Somewhere in my past I heard a saying that always makes people laugh, because they all know people like that. It goes: Everyone makes the world a better place, some people when they come into it, and others when they leave it. I have known some people that truly made the world a poorer place when they died. And others that had such seemingly inconsequential and destructive lives that no-one noticed that they were gone, and in fact, people celebrated their death instead of their lives. Please note that I am not judging, just observing.
Which one are you?
That is not the point of the message today. Along similar lines of thinking, I recently thought about the fact that everyone will get to meet God. Some people in this world, and the rest when they leave it.
Which one are you?
Those of us who meet God on earth, who believe in Him and trust Him, and is filled with His spirit, look forward to the day when we will meet God face-to-face. We know what to expect, and having experienced just a teeny bit of His grace, love and wisdom, it is an awesome prospect to one day share in more of that, unrestricted by fleshly weaknesses.
For those who refuse to meet God here on earth, well, they are in for a heck of a surprise. That first meeting may not go well for them. In fact, they will be summarily judged, and the only one who can testify on their behalf is Jesus, whom they previously arrogantly ignored, dismissed, insulted and mocked.
Peter apparently also had this in mind (ESV):
1Pe 4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
1Pe 4:2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
1Pe 4:3 The time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.
1Pe 4:4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you;
1Pe 4:5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Peter gives us a compact description of what is going on. Those who have come to know Christ on earth have done away with human passions, through a new way of thinking, essentially a new relationship. The unbelievers persist in what satisfies them, summarized as “lawless idolatry”. Those who love themselves more than anything else idolizes all that makes them feel good, temporary as that feeling may be. Because they don’t know any better, i.e. they don’t know God, they insult, they speak evil of believers when believers do not join the profiglacy (that’s a nice word, it means “reckless pursuit of ruin”).
However, one day they will give an account to Him that stands ready to judge.
2Pe 3:7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
The outcome of that judgment does not look good for those that refuse God. Words like “destruction” mentioned in the same sentence as “God” and “fire” gives us some giant clues to that effect.
Which one are you? Do you know God today?
If you don’t already know Him, do it today while you can still appeal to Jesus to testify on your behalf. Jesus has already paid the fines, taken the punishment, and earned the abrogation of your destruction. He has already died for your sins. He will be there at judgment time, not to defend you, but to recognize and present you and welcome you into His eternal kingdom.
There is no doubt, you will meet God one day.