Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 16 No. 3 March 2014
Page 6

After That Comes Judgment

Robert Johnson

Robert JohnsonSteve Jobs died October 5, 2011. While some people may not know who he was, most of the world remembers him as the cofounder of Apple Computer and the driving force behind such products as the Mac, iPod, iPad and iPhone. His influence, along with that of Bill Gates, who was the driving force behind Microsoft until his retirement, established the computer age and popularized technology among the masses. Apple under his direction became the largest technology company in the world (based on revenue and profit). While some thought of him as hard to work with and overbearing, others idolized him.

Yet, like every other human being, he has died. While many now mourn his passing, with time life goes on, his company will go on, and his accomplishments become a memory. This is true of all human beings. How many people have passed through this existence, some unknown in popular culture, others famous, only to be forgotten with time? The inspired words of James are proven true time and again; “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). This reality also brings to mind another sobering Scripture; “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Winston Churchill’s last words, before slipping into a coma and dying 9 days later, seem to summarize how many people feel about life; “I’m bored with it all.” So what really matters in life? If there is a day of judgment, then living for eternity is what matters most of all. Judgment will not be based on how famous one is, the amount of money accumulated in life or all the physical experiences in which one engaged. What matters is being in Christ and living for Christ. To the Galatians Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). To the Colossians he wrote, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:2-4).

As Paul was under house arrest in Rome, contemplating what the outcome of his circumstances would be, he told the congregation in Philippi, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Christ and His will are to be our focus in all our relationships, our work, our recreation, our everything. We live by spiritual principles because only the spiritual will endure beyond this life. Unlike the popular view that almost everyone goes to heaven, it is the one who lives by the will of God that enters the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21). To have lived only for self will bring the greatest disappointment when one enters eternity. To have lived for Christ will bring the greatest joy.

In his day and time, Solomon was one of the greatest people to live. In the Book of Ecclesiastes, he wrote of his life’s experiences and reminds us that, without God as an integral part of life, life is vanity, absolute futility (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Instead, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). This must be our goal. No matter what the world may think of anyone, time will pass on and people will be forgotten, but not by God. What matters most is, in the end, to hear “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21).

Let’s Look at the Lord’s Supper!

Mark N. Posey

Mark N. PoseyThe Lord’s Supper is an integral part of Christian worship; it causes us to remember our Lord’s death and look for His glorious return.

We look backward to the cross (1 Corinthians 11:24, “Do this in remembrance of me”). The Lord’s Supper is a memorial supper, a ceremony of remembrance. When we partake of the unleavened bread, we remember that Christ’s body was cruelly treated and nailed to the cross. When we partake of the fruit of the vine, we remember that the blood of Christ was poured out of his body. His body and blood were a sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 10:19-20).

We look outward to the lost (1 Corinthians 11:26, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death…”). When we assemble to partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are making a statement that Christ died for the world, and we set an example to all those who observe us keeping our weekly appointment with the Lord at His table. This includes the lost. Going to the Supper is preaching by example. Anyone can preach Christ in this manner (Colossians 4:5).

We look forward to eternity (1 Corinthians 11:26, “…eat this bread and drink this cup… till he come”). For each of us individually, “till he comes” means “the coming of Christ.” Thus, the hymn writer called it “the little while between.” We know that eternity could be upon any one of us at any moment either by death or by the Lord’s return. The Lord’s Supper week by week helps us stay focused on the real purpose of this short life (James 4:14; Revelation 3:3).

We look inward to ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:28, “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup”). We are to partake of the Lord’s Supper in a spirit of self-examination. When we examine ourselves honestly, we find ourselves unrighteous without Christ, and greatly in need of the sacrifice He made. We see His death as our life. The Lord’s Supper encourages us to rededicate ourselves to being crucified with Christ and letting Him live in us (Romans 12:3; Galatians 2:20).

We look upward to the glorious Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23, “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you.” 1 Corinthians 11:29, “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body”). Paul communicated the message of God. Therefore, we must judge Christ’s body rightly when we recognize that Christ in the flesh was killed as a sacrifice for sin, He was then raised up from the dead, and He later ascended into heaven and was glorified (Acts 2:23-24). He lives and reigns as Lord in glory today (Acts 3:13). At the Lord’s Table, we eat unleavened bread and drink fruit of the vine in recognition and discernment of these truths.

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