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Shocked to the Core!

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Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective

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As I’m sure readers know, the phrase, “every knee will bow” is part of a longer verse, first uttered by the prophet Isaiah.

By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’ (Isaiah 45:23 ESV)

This passage is quoted in Romans 14:11 and in Philippians 2:10-11. In the Philippians passage, Paul explains the kenosis or “emptying” of Jesus, in which He gave up the voluntary use of His deity when He clothed Himself in  humanity.

At judgment, all people will bow before God and acknowledge Him as Lord of all, but will they do so grudgingly as I have previously believed? Consider what the author of Hebrews 10:31 tells us what occurs after a person dies.

It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Why is that a dreadful thing? Aside from the fact that God is God and His Word will always be fulfilled, Satan works very hard in this life to instill within most people the belief that God does not exist and Satan knows he has our sin nature on his side, making it easier. Yet, the Bible tells us God is literally without limits and the Bible speaks to this by outlining His omniscience (1 John 3:20), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10), and omnipotence (Matthew 19:25-26). Because of God’s attributes, if He had not taken the initiative to reveal Himself to humanity, we would never have the opportunity to even begin to know Him. It is important that we take the time to ponder these things.

So, if the above are some of God’s attributes, it then stands to reason that those who die and enter eternity without ever having received Jesus as Lord and Savior because of the massive deception they lived under while here (together with their own volition), will become extremely fearful or full of dread when they actually stand before Him. This is due to the fact that they will see truth, not lies or deception and that truth will absolutely shock them.

It is also very possible, due to the prevalence of deception waged against people; there are many cases of people being oppressed/possessed by demons to some degree in this life because of their continued rejection of truth. Their oppression/possession is evidenced in large numbers throughout global society today, in what we can refer to as “wokeness.” This is an additional proof to me that we are in the last days (1 Timothy 3:1-5).

The insane beliefs of “woke” folks have no grounding in reality at all because they are are not anchored in truth. They have simply been tricked into embracing lies foisted on them by Satan/demons and don’t even bother to critically analyze their beliefs. They can’t because they have no working critical thinking skills because of the deception they live under. It’s a vicious cycle, which Paul addresses in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 (see also Romans 1:18-25).

and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved (emphasis added).

Unsaved people hate truth, willingly gravitating toward and ultimately embracing lies. Their constant rejection of truth eventually pushes them to the point where they are actually aligned with the powers of darkness. Satan and/or his fallen angels excel at blinding people to biblical truth and to the reality of God Himself. This has always been Satan’s mode of operation starting with the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). He’s never altered his approach because it works so well.

People eventually become accustomed to and confirmed in the lies they willingly embrace. It causes self-satisfaction and arrogance, making them believe they embrace truth, though that truth is predicated on how they feel about something (“God won’t sent people to hell because He loves us too much” or “God made me what I am – a woman in a man’s body,” or “it’s fine to kill unborn babies because they are simply clumps of fetal cells,” etc.). Ultimately, they become their highest authorities in deciding what constitutes truth.

So, consider this person who has adamantly and continually rejected all truth about God during the course of their earthly life, which often extends to their death beds. After death, they instantly awake to several realities at once.

First, all the lies, deceit and blindness they were comfortable with in this life immediately vanish as they cross the threshold from life to death because they are entering God’s holy Presence where lies cannot exist. They will fully comprehend the truth they rejected while alive. They will not be able to explain or rationalize those truths away because they are in God’s Presence and there is no darkness in Him, only light (or truth; 1 John 1:5). Lies simply will not hold up.

Take a moment to imagine these people who were confirmed in their lies about God in this life and will instantly realize just how wrong they were when they stand before Him. This will cause abject terror within them as they are faced with the absolute truth about God and themselves and must acknowledge it. They won’t be able to deny it. In fact, I believe they will volitionally and quickly embrace the truth at that point. How could it be otherwise?

Second, if they were oppressed/possessed in this life to any degree by demons, I believe they will no longer be possessed after they die. Once their physical body dies, demon(s) will leave to find other victims here on earth. So, once demons vacate, that person will see the unmitigated truth once and for all, unable to deny or flee from it.

They will literally stand before the God they fully believed did not exist, yet there He is, right in front of them. Now, imagine for a moment the reaction of these people; how they will feel, what they will think, and what they will say. In essence, their demeanor caused by seeing the shocking truth will certainly not be rebellious or self-assured. They will cower in abject fear. It’s difficult to imagine the absolute shock they will experience, a shock that humbles and cowers them completely. They will fully grasp that God has righteous judgment in His hands and there is no escape.

Years ago, I was studying this subject and came across at least one commentary that explained the situation in different terms. The author concluded that yes, people will bow the knee and confess the Name of Jesus as Lord of all, but they will be forced to do so, from a position of hatred. They will admit newly realized truth grudgingly. I believed that for some time and only recently I began to question that conclusion. Let me provide an example.

When I was growing up, my father was a strong disciplinarian, though he rarely spanked my sister or me. He could easily discipline me with one look and it was very effective.

When I realized that my father was not happy with me, I instantly became sincerely humble and started thinking of ways to prove to my father that I was obedient. Coming across as belligerent, hostile or rebellious didn’t enter the picture, because that would be worse for me. Instead, I immediately changed my tone and demeanor to show him I was placing myself under his authority. Why? It was because I wanted to save myself from the worst possible punishment. I endeavored to show my dad that I was being humble and that I did not disagree with his assessment. I was hoping that this approach would allow my father’s anger to subside and I would receive a lesser punishment for my infractions. In essence, I was sincerely anxious to show my father I was very regretful, in hopes of a better outcome. Maybe you can relate to that?

How much greater will that realization and attitude be among those who stand before Him in judgment? In the afterlife, when unrepentant sinners face our Lord in judgment, God’s righteous judgment will cause them to innately understand that lies will not work in the terrifying Presence of God, who is Absolute Truth. They will see and acknowledge the difference between lies and truth.

In fact, truth will so penetrate each person to their very marrow, that truth becomes inescapable and undeniable. While some may try to offer explanations for their behavior (and do so pleadingly, Matthew 7:22), ultimately, God will have the final word and they will not be able to disagree with Him. In fact, they will have to agree with Him.

A similar reaction is seen in the demons who possessed two men who lived in the tombs on the other side of the Sea of Galilee (some gospels say “two” men, while others say “one”; Matthew 8:28–9:1; Mark 5:1–21; Luke 8:26–40). The men had been possessed by demons and were violent and uncontrollable, except in God’s Presence.

When the God-Man Jesus approached, the possessed men, instead of exhibiting a violent demeanor toward Jesus, ran to Him and bowed before Him.

6And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” (Mark 5:6-7)

The demons knew their time of torment was coming at some point and so they implored Jesus about that time, wondering if He was there to torment them ahead of their scheduled judgment. Notice they also knew beyond doubt Jesus was God in human form. The demons weren’t being rebellious or indignant. Notice how the demons “fell down before Jesus. They completely understood the power He possessed over them. There was no question they knew the truth about their future torment, which makes it all the more startling when people become confirmed in their lies in this life; proof that they are deceived by demons.

Unsaved people will not have the ability or power to continue in their lies and rebellion at God’s judgment seat. Even the hatred they may have felt toward God in this life will evaporate so completely, they will actually see themselves as God sees them and understand God’s love for them, though they consistently rejected His love and chose hell. God grants them what they chose.

Just as I cowered under the disciplining stare of my father when I had done something wrong, so too will these people cower with abject dread before the God of all Creation (Revelation 6:16). They will, at that point, so wish that they could do things over. Yet knowing they cannot, their dread of Him will drive them to be as meek and as humble as possible whom they finally understand has the power to cast their souls into hell/Lake of Fire based on their choice in this life. They will blame themselves, not God for their fate because the truth will be so clear to them, they cannot discount it. They will hope for a better outcome, but then acknowledge that He is Just in giving the punishment they selected.

These people will be stripped bare to their thoughts and intentions. As they stand before God they will quickly take on true humility in the hopes that their sentence will be reduced. They will possibly even plead with God based on what they now understand to be His love, kindness and patience (Matthew 7:22 alludes to this). They will then realize those attributes toward them came to an end upon their deaths. Once their sentence is declared, they will spend eternity not only wishing for a do-over, but they will continually implore God to allow their (now) heartfelt worship of Him to be accepted by Him. Unfortunately, that wish on their part will never be fulfilled.

I cannot imagine going into eternity only to experience that much self-awareness and regret can you? We can sit back and muse, “Well, they should have known because many tried to tell them!” If we adopt that attitude, we should check our hearts. It’s relatively easy to become impatient with the lost and their arrogance isn’t it? But we need to rise above that as Jesus did and allow our hearts to break for the lost. We need to continually reach out to the lost regardless of how they treat us in return. We are the only source of light (truth) in this world.

I do not want to stand before God at the BEMA Seat (Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10), when my works are judged (not my salvation), to learn that I had a careless attitude where the lost are concerned. Oh, my Lord and my God, save me from that! May His love for the lost be evidenced through me in the way I treat them for His glory.

Please, my Father and my God, fill me with the love for the lost that only comes from you. May your patience toward them be my patience. May your love for them be my love. May you guide my heart, my thoughts and my words to be an example of you, to open the eyes of the lost to embrace the only salvation that is available.

Without you, O Lord, we are nothing. Help us, your children, to drastically and consistently move away from our Self-life that seeks its own way and has no concern for those who do not know you. Help us to live in a way that glorifies you by loving those who do not know you, reaching out to them in tangibly loving ways so that you become their Savior and Lord.

————————————————————————————————————————————

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14 NKJV)

Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective


Source: https://studygrowknowblog.com/2024/06/18/shocked-to-the-core/


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