Devotional: October 24th
It is surely an erroneous supposition for humans to think or to believe that death will transform our attitude and dispositions. This is what I mean: if in this life we are not really comfortable talking and singing about heaven and its joy, I doubt that death will transform us into enthusiasts! If the worship and adoration of God are tedious now, they will be tedious also after the hour of death. I do not know that God is going to force any of us into His heaven. I doubt that He will say to any of us, "You were never very interested in worshiping Me while you were on earth, but in heaven I am going to make that your greatest interest and your ceaseless occupation." Controversial" Perhaps, but in the heavenly scene John describes, the living creatures crying "Holy, holy, holy!" rest neither day nor night. My fear is that too many of God's professing people down here are resting far too often between their efforts to praise and glorify the living God!
The Bible was called forth by the moral emergency occasioned by the fall of man. It is the voice of God calling men home from the wilds of sin; it is a road map for returning prodigals; it is instruction in righteousness, light in darkness, information about God and man and life and death and heaven and hell. In it God warns, commands, rebukes, promises, encourages. In it He offers salvation and life through His Eternal Son. And the destiny of each one depends upon the response he or she makes to the voice of the Word.
Because the Bible is the kind of book it is there can be no place for the detached, appraising attitude in our approach to it. ''O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.'' God's Word is not to be enjoyed as one might enjoy a Beethoven symphony or a poem by Wordsworth. It demands immediate action, faith, surrender, committal. Until it has secured these it has done nothing positive for the reader, but it has increased his responsibility and deepened the judgment that must follow.
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