I am starting the new year contemplating the scariest verse in the Bible as we move through the third week of January. How we are this far into January is beyond me.
Anyway, Happy New Year! I hope you had a merry Christmas and an enjoyable holiday season. I wrote a blog post at the beginning of December and edited it to apply to the second week in December, but I never published or sent it. All the chaos from Big Bro’s mess overwhelmed the entire month and finally ended just before Christmas. Then I could finally rest and recover a bit that last week of December. It’s incredible how our bodies seem to know when it’s time to rest.
During the brief season of rest, God brought many verses and messages to mind encouraging me to leave the past behind. Reliving and dwelling on the past would not be helpful. Instead, God was clear it was time to leave the past behind and prepare to move forward. Those verses and messages have been beneficial in not getting stuck over what we went through as a family, and God has been gracious to keep reminding me of all the ways I saw His hand in it all. Remembrance is what got me through those last hurdles.
But God has also put something else on my mind as I began to look ahead. It’s a sobering thought in the form of a question that comes from contemplating what I see as the scariest verse in the Bible.
Are you ready for the Lord to return?
The moment He does, it’s too late to believe and enter eternal life. Written in red because they are words spoken by Jesus himself, is the scariest verse in the Bible. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus is teaching the crowds and says,
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
His words reveal it is possible to think we’re saved and living for the Lord while missing the most important part- knowing the Lord and having a relationship with Him. If that does not stop you in your tracks and make you consider your faith, I am not sure what will. The thought of living my life for the Lord, thinking I am saved and spending eternity with him and rescued from hell, only to end up in hell anyway when it’s too late, makes my blood run cold.
Why does the scariest verse in the Bible matter?
The words of Jesus, written in red, matter because they determine where we’ll spend eternity.
Having a relationship with the creator of the universe is the thing that sets Christianity apart from other religions. Nothing we can do will save us. We can’t work our way into heaven. Only a relationship where we walk and talk with the Lord while seeking His face above all else will do. That’s the only way for Him to know us.
We need to want the Lord more than we want what he’ll do for us or the benefits of our faith.
God sent Jesus to die because He loved the world. He wanted heaven to be filled with the people he created, but humankind needed to be redeemed after Adam and Eve’s sin. Jesus died to redeem humankind and make eternity in heaven possible for us. Then sent the Holy Spirit to counsel and guide us. Just as he walked and talked with the disciples, just like we walk and talk with a friend, so He will walk and talk with us.
In a way, it’s a mystery. Until God allows you to understand it, it will remain a mystery. I never understood it myself until I began experiencing Him speaking to me through His word and other people.
The answer to the scariest verse in the Bible.
I hope the mystery has also been revealed to you, but if it hasn’t, don’t lose heart. The fact that you desire a relationship with Him and are questioning this means that He is already calling you. Just make prayer and Bible reading a priority. Intentionally seek Him. In Luke 11, Jesus says,
“…ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Luke 11: 9-10
He also says that He won’t turn away those who come to Him. Intentionally knock, seek, and ask.
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
If the Lord has called your name, He will reveal Himself to you and initiate a relationship. The Bible says His voice is still and small. It instructs us to be still and know He is God. It takes intentionality on our part to slow down and enter into the relationship He’s calling us into with Him.
Once you experience a relationship with the Lord, you’ll never want to do life without Him. Knowing God is an amazing thing, and it’s the only thing you need to be ready for the Lord’s return. We don’t need to live in fear of the scariest verse of the Bible.
So, are you ready?