July 13, 2014.
“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Won’t that be a wonderful day? The day when the Son of Man will be revealed from the clouds and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. How much glory will be seen in that day! The mystery of the gospel will be no more, and no doubt will remain in anyone’s mind. Jesus is Lord.
For many, it is unfortunate to say, that day will come too late. When all doubt is removed, the offer of salvation will have closed. Have you ever wondered what being saved by hope means? I don’t know that I can give you a full dissertation on this, but look at this passage from Romans:
“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
We are saved by hope, but what is hope? Hope is valid for things not seen, for hope that is seen is not hope. Therefore our hope that saves is the hope of glory with God. It is a faithful, obedient trust in the Lord that he will save us on that glorious day. This is why that day will be too late for so many who have not accepted Jesus’ gift, for hope will no longer remain. At that moment, every knee and every tongue will know and confess Jesus as Lord. Then we will be separated, those who have obtained this hope in our lifetime and those who have not. It is a scary thought that so many will have missed out on so great a salvation. This alone should motivate us to spread the good news to any and all we find. We should always be on the look out for lost souls.
Is it enough to simply accept the gift of salvation, confess Jesus as Lord and then not tell anyone about him? Is it enough to embrace the gospel, but not spread it? I heard a sermon this morning that would indicate otherwise. It was based off the story of Zacchaeus:
“He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
The preacher this morning did a good job at explaining just how much Zacchaeus would have been hated by his fellow Jews. They would have saw him as a traitor and a thief, who sided with the oppressive Roman government collect their taxes and get rich off of the excess. It is unlikely that this man would have had many friends at all after basically selling out to the Romans. He was not a man that you would talk to, rather one that was despised. That’s how he was viewed by the public. But that’s not how Jesus viewed him. When Jesus saw Zacchaeus, he saw a soul in need of salvation.
In the Christian world, it seems we tend to focus on the poor of the world as the only people in need of a Savior. After all, isn’t it easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle that for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God? What’s more is they have everything they need! Right? Jesus didn’t think so. When Jesus looks out, he does not see your race, gender or socio-economic status, whether poor or rich. He sees a soul in need of salvation. He is willing to say in every house “Today salvation has come to this house.” It is our job to spread that message.
One day our job will come to an end. What will be our harvest? Who did we reap? Where did we sow? If we cannot answer those questions, then we are not doing our job. This is the part of a post where the author puts in some clause to ease the implications of the last statement. But there is no band-aid to put on that. If we are to be “little Christs” on this earth, and follow our Lord’s example, then we must be active in seeking and saving the lost. It is true that there are different ways of doing this, but we must be involved in the work of our Lord’s church. We may not always be successful, but we should always be trying.
One day all doubt will be removed and all glory will be ascribed to the Christ. Don’t let that day be too late for you.
Suggested Daily Reading: Matthew 28, Luke 19, Acts 4, Philippians 2.
Be strong and courageous.