Today’s readings.. (Job 41,42), (Malachi 3,4), (Revelation 21,22)

Today we read the final chapters in both the Old and New Testaments. Both describe in graphic (and fairly symbolic) detail the final climax of world history. Malachi in particular says, “the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and evildoers will be stubble.” [4 v.1] But what should concern us most, are the principles God uses in accepting human beings – whether he grants them a wondrous eternal future or not!

Revelation tells us that Jesus, now at God’s right hand, tells John, “Behold I am coming soon (soon, as in God’s timeframe – what is 2,000 years from his perspective?) bringing my recompense (reward) with me, to repay everyone for what he (or she) has done.” [22 v.12] The reward of the righteous is in heaven, where they have “laid up treasure” (Luke 18 v.22), but they do not go there to receive it, Jesus brings it to them.

Jesus declares, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life … Outside are …” [22 v.14,15] which takes our thoughts to Adam and Eve and the way they were excluded from God’s garden so they could not eat of that tree.

Who are left outside – in “outer darkness” [Mat 8 v.12], the place of the eternally dead when the climax of the ages is reached? Revelation tells us, “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” [22 v.15] Compare Malachi 3 v.5.

Would you say many humans live like dogs that roam around, getting wilder? Sorcerers? They play with the mind, so this includes those who take drugs! But the final category of those who “practice falsehood” will surely embrace a great many humans. How God despises those who are not honest in word and deed was stressed in Ch. 21. Note v.8 “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.” .The symbol of the “lake’ is there plainly stated.

Luke 13 v.23-28 contains Jesus answer to the question, “Will those who are saved be few?” Jesus says, at his return, when he rejects them, they will say, , “we ate and drank in your presence and you taught in our streets” And will there not also be many who will say ‘we read the Bible’?

But although they did this – if they loved and practised the wrong thing and the practice of their faith was parallel to that of the religious leaders in Jesus’ day! How tragic for all such will be “the day that is coming! May we all, in 2020 renew our endeavours to genuinely love God – and to know and believe what is true and practice a Godly way of life.

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* Click verse text to see cross references.
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