Monday, November 24, 2008

Article VII

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

Article VII is the last article in the Apostle's Creed dealing with the Son. We learned what the Lamb did. Now we learn what the Lamb will do. November 29th marks the end of the church year and it is appropriate that we spend some time thinking about the final judgment. The outcome of the final judgment is far more important than whatever our best life now might look like.

The anti-Lamb within you wants to bring your own works to the table. The anti-Lamb says that the Lamb did a good job getting the ball rolling but now its time to get our good works on to seal the deal. If you are able to stay a good Pharisee and stick to your little check list ( tithe, shave, don't eat meat on Friday, vote Republican, go on mission trips, speak in tongues, don't speak in tongues, only listen to the Christian radio stations, don't drink, don't chew, don't go with girls that do, etc.) then you can convince yourself that all is well. What you don't realize is that you are not the Lamb--you do not make the rules. You have put yourself in the place of the Lamb. What does the Lamb say about this?

Matthew 7:21-23 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"

Faith in the Lamb does result in good works but they're not something you bring to the Lamb to show him why he should let you into heaven. Your attempt to bring good works to the table is a demonstration of lack of faith in the Lamb. When you try to bring your good works to the table you are saying that the Lamb didn't do enough.

Matthew 25:32-40 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. "And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 'for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

Look at your life and compare it with God's law--you haven't come anywhere close to keeping God's law. You wouldn't ever want to try to be the Lamb and save yourself. Put your trust completely in the Lamb. You know that all attempts to do it yourself only lead to despair. When the Lamb returns He will praise you for your good works that you didn't even realize that you did. Faith in the Lamb will automatically cause you to do good works that benefit your neighbor without even thinking about them. They good works prepared for you by the Lamb. The good works are God working in you.

Do not try to come to the feast of the Lamb in your own filthy menstrual rags of works righteousness. You will be thrown out for the disgusting piece of crap that you are. Put on the robe washed in the blood of the Lamb!

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