Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
It's frightening to read Jesus' accounts in Matthew about the last judgment. According to Him, almost everybody is going to be surprised to discover finally where he really belongs:
"Many" who have been sure they are "saved" and have their tickets to heaven ready will hear Him say, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness" (7:23). In reading the account in Revelation 20, we see that they will want to run (vss. 12-14); one very perceptive writer has said that they will "welcome destruction."
Then, in contrast, those to whom "the King" will say, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world," will remonstrate with Him, look behind them to see if it must be someone else He is telling to "come," we don't deserve this, You must mean someone else. No, He says; I mean you: "Come" (see Matt. 25:31ff.).
Neither group, widely separated in faith, expected what their fate would be.
Jesus has tried to help us get ready for that day. He says, "When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, 'Give place to this man,' and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:8-11).
So, how should we feel (and speak) about ourselves? How about: "Less than the least of all saints," "the chief of sinners," "unworthy servants." That will be the true language of our hearts if: (1) we comprehend what our sin is--that we share the corporate guilt of the murderous crucifixion of the Son of God, and (2) we appreciate what it cost Him to save us--that He died our second death.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 4, 2007.
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