Back to one of my favourite chapters of scripture today – Isaiah 40. I've been trying to put down on cyber-paper my thoughts and insights and you can click on the Commentaries category to read the 1st four installments. Today we hit verse 5 which holds the most wonderful truth for those who believe and will herald in the most terrible eternity for those who do not…
v5 "And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
It's the middle part of the verse that grabs me – "all mankind together" will see it. I don't know what sort of an picture that paints for you. I think of the good old disaster movie and those images of people huddling together to see the big wave fast approaching or the enormous asteroid hurtling towards them. The people stop in their tracks and look together. All walks of life stop whatever they are doing and stand as one. And that is what I think of when I read "all mankind together".
It doesn't matter what you do or where you are from. It won't matter if you're poor, rich, black, white, American, Iraqi, male or female – all will stop and all will see the glory of the Lord being revealed.
And what will that mean? For those who know Jesus, for those who have chosen to follow him as their Lord, for those who have walked under the banner of his Name it will be a wonderful moment as Christ comes to claim his bride the Church and take her away for all eternity. But for those who refused Jesus, for those who put off a decision, for those who never reached out to accept the love and the mercy of the Father – there will never be a darker day.
They will enter an eternity without God, not in ignorance, but from that last moment in the full knowledge of the truth – for "all mankind together will see."
The parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46) to my mind and the thought of Jesus separating out the people. Such a contrast in his words and tone!
To the sheep: "come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world…"
To the goats: "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…"
I think of family and friends who haven't chosen Jesus and I don't want them to see Jesus on that day and be terrified. I want them to hear the trumpets and turn and look with broad smiles, tears of joy in their eyes, and with a resounding cry of Hallelujah, know that their Lord and King has returned!
Let's not give up on anyone with the Gospel. Where we can speak, let us speak with boldness and clarity. And where words have not been successful, let us show with our lives and through our characters that Jesus is King of our hearts.
Not to get all heavy and down – I rejoice that I'm a sheep, found by the Shepherd and I look forward to that great day with all the Church, the bride in preparation saying "Amen. Come Lord Jesus." But today's encouragement – remember the lost and reach out, keep reaching out!
It's when we realise what a great and terrible day it will be when Jesus returns, that we will start to understand why there is such rejoicing in the heavens over one sinner who receives Christ!