which He is), Eternal and Omniscient (which He is), and intends temporal AND ultimate Good (which He does), leading to one purpose: that every knee should (shall) bow and grateful worship should occur—even in sackcloth and ashes, mourning my guts out—even if I should be crushed under the weight of my own grief.
The Psalmist consistently says, “Why, Lord, do You do this, allow that, etc. etc.?” In just about every case found in Psalms, he continues, “Nevertheless, I WILL lift up my hands; I WILL worship Your Glory. Paul wrote: Give thanks in EVERYTHING (including this) for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning (me).”
“I am crushed, but not broken” writes Paul. Today, I understand that in some fraction of sensation. Today, I get to remember the Gospel in all its glorious (and difficult) facets. Today, I get to set my jaw, my face like flint, and bring the sacrifice of worship.
Prayer: Father, you see the weight of grief. You care enough not to stand aloof, but to collect all my tears in a bottle. You do so for these two parents as well. Nothing escapes your notice.
And I am grateful for this level of care.
Boldly I ask: Give me wisdom for the days, weeks, and months ahead. Help me to be a minister of the Gospel with firm compassion, fierce determination and clarity, and humble demeanor. AMEN.