Alfred Place Baptist Church

13:32 The Knowledge Of The Son Of God

Mark 13:32 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

None of us grasps the truth of Jesus Christ being God and man as it needs to be understood, or as we should know what God has taken such pains to make clear to us. The incarnation is the greatest of all God’s miracles and the person of Christ is at the heart of Christianity. My chief delight is to preach about my Saviour. I would want to excel every preacher in the world in speaking about the twofold nature of Christ. Yet surely all of us would acknowledge that we don’t comprehend this teaching as we should. In fact, our understanding falls short of our practice. What do I mean? We’ve gathered together today and we’ve been worshipping Jesus Christ. In the first century Roman officials all over the Empire were confronted with the fact that a new religion centred on Jesus of Nazareth was spreading like wild fire. Emperor Trajan in the year 112 asked Governor Pliny to report to him about the rites these early Christians followed in their worship. His report back to the emperor is the first reference to Jesus Christ in pagan literature. Pliny told him that these people met early in the morning, and they sang hymns to Christ as to a god. Today millions of congregations all over the world have done the same. We have sung hymns to Christ as if he were a god, and that is legitimate because not only is he a god, he is the God; he is the only God. If he is not God then to sing hymns to Jesus Christ is blasphemous.

We believe in the divinity of Christ; we affirm his co-eternal and co-equal and con-substantial deity and godhead as God the Son. Are we claiming too much for him? You see our text quotes the Lord Jesus talking to his four disciples about the date of the second coming and acknowledging, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father.” The Lord Jesus claims that he has less knowledge than the Father, and so can he be as much God as his Father? Surely this is the inevitable inference we have to make. Then are we mistaken in worshipping someone who is less than God? This is the accusation the Jehovah’s Witnesses make about us. Let us put the evidence together. There can be no more important subject for men and women to consider anywhere in the entire universe today than this theme. Who is Jesus Christ? Who is God? Our own burdens and the problems we have brought with us to this gathering will surely shrink when our minds understand Jesus Christ more.

1. JESUS CHRIST IS GOD THE SON.

Let’s look together at some of the verses that teach this truth unequivocally. It is early on in the sermon and you are all alert so you will have enough energy to turn to some of these basic passages with me. You will need to know these kinds of verses when a couple of Jehovah Witnesses knock on your door. “I believe that Jesus Christ is God,” you will say. When they scorn him then you can point to these verses – just note them for now; Romans 9:5, “from them [that is, the Jews] is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.” Titus 2:13, “we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Hebrews 1:8, “But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.'” 2 Peter 1:1 “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours.” Then you think how the gospel of John begins with the words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It virtually ends with Thomas falling at the feet of Christ and saying to him, “My Lord and my God.”

You are not persuaded by all that evidence? You’d like it even more plainly than that. You say that you would believe in the deity of Christ if the New Testament said about the Lord Jesus, “He is the true God”? All right let us look at the last verses of the first epistle of John, I John 5:20, “We are in him who is true – even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” You remember that John and Peter had followed Jesus for three years, almost day and night. You remember that they were young men raised in Jewish monotheism. Yet they were totally convinced that there was only one living and true God. These men who had seen Christ eyeball to eyeball were sure that, “He is the true God.”

Why? They discovered that they had been subtly prepared for this by the Old Testament, that it spoke of the promised Messiah coming and Isaiah prophesied that his name would be the Wonderful Counsellor and the Mighty God (Isa. 9:6). Then they saw the things Jesus did. He stilled the storm at sea with a word; he multiplied loaves and fishes to feed 5,000 men; he changed water into wine. What he did to the waterpots in the wedding of Cana in Galilee was not a conjuring trick, it “manifested his glory.” The calm he suddenly created on the sea made his disciples ask one another, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey him?” In that action we see the omnipotence of God. Jesus also asserts his eternity when he says, “Before Abraham was, I am” (Jn. 8:58). He claims that he is everywhere present, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them,” and he told his disciples, “I am with you always, to the close of this age”. So here is omnipresence too. Jesus also claims immortality – the inability to die. He says to the Jews, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:17&18). Later he says to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). Then he delivers from death Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter, and on the third day he is raised. He has that immortality which God alone has.

But it is this divine attribute of knowing everything that particularly fascinates us in the light of the words of our text. Nothing is a mystery to God. He knew us before the foundation of the world and when he put us together in our mother’s womb. Nothing is hidden to him; he knows the size and details of every atom, and all the movements of this vast universe. He is ignorant of nothing. Jesus knew what people were thinking. He could see Nathaniel under the fig tree from far away, as if I could see someone at this moment sitting on a bench near the castle. He knew from the first who would believe and who would betray him. We are told in John 2:25, that Jesus “knew all men and needed no one to bear witness of man.” So no one coming to Jesus was a stranger. He never spoke to a stranger. He knew that the woman of Samaria had had five husbands. He knew everyone in his congregations. He knew what they were thinking and so he prepared and shaped and applied his sermon to them accordingly. He knew, long before he reached Bethany, that Lazarus had died there. He knew that inside the mouth of a certain fish there would be a coin sufficient to pay temple tax. He knew that there was a vast shoal of fish under the surface on one side of the boat. He knew that when the disciples went to look for a room in which to hold the Passover they would meet a man carrying a jug of water (Mk. 14:30). His disciples came to see this; they said to him one day, “Now we know that you know all things” (John 16:30), and Peter’s last words to him were, “Lord you know everything; you know that I love you” (John 16:30).

There cannot be two Gods can there? “Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God!” So here is a man who has the divine attributes of omnipotence, omnipresence, immortality and omniscience. Those who knew him best acknowledged him to be God, their Lord and their God. They worshipped him. They were under an obligation to worship him, as we are. If he is not God we dare not worship him. If he is not God our worship is idolatry. It is blasphemy. That is why the church father Athanasius felt that the church was fighting for its life over the doctrine of the deity of Christ, and what was at stake was not a mere dogma but the future of Christianity itself. “Do you want us to go back to paganism?” Athanasius asked the early Christians. “Do you want us to be worshipping demi-gods?” We worship Christ as the living and true God. We adore him and praise him and pray to him because we are assured that he is our Creator, the one in whom we live and move and have our being. So that is my first point, that Jesus Christ is God the Son.

2. CHRIST HAD TAKEN A HUMAN BODY AND SOUL.

John begins his gospel by telling us that in the beginning was the Word, and that the Word was with God and the Word was God. Then he says that that eternal divine Word was made flesh and lived amongst us. He was never made God because he always was God, but he was made flesh at one particular, decisive moment. The Holy Spirit’s overshadowing; the virgin’s conception. The Father was not made flesh, and the Spirit was not made flesh; only the Son of God, but he took a real body, three-dimensional, historical, touchable, visible, woundable flesh and blood. When a soldier thrust a spear into him out flowed blood and water. That doesn’t happen to ghosts or apparitions. Two things:

i] So the Lord Jesus took a human body which had exactly the same biochemical composition as our own. He took the same anatomy and physiology. You see these scientific pop-up books that show the human body, the skin, ears, eyes and mouth. Then you go underneath to the arteries and veins, the brain and the nervous system, heart, lungs, stomach, bowels, muscles, ligaments, bones and marrow. All that constitutes the body of any person was possessed by Jesus of Nazareth. He was the proper man, a true man, the archetypal man, God’s great definition of a man. As a man he had the same sensitivity to pain as any of us, and the same genetic composition but with a specific code peculiar to him as an individual.

In that body he took the form of a servant. From eternity he had been the Son, but when he was made flesh he becomes a servant, under the divine law, bound to obey, charged with a work given him to do, threatened with the direst consequences for himself and all connected with him if his obedience faltered. He became a slave to God; a man without rights; a non-person. He couldn’t turn to the soldiers who were crucifying him and cry indignantly, “Do you know who I am?” Jesus of Nazareth looked just like a man, and nothing but a man in a low condition, his social class and rank was that of a servant. There was no divine glow shining from him, no halo hovering above him. Men and women looked at him and all they saw was a mere man; there was nothing to distinguish him from the appearance of anyone else. Not a head turned as he took a pot to the Nazareth well for his mother. He looked utterly ordinary.

And in that body the man Christ Jesus lived and died. He obeyed his Father even to laying down his life – it was all in the covenant before he ever entered the world. He walked towards death choosing it and tasting it, deciding not to be its master but its victim, accepting a destiny according to which it would be a sin for him not to die. He must suffer. Death was obedience. Not dying was disobedience. “Besides, it is death in its most aggravated form, not merely because the cross involved indescribable physical pain, but because in his case it was the occasion, the instrument and the symbol of the curse due to sin. He experienced death unmitigated and unqualified: death with the sting; a death without light, comfort or encouragement. The long, long journey from Caesarea Philippi to Calvary was a journey into a black hole involving not only physical and emotional pain but a spiritual desertion beyond our imagining. In his agony, he would cry and not be heard. He would lose all sense of his divine sonship. He would lose all sense of his Father’s love. Into that tiny space (his body, outside Jerusalem) and into that fraction of time (the ninth hour, on Good Friday) God gathered the sin of the world; and there and then, in the flesh of his own Son, he condemned it (Rom.8:3). On that cross, at its darkest point, the Son knew himself only as sin and his Father only as its avenger. Here was a singularity. The Logos, the ground of all law, became lawlessness, speechless in a darkness beyond reason. He so renounced his rights that he died; and he so made himself nothing that he died that death. He did not shrink from the connection with flesh. When a second great step was called for, he shuddered, yet resolutely accepted the connection with death. He became flesh, then went deeper, tasting death.” (Donald Macleod, “The Person of Christ”, IVP Leicester, 1998, p.217). We sin in the body; he made atonement in the body.

ii] The Lord Jesus also took an ordinary human psychology. He took to himself ‘a reasonable soul’, says the Shorter Catechism. In other words, he took a human mind and he had to reason in a human way, to gather information, to store it and organise it. He learned Scripture; he meditated on it and then he used it in a time of testing. It was his sword of the Spirit. He accumulated common sense observing the world around him, seeing how families behave, listening to his mother. He wasn’t ignorant of anything he ought to have known.

He manifest a whole range of human emotions; he rejoiced and wept and showed compassion, love and fear. He was no robot, and not a stoic. He never had to confess to God saying, “Sorry, because today I cried,” or that he had been overwhelmed with horror. All human beings respond like that and he was a real person all right.

Jesus also had relationships. There was never a time when he would say, “I’m not in a relationship now.” He was always in a relationship – with his mother and father and siblings. Then he chose twelve to be with him; he was particularly close to three of them and one man he loved deeply. He was more at home in John’s company, more relaxed with him. He loved children, some of his younger brothers and sisters would have been teenagers, and he felt spontaneous affection for the man we call the rich young ruler. He could have avoided a lot of pain if he had not been in relationships but that was impossible with him. He couldn’t be a loner. He loved and that made him vulnerable. His betrayal was by the lips of a friend kissing his cheek. He knew human treachery and infidelity and loneliness because he loved.

This is how Jesus Christ is presented to us in the Bible as the God-man, the second person of the Godhead who was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. He had a real human body and a real human psychology while all the time he remained God the Son.

3. CHRIST THE GOD-MAN DID NOT KNOW ALL THINGS.

So, the New Testament is teaching us that there are two natures in this one person, Jesus Christ. He is God and he is man. There are some things that his divine nature does but his human nature cannot do such things, and vice versa. For example, the human nature of Christ is at this moment in heaven while the divine nature of Christ is here and also wherever two or three people meet in his name. So we say that Christ is in heaven and we also say Christ is with us on earth.

We say that Christ was about thirty years old in his human nature, but in his divine nature he is the Everlasting Father of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke. We say that in his human nature Jesus was weak, and thirsty, overwhelmed with foreboding; he bled and died, but as God he was almighty. We say that as a man he slept on a pillow in the boat in the storm because he was so weary, but as God he spoke to the elements and calmed the winds and waves. But let us magnify that distinction even more and say that when he lay in the manger in the Bethlehem stable as a human being he was also at that very time the divine one upholding all the universe by the word of his power. And those very claims we have to make about his condition even before his birth, at every stage of embryonic development before that. As a real man he was helpless and developing in the womb, but at that same time as God he was also ruling from Mary’s womb over the cosmos. The message of the angel to the shepherds was this, “to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.” He was not potentially Jehovah in his mother’s womb, nor when he was at her breast, nor as a 12 year old child in Jerusalem. He was always the mighty God, yet he was always a true human being at the same time.

So Jesus Christ has two natures, divine and human, and so he has two intelligences, and two centres of consciousness, and two wills, one was finite and the other was infinite. In his divine will he knew as much as God knew, whereas in his human will he had limited knowledge and he needed to grow in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man. His divine will was always omniscient, but with his human will he didn’t know everything. Humanness cannot be omniscient. The human brain of Christ was limited like the amount of blood that flowed in the veins of Christ was limited. I occasionally say that you could hold the human brain of Christ in the palms of your hands. But how different the mind of Almighty God! It is infinite. It is vaster than the universe. It considers the whole creation to be a speck. It will not be confined within the human brain of Christ; that could never encompass the infinite mind of God. Let me use an illustration of Wayne Grudem: “At this point an analogy from our human experience may be somewhat helpful. Anyone who has run in a race knows that near the end of the race there are conflicting desires within. On the one hand, the runner’s lungs and legs and arms seem to he crying out, ‘Stop! Stop!’ There is a clear desire to stop because of the physical pain. On the other hand, something in the runner’s mind says, ‘Go on! Go on! I want to win!’ We have all known similar instances of conflicting desires within. Now if we, being ordinary human beings, can have differing or distinct desires within us and yet be one person, how much more possible is that for one who was both man and God at the same time? If we say we don’t understand how that could be, we simply admit our ignorance of the situation, for none of us has ever experienced what it is like to be both God and man at the same time, nor will we ever have such an experience ourselves. We should not say it is impossible, but, if we are convinced that New Testament texts lead us to this conclusion, we should accept it and agree with it” (Wayne Grudem, “Systematic Theology”, IVP, Leicester, 1994, p.561).

So here is Jesus Christ the God-man and in his eternal nature he comprehended everything. He knew when he would return to earth with all his holy angels. He knew all about the beginning of creation and all about the end and the judgment, when, where, why, how – he understood it all. God had given all things into his hands. God had hidden nothing from him. All that the Father had he had given to his Son, and the Son knew everything about God, even the secret things weren’t secret to the divine nature of Christ. He knew God exhaustively. There wasn’t one thing of which his Father told the Son of God, “I’m not telling you that.” God the Son knew the time – the hour and the very minute the trumpet would be sounded by the angel. The angels didn’t know; Michael and Gabriel were in the dark; they were mere angels, but Jesus knew in his divine nature. However he is teaching us here that as man he knew only what God was pleased to make known to him. Like us he needed food and drink; he needed the stimulation of other people around him, and he needed God to make himself known to him.

He said to Peter on one occasion, “Blessed are you Simon bar Jonah for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father in heaven” Peter had received new insight and new understanding and it was because God had shown him that Jesus was the Messiah. His grasp of God was all because of sheer vertical sovereign grace. The Lord Jesus himself also needed knowledge from God day by day, but you see the difference between him and ourselves? We have a veil of sin that the light of God needs to penetrate to illuminate our minds. No such veil hung over Jesus’ mind! His intellect was perfectly attuned to the divine. Our minds are like rusty cups and the pure word from God comes into them and we contaminate the divine revelation! How different was Jesus. His mind was as pure as God’s himself and so the word came to him and it was understood and received. It sanctified him in growing understanding and greater obedience as new tougher challenges came to our Saviour as the cross loomed up ahead.

So Christ was not ashamed as a baby to cry for milk, as a man to sleep out of weariness, when dying to shout “I thirst,” or in this case to confess, “I don’t know.” He is showing us that God truly was made flesh, the Almighty was made weak, the omnipresent God became limited to one time and one place, the upholder of all things needed to be carried by his mother, the sustainer of the universe became dependent. God became man. Jesus Christ took on all the attributes of man sin excepted. I am saying to you that the ignorance was as real as the weakness, and the weariness, and the sleep. Let me clarify this confession of ignorance; I need to make two or three points as clearly as I can:

i] Jesus Christ our Mediator was never ignorant of anything he ought to have known.

Every human being has limited knowledge. We cannot escape from that. The Lord Jesus was not sinfully ignorant. There was nothing he should have known, but he didn’t. You know that ignorance of the law is no excuse for lawbreaking. If you plead that you did not see a road sign then the magistrate will tell you that you should have made it your business to keep your eyes open and look out for it. That is judged to be sinful ignorance. So too God will judge people who didn’t come to hear the word of God, and refused to read the Bible, and would not pay attention to the witness of Christians. Their ignorance of the Saviour is a culpable ignorance. They should have known.

Christ as a human being grew in wisdom. He learned from his mother and his father and his synagogue and his reading and his observation of life around him, but there was much he did not know as a real man. However, everything he needed to know as our Mediator he knew. Let me express it like this, that everything all of us in this congregation, or any congregation, would ever need to know he knew. God did not tell him about the Welsh language, or about the one-way road system of Aberystwyth today century would be like. He did not know about the Incas or about nuclear physics or even from our text the precise day when the world as we know it would end. The man Christ Jesus did not need to know about that sort of thing. But God shared with him as much about the mystery of redemption as Jesus needed to know as our prophet, priest and king. The Spirit showed him day by day all he had to receive. What God gave him depended on his developing capacities and the various needs of the hour, especially as the cross grew near. Christ did not know all that was to be involved in his death until the Father put that cup in his hand and he saw what he had to drink. He knew that it would be violent and cruel and a cross but he was not aware of all the suffering he would have to endure. But the date of the second coming was not revealed to him for this reason – you and I have no need to know it. It would not help our earthly pilgrimage, and so Jesus our Lord was not told the time. It had no bearing on how we would live, on our devotion, or on our living.

ii] Jesus Christ our Mediator had to save us within the limitations of his human body.

God chose not to send a mighty spirit to redeem us. He did not send an impregnable robo-messiah. He sent a man, the last Adam, the son of Abraham, of the line of David to redeem the fallen sons of Adam. Jesus had to accomplish our redemption with the limitations of a body in a weak condition, in a fallen world, with the limitations of a human mind. There was a time when the Devil came to Jesus in the wilderness and tempted him to turn the stones into bread. “Let your omnipotence cut short the discomfort of prayer and fasting for forty days. A man has a right to live doesn’t he? Then turn these stones to bread and all your pain will go.” That was the temptation. “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” Jesus told the devil. We live by knowing and doing God’s will. There are no short cuts or instant answers to overcoming temptation.

The man Christ Jesus did not know that date of the second coming. He had to trust God that it would be at the best divine time. What our text is doing so brilliantly is underlining the reality of the incarnation. Our Saviour is a man with the limitations of every human being. Throughout his life Jesus had to obey God without p ossessing all the facts. He had to trust his Father without having the full information. No doubt there is great comfort in knowing everything, but God didn’t tell Jesus everything. On Golgotha it was tough; the darkness, the suffering, the dereliction, the weight of our sin, and asking God why, and getting no answer. On the cross he had no assurance that his Father loved him; he had no sense that he was the beloved Son of God; the certainty of victory over sin was eclipsed. He had to show his obedience by walking in darkness knowing that God had banished him there. Jesus didn’t have all the answers. He shouts ‘Why?’ into the silence. That was the reality for Jesus. It was not a pose or a stunt; it was fearfully real, and he had chosen that way of redeeming us and stuck to it, just as he didn’t choose to call for twelve legions of angels. It would have been a luxury for the man Christ Jesus to know everything, but he was saving poor sinners who all would come to say, “Nothing in our hands we bring,” and it became their Saviour also to serve God and save them with the limitations of human weakness.

iii] Jesus Christ was limited in knowledge but not fallible in his knowledge.

In other words there were no mistaken notions that Jesus held. I speak as a fallible human being. That does not mean that everything I say contains errors. We can all make 100% technically correct statements. Human beings write the manuals that accompany the electronic equipment we buy and often those manuals contain no mistakes. They are written by men, but they are completely true. If there is an error discovered then it is corrected. Principal Macleod talks of the football results that are announced every Saturday afternoon which are invariably correct. Fallible human beings have phoned the results through to fallible secretaries who have written them down, and another fallible announcer has read them out, but they are invariably correct. Because something comes though a person who does not know everything it does not mean that whatever he says is erroneous.

Let us believe that as Jesus grew up he would have been told a great deal about the world he lived in, why it snowed, where disease came from, monsters of the deep, and the nature of the human brain, and let us presume that Jesus reserved a lot of judgment about the theories of the children of his age. He never spoke on such matters. Maybe Jesus knew that he didn’t know about nuclear fusion, nor about black holes, nor about the world wide web, nor about DNA. He didn’t need to know about them, and he said nothing for or against modern scientific theories, but all that he did pronounce on was true. Every word. That is his challenge, not that he didn’t know some things but what he did know, and what he knows today about you, and your soul. Are you going to say that you’ll never listen to anything your teachers say because they don’t know everything? Of course not, because then you will never learn a thing. You will listen to the truths that they teach and act upon them. Albert Einstein never knew a single word of Welsh, yet I will still hand my mind over to him to be taught physics. And I will hand my heart over to Jesus for him to inform me all he knows. It does not matter that the man Christ Jesus was not omniscient and that he was mortal and thirsty and weary and grew weak and died. The Son of God Christ Jesus knows everything. It is what Jesus plainly teaches I need to learn and act upon

Jesus Christ was the great prophet that God had sent into the world in a very special way, via the womb of the virgin Mary to become bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. He couldn’t know everything as a man, even though he did know everything as God, but as the God-man he daily depended upon his Father making known to him all that he needed to know to save all his people from their sin. God was his Father, and no prophet could say that. The Spirit was his Spirit, and no prophet could say that. If you learn from prophets then surely you will learn from this great Saviour, the man Christ Jesus.

iv] God the Father knew the time when Christ would return.

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (v.32). Christ is not fretting here that he doesn’t know how long he must build his church, pour out the Spirit upon her, defend her against the gates of hell, and intercede for his people. He is contented to know that his Father knows. He trusted in God. Even his enemies had to acknowledge that. “He trusted in God that he would deliver him!” they cried in derision as he hung on the cross. Day by day he trusted in God as we must.

“What if tomorrow’s cares were here without its rest?
I’d rather He unlocked the day,
And as the hours swing open say
My will is best.” (Joseph Parker, 1830-1902)

God knows our entire futures and he has made clear the unavoidable journey’s end. The Son of God is coming again to this world, coming in splendour and majesty, coming with all his holy angels, coming to raise the dead and gather the whole world before him, coming to separate men and women into sheep and goats, coming to set up the eternal state. That is the future of the world. That is your unavoidable future. God knows when that event will be. It is part of his great plan for the universe. The apostle Paul stood in Athens before the philosophers there and he preached about Jesus Christ and the resurrection. He concluded his sermon with these words, “Now he [God] commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:30&31). His hearers were obsessed with a fear of death. Some believed that one age would follow another in cycles. Some of them believed that one day the world would reach some Utopia, but for the Christian what lies ahead is a day, the day of judgment for a moral universe. God has set a day, and he who has providentially blessed all men will then call men to give an account. The Creator will show that he is also Judge, and he will judge with justice, Paul says. He is not some benevolent grandfather who, because he has no ultimate responsibility for his grandchildren turns a blind eye to their misdemeanours gaining in popularity but losing in respect. The universe is ruled by the God who is light, that is, he is uncompromisingly righteous, and so for the events of this great day we know, “the judge of all the earth will do right.”

God will do right with every one of us. He will bring every fact into consideration. He will know your privileges and knowledge and the pressures you have been under, but he will want to know what you have been doing with his Son, Jesus Christ. Judgment will be by that man, not by angels but by God in Christ, but the one who suffered and was tried and died. This must lie before us. The certainty of it is Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

How will the judgment be with you? Will you plead that you didn’t trust in Jesus because he didn’t as a man know everything? No. No one will make that excuse. God will examine us, “What have you done with the warnings I brought you, the promises I offered you, the redemption I accomplished? Did you cry to me to apply it to your life and save you?” How will we answer then? How do we answer now?

27th February 2005 GEOFF THOMAS