This morning I am on Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island, Florida at the beginning of a wonderful vacation. The sun is shining, there is a cool ocean breeze and everything is right with the world. Well, not really.
There is a steady stream of people filling the beach: young, old, families with children, singles, surfers, sunbathers and a myriad of others. To that add the billions of people around the world. The thought came to me that one day we will all be together again but in a different setting.
“We shall all be judged one day, not by each other’s standards or even our own, but by the standard of Christ. It is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God’. It is to God alone that we have to answer for our actions.” Romans 14:12
I look at all the people playing in the surf, searching for shells, playing volleyball etc. The majority of people are not even aware that such a event is going to take place! Which leads me to my second thought: Who is going to tell them? Preachers cannot reach those who do not come to church, so it is up to all of us to share to message.
I grew up in a very legalistic church where spirituality was measured on personal performance. My acceptance to God (and my church) was based on how well I kept all the rules: modest clothing; no television, no movie going, very strict Sabbath observence, etc.
I dreaded when our church had revival services because the evangelist would always use the rapture as a means to get people to come forwardto the altar. He would use Christ’s return to scare Believers into wondering if they would miss the Rapture because they didn’t “cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s” spiritually speaking.
But when the Apostle Paul spoke of Christ’s return he said, “Therefore encourage one anotherwith these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:18
“The prize that shows I have God’s approval is now waiting for me. The Lord, who is a fair judge, will give me that prize on that day. He will give it not only to me but also to everyone who is eagerly waiting for him to come again.” 2 Timothy 4:8
Person of Interest, one of CBS’ popular TV programs, is about a computer that can not only trace everyone but will alert those who wrote the software when certain people’s lives are in danger. At first it may sound a little far-fetched but in light of all the recent scandals in the news the program maybe more real than we realize:
Our government is photographing the outside information on every piece of snail mail.
Google knows just about every WiFi password in the world … and so the NSA does as well, since it spies so widely on Google.
The NSA has inserted its code into Android’s operating system … bugging three-quarters of the world’s smartphones.
But listening in on people’s secrets is nothing new. in 2 Kings 6, King Amran, enemy of Israel, was enraged because all of his plans to attack Israel were being “leaked.’ and Israel was always prepared. Amran concluded their was a spy in his midst but one of his officers told him, “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.” (Vs 12) Apparently, God was revealing the king’s plans to his servant and thus protecting Israel.
It is unsettling to know that at the judgment bar of God will give an account for every word spoken. Mt. 12:36-37. I do not want you to think that God is “spying” on us but we will be more aware of what we are saying.