Christianity 201

September 14, 2020

When Those Who Oppose Jesus Fall Down

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:31 pm
Tags: , , ,

Revelation.7.9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.

Today we are back again with Stanley J. Groothof who blogs at The 4th Point.  Why is his blog called that?

I’m a husband, dad, friend, and pastor. In connection with that last role, you may know that traditionally sermons often have 3 points. When I research and reflect on Sunday’s messages, often I find more material than can fit in my message for the day. Here is a place for some “fourth points” that, while not showing up in a message, I feel still should see the light of day.

As usual click the header below to read this at source. Scriptures referenced in today’s devotional are included in full after today’s reading.

Falling down with my enemies

To the church in Philadelphia, Jesus gives the encouragement to keep holding on. They have little strength left from enduring rejection and persecution from the leaders of the local synagogue who deny Jesus is Lord. But they can indeed hold on knowing their current situation will not last forever. Jesus promises He is coming soon, giving the church hope that the time is coming when wrongs will be righted.

More than that, Jesus tells the Philadelphian church they can look forward to the day when those who hurt them will “come and fall down at [their] feet.” Those opposed to God and His people will one day experience the return and victory of King Jesus. At that time they will hear Him say He is on the side of His people and He loves them.

But as Lou Lotz once noted, this talk of enemies groveling at one’s feet smacks of triumphalism and vengeance, and seems to be out of character with Christ’s command to love our enemies. True, but the picture of poor souls who have always resisted Jesus and harmed the church bowing down to Jesus’ followers helps me in two ways:

1. I’m given hope: Ungodliness will not endure forever. One day, to quote Pastor Lotz, “the tables will be turned, and God’s people will be vindicated.”

2. This picture also offers inspiration: Christians desire to love their enemies, to love their enemies to Christ. The more Christ’s reconciling grace is in me, the more I want no one being punished at my feet. I’m not saying there won’t be anyone; I’m just saying Christians love their enemies and the church’s enemies with the dream that all of them will change and love Jesus today and in eternity.

I’m fascinated by the actual words used in Jesus’ letter to Philadelphia, that those who oppose Jesus and His church will one day “fall down.” This is the same language used elsewhere in the Bible (in Revelation 4, as one example) for falling down in worship! I think I’m supposed to love my enemies, praying that they’ll fall down in worship with me and all God’s people.

LOVE
YOUR ENEMIES
DO GOOD
TO THOSE WHO HATE YOU
BLESS
THOSE WHO CURSE YOU
PRAY FOR
THOSE WHO MISTREAT YOU

~ Jesus


Scriptures in today’s devotional:

Revelation.7.9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.

Matthew.5.44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Revelation.4.9-11 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”

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