Consequences

Today’s reading is Acts 25.

“If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death.” WOW! What a statement. This is one of the characteristics of penitence. Often, we aren’t actually penitent, we just want to escape the consequences of our actions. The great thing is God has promised if we repent and surrender to Jesus, we will not face the ultimate consequence of separation from Him through eternity, which we call Hell. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t face earthly, temporal, and natural consequences to our actions. Paul wasn’t trying to escape the consequences. He was willing to accept them. When we repent and respond to the gospel, that is exactly the mindset we need to have. That is, when we repent and submit to the gospel, we escape Hell and the judgment of God’s wrath because He removes our sins from us by the blood of Jesus, but our sins have consequences in this life. People have been hurt. Sometimes laws have been broken. Being penitent means accepting that and being willing to face the consequences. Of course, it is so much easier to do that when you know God has wiped the slate clean by the blood of Jesus and that no matter what you face now, you will be with Him forever. Whatever you’ve done, whatever the consequences, turn to Jesus and hang on to Him. It will be worth it.

Tomorrow’s reading is Acts 26.

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He Is Coming

Today’s reading is Revelation 22.

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

I know this will sound shocking, but I do not believe this statement is limited to what we commonly call the “second coming.” Jesus is not saying, “At the end of time, I’ll come and bring judgment on everyone.” He is telling the original readers of Revelation, He will come in judgment on Rome (possibly Jerusalem) and it will be soon (for them). The message for us is not: at the end of time Jesus will come and bring final judgment on everyone, so get ready. The message for us is: no matter who our enemy is, no matter how strong a front they put up, no matter how much success they seem to have in the fight, no matter how bad it looks for our side, Jesus is coming in judgment on them and they don’t stand a chance. Sure, at this point, the next judgment may be the final one on all the world. But then again, it may just be a temporal judgment on Washington and the Unites States of America, or a temporal judgment on Mecca, or even just a temporal judgment on your co-worker who mocks you for your faith and your spouse who denies your faith and mistreats you. John’s point to us is whatever our enemy does, hang on. Jesus will judge. He will win. Don’t abandon Him. Don’t quit. Don’t concede. He is coming, Jesus will judge our enemies, and Jesus Always Wins! Praise the Lord!!!

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 1.

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