2011-05-19 - Mockery
Luke 23:39-42 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: Arent you the Messiah? Save yourself and us! 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. Dont you fear God, he said, since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong. 42 Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. (NASB)
It's not about living a good life. That's not what saves someone from eternal separation from God. It is not what forces the Creator that has shown immense love and care for his creation - us - that His own Son was sent to die in our place and open the gate to Heaven again. If that's not what does it then what is? Are you telling me that someone who has lived recklessly ruining his life and his body or committing terrible crimes will be seen in Heaven?
The short answer to the last question is - yes, I completely expect to see this convicted criminal who admits his own guilt while hanging on a cross next to Jesus in Heaven. He boils down the essence so clearly. At the end of his life he was caught and convicted and here clearly admits his guilt and accepts the fact that he deserves the punishment that is being meted out to him. In his one line prayer he humbles himself before Jesus and asks entry into His kingdom. He has admitted his sin. He has acknowledged that he can do nothing to undo that sin and that God is greater than that sin. Jesus responds:
Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise. (NASB)
The answer to the second question is: Accept Jesus the Christ as your Lord and Savior from sin.
Today I witnessed mockery like I have never seen before of God's salvation. The topic came up about the end of the world and the gentleman who believes he has used the scriptures to determine that the world will come to an end on May 21st. An acquaintance was completely unaware of this whole news thread. It was clear that he found the whole thing pretty wild in the minute or so he had become aware of it. It was explained how a man in New York City who believes the explanation of how the date was determined is correct has spent his life savings of $140,000 on ads around the city to warn people of the impending disaster. That event would end the world and usher in the judgment of mankind and the eternal reign of God. My acquaintance could not understand why someone would bother. That people who didn't believe were not going to believe, and those who would have already made up their minds. The mockery was amazing. Without an understand of more than two minutes of discussion he railed on. But if one person comes to know Jesus as their Savior will that money have been well spent? Nothing about eternity can be purchased. But a single life turned to Christ has incalculable value.
The Bible tells us that not even the son knows the hour or the day of the return of the Messiah to Earth (Matt 24:36 and others). If this gentleman in New York City has spent his money on advertisements for an event on a date that doesn't happen on that date, he might be considered foolish. I would consider him faithful. Please understand I'm not advocating this as a course of action. He believes with all his heart that this is right and that people need to be warned urgently. He has done everything he can do to get the word out to give people a chance to accept God's salvation while there is still time.
There will always be mockers. What will a mocker have to say standing before a holy God? If he refuses the gift of salvation because he will not see or hear that is his choice. If he makes that decision in ignorance, willful or otherwise, it is so sad. There will always be people trying to determine the date of the return of Jesus Christ. One day it will happen. I do not know when that day will come but I await it expectantly. One day all the guessing and mocking and waiting will be finally over. If it comes in my lifetime or not I will rejoice. Will I also weep for the mockers? Quite possibly. What is it worth to get the information to them to make an informed decision? If they have the information and decline it then they have made a choice. If they simply mock they have bought into the lie of the enemy and this world system which is bitterly sad.
They will have missed the most fantastic offer ever made in any time, place or value: Eternity with God, sitting at the feet of Christ and being taught truth so pure, working and living in the absence of death, sadness, disappointment or pain.
What is it worth? Selah.
Grace & Peace,