Probably the most neglected teaching of Jesus is what He has to say about hell and eternal punishment. But the most underestimated feeling of Jesus is His attitude toward sin today. Equally overlooked is His present opinion of what is going on in His church.
In this generation of “What’s in it for me?” we tend to see Jesus as we want Him to be—kind, loving, gentle, humble, meek, fully human and lowly—mirroring the Father’s tenderness. Yes, you can be sure He is all these things. But He is equally impartial, fearless, fully aware, observant, changeless, fully God and mirrors the Father’s wrath.
This surprises some people. It shouldn’t. The same Jesus who chased the money changers out of the temple with a whip—showing His anger toward abuse of worship (John 2:13-16; Mark 11:15-17)—is the one John saw on the Isle of Patmos who had eyes like “blazing fire” and feet like “bronze glowing in a furnace” (Rev. 1:14-15). Jesus Christ is the same “yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). Also often forgotten are the words of this same Jesus from the right hand of God to the seven churches in Asia (see Rev. 2:5, 16, 22; 3:1-3, 16).
These observations of Jesus show us how aware He is of what is going on in His church on the earth. He knows everything. The book of Revelation, among other things, unveils how Jesus feels about what us going on in His church,
Do not forget also the way in which our Lord Jesus Christ revealed His total awareness, sympathy and approval of what was going on in parts of His church. These words also show not only that Jesus knows everything, but also that He is aware of our faithfulness (see Rev. 2:2-3, 9-10, 13, 19; Rev. 3:4. 3:8-11, 19).
I wonder how many times I have seen people whom I admired but never connected with a vision of Jesus in order to know God’s opinion of them. Countless people, of course, thousands, tens of thousands, maybe even millions. If God were pleased to do so, He would let me discern His opinion of every person I run into! I suppose some prophetic people have this gift. God has mercifully chosen not to let me have visions like this in over 60 years.
But the truth is He has an opinion of every single person I meet. Every person I see at a distance, shake hands with or get close to. Yes, God has an opinion of every one of them. It is possible that I have had many friends whom Jesus’ face would reveal disapproval of. It is also possible I have enemies who would have His approval. It is surely good that He has not let me see His opinion. It would give me information I could probably not cope with. But the fact remains, God does have an opinion about every person. What is more, what matters is not how people are regarded by us here on earth but how they are regarded by God in heaven.
Here is the most disquieting news of all. One day, God will reveal His opinion of every single one of us. “He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart” (1 Cor. 4:5b, NIV).
The word “praise” or “honor” in John 5:44 comes from the Greek word doxa—from which we get the doxology: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” The root word for doxa means “opinion.” That gets to the heart of the meaning: God’s glory is His opinion. If we want the honor of God, we must esteem His opinion more than the praise of people.
Prayer Power for the Week of July 21, 2019
This week, continue to pursue God, surrender everything to Him and determine to bring Him the honor and glory due His name. Continue to pray for revival in our churches that would overflow to the nation and the world. Pray for our president and those working with him to ensure peace, freedom and prosperity in our country. Remember our allies, and continue to pray for those serving our nation as first responders and military personnel. Read: 2 Chronicles 7:14.