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Week #45 – The Last will be First, the First will be Last!

Luke 13:26-30 – “Then you will say, `We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

“But he will reply, `I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Our Lord has just declared to those who were pleading for the door to be opened to them, “I don’t know you or where you come from.”  Jesus then personalized it even more with these words, “Then YOU will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’” The implication is that, surely you MUST know us and where we come from!  We sat at the same table and went to the same church!  I was right there when you were teaching!  You HAVE to know ME!  These are desperate thoughts and words that are earnest for acceptance and recognition.  BUT!  There is a BIG PROBLEM!  He will reply, “I don’t know you or where you come from.”  Apparently the One who makes the decision on opening and closing the door has a different opinion or definition of “knowing” than these people have.  It must mean something more than just eating together, or sitting under His teaching.  2 Timothy 2:19says, “The Lord knows those that are His,” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”  If we are really the Lord’s, it will be evident in our actions!  Our hearts will desire to apply His instruction and turn from wickedness.  Jesus knows those who come from this motive.  We could even say that, those who come from this motive are KNOWN BY HIM!

“Away from me, all you evildoers!”  Wow!  He really DOES KNOW them, but the way in which He knows them IS NOT ACCEPTING!  You may have sat at table with Him, and you may have heard His teaching, but you never embraced HIM OR HIS TEACHING!  Your heart was far from Him!  You were bent on your own thing, and, if your own thing isn’t HIS THING then it is EVIL!  You might say, “I thought Christ loves us all unconditionally.  How does this fit with that understanding?”  IT DOESN’T!  It’s true that God loves us and receives us just the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way!  His love for us ought to motivate us to love Him!  OUR love for HIM and for HIS righteousness is transformational.  It moves us from wickedness (self-serving) to righteousness (God-honoring).  It moves us from disobedience to God’s laws and precepts, to obedience and reverence for His commands and statutes.  The Lord KNOWS these hearts!  All others are evildoers that must be sent packing when the door has been shut!  No sin and wickedness can enter there!

“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Remorse will come too late for such as these!  The opportunity for repentance and truly getting to know and love the Lord will be past!  To have ruined this day of opportunity will result in weeping tears of regret and sorrow!  Now the lights are on bright!  In the Day of Judgment people will plainly face what they ought to have faced when they had the opportunity!  Not only will there be weeping and remorse, there will be gnashing of teeth!  Why?  “When you see…” others in the kingdom but you are thrown out!  Others were given entrance but you weren’t!  People who believed like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets came through the door when the opportunity was given, but you didn’t!  And, there will be others that you felt superior to whom you will see feasting in the kingdom, but you will not be there!  There will be gnashing of teeth!  There will be weeping and regret!  “Indeed, there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

 

Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.

Friday: Pray for the families of the week: Mike & Megan Murano (Emily, Noah, Avi, Jacob, Fynn), Dave Prevosti (Georgianna, Noah), Jim & Dina Priester (A.J., Allison, Sammy).

Saturday: Seek God with all of your heart while you may.

Sunday: Attend the House of Worship, ready to HEAR God’s Word and put it into practice.

Monday: Give thanks for God’s promise of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday: Allow God’s Word to bring you to faith and repentance!

Wednesday: Make salvation the most important thing – for you and others!

 

Prayer Challenge  Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. – Ephesians 5:1-16

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