Philippians 2:9-11, “Therefore, God has highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow in Heaven and on earth, and under the earth; and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.” (emphasis mine)
Before going further with this message, I am fully aware that there will be many who see this as a 1 Corinthians 1:18 issue; that anything that pertains to Jesus, Calvary, Salvation and Eternity is “folly.” However, to the minority that already are, or those who are about to become believers, this is about the “power” of God. It’s the difference between those that are on the broad pathway leading to destruction, and those on the straight and narrow leading to Eternal Life (Matthew 7:13-14). Also, it’s a free will choice that each of us must make for ourselves, one way or the other.
God gave us a most precious gift that He knew would not be accepted by the majority. Looking at statistics for this earth, approximately 10% of the total population is “Rapture Prepared.” This is no surprise to the Father, and this percentage holds true here in America as well. There are a bunch of “church-goers,” but that doesn’t make them true Christians.
On another note, the statistics for God’s chosen people, the Jews, is even lower. Only about 1%-2% worldwide are Messianic – followers of Yeshua (Jesus). We’re told that as we near the end of this age, there will be even more turning away from Jesus to accept the “pleasures” and “rewards” this earth supposedly offers. It’s happening today.
In his day, Paul did his very best to get the gospel to as many people as possible; the Jews first, and also the Gentiles (everyone else). The religious Jews persecuted him at every turn, but most Gentiles were very interested in the word he was presenting. They were grateful they were being offered a chance to be included in God’s plan.
In Colossians 1:9-14, he gave the following encouragement; “And so, from the day we heard [about their love in the Spirit], we have not ceased to pray for you; asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all Spiritual wisdom and understanding; so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him; bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the Saints of Light (Believers). He has delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son; in whom we have redemption; the forgiveness of sin.”
Paul is not advocating doing “works” to obtain Salvation; but that once a person has received and accepted the “gift,” we want to glorify Jesus in our actions because we love Him. We have not “earned” anything as He paid for our sins in full; and to suggest otherwise is an insult to the sacrifice He made.
Going to Colossians 1:21-23, Paul says “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh [human] by His death; in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him [God]; if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from hope of the Gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven; and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
There are those who believe Jesus was just a man, an ordinary but good prophet, through which a bunch of people were influenced by the message He presented. There are also those who do not believe He rose from the dead, as given in the Bible, but that He is still in a grave somewhere near Jerusalem.
There was an abundance of witnesses to His being alive after having been killed on the cross. For those who believe He did not actually die on the cross, but only “fainted,” they do not understand the process of crucifixion. If anyone were to be taken off a cross while still alive, the soldier that removed them prematurely would take that person’s place on a cross.
One other false theory is that Jesus will rise with the appearing of Mohammad, and will be a servant for the Islamic god. This is dispelled in Exodus 20:3 and Deuteronomy 5:7, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Note the small “g.”) Our Heavenly Father is the only true God that has ever existed. He is a triune God – three entities in one. There are numerous verses in the Old and New Testaments that tell us that God has always existed, which is hard for the human mind to comprehend. Time was created by God for man, and He is not bound by it as we are.
A couple of examples are:
Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth [created], or ever You had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting; you are God.”
1 Timothy 1:17, “To the King of the ages; immortal; invisible; the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
One more from Revelation 10:6-7. This was stated by a Mighty Angel that came to earth during the tribulation, “and swore by Him [God] who lives forever and ever; who created heaven and what is in it; the earth and what is in it; and the sea and what is in it; that there would be no more delay; but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the Seventh Angel (Trumpet Judgments), the mystery of God would be fulfilled just as He announced to His servants, the prophets.”
Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God; and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:9-12, “The True Light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own [Jews], and His own people did not receive Him. But to all [Jew and Gentile] who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” (Also see John 10:16.)
There are actually those who say Jesus never claimed to actually be God. First, John 10:30, “The Father and I are One.” John 14:6-9, “Jesus said to him [Thomas], ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. From now on, you do know Him, and have seen Him.’ Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long and you still do not know Me, Philip? Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say show us the Father?’”
What was sad at the time was that even His chosen apostles did not yet realize the reason for Jesus’ first visit. The Pharisees rejected Jesus because He didn’t come in as a full-fledged conqueror, and give them high positions of authority in the world. The apostles thought He would set up His kingdom right then, and when He was crucified, they fled. It’s recorded that John was at Calvary, and Jesus assigned the care of Mary, His earthly mother, to him (John 19:26-29).
Jesus was on a very specific mission His first time around. He came as a humble and lowly “sacrificial lamb” to provide the only pathway that would be available for all humans to have the opportunity to be forgiven of all sins, and to have an eternal home with Him. He made it plain that He was here to follow the will of the Father, and willingly laid down His sinless human life for us (John 10:18). He became lower than the angels for a little while (Hebrews 2:9).
To receive the gift that He gave for us, our action is to realize we all are sinners (Romans 3:23), and cannot save ourselves. We must believe that the shedding of His pure blood for us is the only way to Salvation; accept through faith that the crucifixion, burial and resurrection are real; and believe that all who truly call on Him to be their Savior will be forgiven and have an eternal home with Him (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9-13).
Considering all He did for all mankind, is it any wonder that all those who refuse to accept Him will spend eternity separated from Him – in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15)? His next appearance on this earth will be as the conqueror that was expected His first time around. He will put an end to the wrath/tribulation with just a word.
After a personal reign on this earth for 1,000 years, He will allow Satan to be released from his holding area for a while. We do not know how long that will be, but it will be the final episode in any rebellion against our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. After the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20, we will see a new heaven and earth created that will be perfect in every way (Revelation 21). Our Jesus will rule and reign forever, and we will be with Him.
The hardest part for anyone is to believe this is all true and the Bible is the inerrant word of the Most Holy God. All who will call on Him, He will gladly receive as He wants to send no one to eternal punishment (2 Peter 3:9). He gave us the authority to make our own decision, and will in no way force anyone to accept Jesus. This is the pure love our Father has for us.
Consider your eternity with care. There are only two options: Jesus or Satan; Heaven or Hell. Jesus will be returning soon as evidenced by all the world’s actions of today. To hesitate could place you in the worst position you have ever been in. All believers will not go through the wrath as promised. Be ready for the call – it could come as early as today.
Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus).