Jesus tells us the truth. One day — “as He lives” — every individual who ever existed will bow to Him and give God praise. Now I can see every person kneeling in humility before God, but imagining every one praising God is not as easy. I’ve heard such vile, foul statements made against Him in my time here on earth that imagining those same persons speaking words of praise is difficult.
Think of Hitler or Stalin or Manson speaking words of praise to God, and you may have some appreciation for what I am saying. Praises from such men are incongruous with their personalities.
So, what happens? What changes? Do their hearts change at the judgment? Do they become like Job who said to the Lord, “I know that Thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withheld from Thee. Who is he who hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered that which I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech Thee, and I will speak; I will demand of Thee, and declare Thou unto me. I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:2-6, KJV)
Will persons such as Kim Jong-il and Saddam Hussein suddenly recognize God and “abhor” themselves? Will they see God and “repent in dust and ashes?” As they bend their knees and fall on their faces, will their mouths open in songs of praise?
In the distress of being utterly abandoned by his friends and family, Job cries out in great hope and faith, “But in my heart I know that my vindicator lives and that He will rise last to speak in court; and I shall discern my witness standing at my side and see my defending counsel, even God Himself, whom I shall see with my own eyes, I myself and no other.” (Job 19: 25 – 27)
The last person to speak on Judgment Day — on that day — is Christ, our Redeemer and “Defending Counsel, even God Himself.” Jesus is our one and only witness and defender. He witnesses to our faith and defends against our weakness. No other is necessary.
A future exists for us; a future at which time “living water issues from Jerusalem, half flowing to the eastern sea and half to the western, in summer and winter alike.” (Zechariah 14: 8)
“On that day is neither heat nor cold nor frost. It is all one day, whose coming is known only to the Lord, without distinction of day or night, and at evening time there is light.” (Zechariah 14: 6 – 7)
A future day which is “all one day,” in which there is only light; no darkness at all. A future day when “living water” comes out of the city of God — that is, from Jerusalem. “The whole land is leveled; (…) but Jerusalem stands high in her place, and is full of people (…) Men live there in peace.” (Zechariah 14: 7, 8, 10)
Simultaneously, all nations which war against Jerusalem are struck down by a plague — their peoples’ “flesh rots while they stand on their feet, their eyes rot in their sockets, and their tongues rot in their mouths.” (Zechariah 14: 12)
“On that day a great panic, sent by the Lord, falls on them. At the very moment when a man might encourage his comrade his hand is raised to strike him down.” (Zechariah 14: 13)
“On that day a fountain is opened for the line of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to remove all sin and impurity.” (Zechariah 13: 1)
On that day in Jerusalem, all are safe. On that day those outside and against Jerusalem are doomed.
No one knows the day or time a thief will enter the house to steal the silver. So it is with the Day of the Lord. No one knows when “the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved.”
No one knows when “the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”
Therefore, exhorts Peter, “since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by [Christ] without spot or blemish, and at peace.” (2 Peter 3: 14)
God’s patience is our salvation, says Peter. God delays His Day of judgment in order to gather His sheep to His pasture, so that none will be lost.
“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” (2 Peter 3: 11)
“To this end, we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling, and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power, so that the Name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1: 11 – 12)
God’s grace is given us in Christ Jesus. In Him, we are “enriched…in all speech and all knowledge.” Because of Jesus in us, we “are not lacking in any spiritual gift.” (1 Corinthians 1: 7) He “will sustain [us] to the end;” and we will be found “guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1: 8)
Paul is telling us that we are enriched by the grace of God; we have all the spiritual giftings we require; we are sustained by Christ for all time; and we are without guilt before His Father’s throne on the day of judgment.
Think on these truths; and know you are standing on the mountain of transfiguration united with Jesus in all His glory.