Jesus said, “… many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, wasn’t it in your name that we prophesied? And wasn’t it in your name that we expelled demons? And wasn’t it in your name that we performed many miracles?’ Then I will tell them frankly, ‘I never knew you; get away from me, you perpetrators of lawlessness’.”
— Matthew 7:22-23 (USC)
PROPHESIERS, exorcists, and healers alike may or may not be close to God. And there is little point in doing ‘our ministry’ unless we actually do it for the Lord. If we do it for ourselves, for our status, for our satisfaction, and not for simple humility of service, we have not only wasted our lives, we have blasphemed the God who — apparently — embodies us.
This sort of message is what we all need from time to time. We all need a reminder that we are a hair’s breadth from breathing our last—and, then, to meet God.
When we think in these sorts of terms, we are inevitably like the deer in headlights. We don’t know what may be just about to hit us. Suddenly the awesomeness of God is in the full view of our imaginations — and if God has created the infinite heavens, what will it be like to meet him, finally, at last?
We will never want God to say to us, “I never knew you! Get away from me!” At his finite disposal he may annihilate us or he may put us into the eternal fire. Or we may suffer some other horribly eternal fate. Who knows but God?
The point is we have here and now. We should be appropriately fearful, for we have only now, and who knows how long now will last?
The only way to please God is to endeavour to do his will. And if we know there are areas in our lives where we are far from his will, what will we do?
We are better to get nothing in this life and then to receive every good thing when the electricity in our bodies gives way to dormancy.
We are quickly passing away. It won’t be long now. But it will still be long. It is only a short time from the time looking back.
When we are done with life and life is done with us we have an inexhaustible reality ahead. How the consequences of that time are being sown now, yes, as we live and breathe.
QUESTIONS in REVIEW:
1. Think of your eternity — as a spirit with no mortal body — everything other than it is now. Do you ever catch yourself thinking about it?
2. What will you do to reverse the flow of hypocrisy that hangs as a shadow over your life? There is the hour; there is the day.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.