Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.  -- Malachi 3:18

During the Incarnation, Jesus talked of how things would be for people at the end of His earthly ministry.  He compared it to the days of Noah.  No one expected the flood, even though Noah told them judgment was coming.  They continued to live as though nothing ever changed.  In the time of Jesus, people heard Him speak and tell of terrible times to come – e.g., Matthew 24, yet they continued to live as though Jerusalem would never face tribulation. 

I don’t know if things will become difficult, if judgment of some kind will fall upon the earth.  I don’t know if San Francisco will face another great earthquake, if the Yellowstone caldera will erupt, or if a sweet meteor of death will strike Washington, D.C. or Brussels or Mecca. 

I do know that I will die someday, and I’m not the only one to which this end will come.  When that happens, I believe I will be required to give an account of how I have lived since I entered this world.  Some of that account is going to be pretty embarrassing, if not downright shameful.  Still, I believe in the mercy, grace, and forgiveness of God.  As Jeremiah said in Lamentations, the mercies of God are new every morning.  I will not exhaust His clemency or His compassion. 

I am not anyone else’s judge.  As many failures as I have had, as many times as I have willfully and intentionally done the wrong thing, I can in no way be acceptable to God on my own.  But I am not on my own, for … [I]n Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them … (2 Corinthians 5:19).   Christ stands between the righteous and the wicked as Aaron the priest stood between the living and the dead (Numbers 16:48).

But for Christ, I could in no way be counted among the righteous had not the Father [f]or our sake  … made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Christ is our distinction.

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