The Text of the chapter fourteen is in process, and will be posted soon. Please check back!
Today's Text is certainly bone chilling in many regards, but it begins with Good News (the 'Gospel'). The good news about the Gospel is that it is timeless. No man or woman could ever alter its Reality. It was true fourteen billion years ago, and it will be true fourteen billion years from now. Jesus not only proclaimed this Good News, but He also demonstrated it with His life, crucifixion, and resurrection. Paul taught emphatically that there is only one Gospel (Good News) and had some harsh words for those who might alter it (Galatians 1:6-9). What are the contents of this Message? The Text reads, "Revere, glorify, and worship God, who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water, because the hour of judgment has come!" Many Christians believe that unless you pray a certain prayer, or are baptized a certain way, or follow some sort of creed, only then can one be "saved" from this judgment. But that is not what we see here. What we see is what the philosopher Albert Camus observed: “I shall tell you a great secret, my friend: do not wait for the last judgment; it takes place every day.”
Elsewhere, Paul also brings the Gospel to the philosophers who care nothing for the Hebrew Bible. What does he tell them? The same thing that John writes of, but he widens the scope by saying that God set up all the nations so that they would find this Divine One (Acts 17:22-31). Billy Graham proclaimed this same Message, though most Christians do not want to acknowledge this truth. The scandal of this Good News is never about who we think gets left out, but it's about who gets included (Matthew 25:31-46). Your enemy is the very one you will see in paradise one day, friends. So, come to terms with them now; otherwise, you'll be in the position of Hitler, who has six million Jews to reconcile with before he can enter into eternal bliss. You can always make the choice to exclude yourself, but God will never give up on you, as this Text very clearly states! Indeed, there is most certainly a wideness to God's mercy, but only for those who are willing to pray for their enemies and those who harm them, as Jesus taught in His Magnum Opus, the "Sermon on the Mount."
God will always respect our wishes and allow us to reject Love. Misery loves company, and John lets us know that some will choose that misery. But, in the end, Paul is emphatic that we will all be found in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:17-19). Liberation is stronger than slavery, Life is mightier than death, and Heaven reigns over hell. Anyone who believes that hell has the final word proves that they see a very small portrait of the God and Father of the Master Jesus, the Christ! Every knee will bow, and every tongue shall confess the truth in the end, and that can provide a comfort to many who fret over being punished for petty things that Christians like to add to (and/or take away from) the Gospel. Regardless of your tribe, language, group, or nation, we will all stand before the judgment seat and give an account of our lives. Let me urge my readers to not wait for that Day, because the more you reject Love, Light, and Life now, the more suffering you shall iNFLiKT upon yourself both now and then. The decisions you make today will impact you now and forever, so choose wisely, my friends!