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Discover the Book - April 29, 2013

  • 2021 Apr 29


Jesus Christ is Wrathful

The temple was filled with smokefrom the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.-Revelation 15:8, emphasis added

This is one of the saddest points in Scripture! At the end of Revelation 15, Christ has run out of patience. Thus, there is something new in verse 8. There has always been a glory cloud, but never smoke. Smoke showed up on Mount Sinai because the law speaks of judgment, but never in the tabernacle or temple-except here, because God's mercy has ended. The smoke indicates that the way to the presence of God is now closed: the way of forgiveness, guidance, cleansing, and blessing is over, and no one henceforth can enter.

Some day soon it will be too late, just as it was in the days of Noah: Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth . . . and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created . . . , both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them" (Genesis 6:5-7).

The smoke in Revelation 15:8 portrays God's judgment. He is basically saying, as He did in Luke 12:20: "Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?" I pray that you will not be among those who hear Christ exclaim: "Fool!"-and face eternal separation from the One who created you, died for you, and yearns for you to be with Him forever!

For Christians, the greatest day of our lives will be the day when we stand alone in front of Jesus Christ and look up at Him, the One who will forever bear in His body the marks of the price of our redemption, and have Him assess our life publicly. Then we will await what we long for-His looking at us and saying: "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

Martin Luther, the great reformer, made a statement that I just can't get out of my mind: "I have but two dates on my calendar: today and the day of the judgment seat of Christ!" He said that was what kept him going on translating the Bible into the vernacular and the language of his people. And that is what inspired him to continue as he stood all alone against the whole religious world. Oh, how God has used him to actually alter the course of history from a human perspective. And all because he had just two dates on his calendar!

Is your life any more complicated than that? Do you want to accomplish something? Do you want to have a life like Martin Luther's that is still powerful after many years? Then live the simple life of two dates on your calendar: today, living for Jesus because you have a second date on your calendar-the day you are going to stand in front of Him.

Are you getting ready to appear at Christ's throne? When we take pilgrims to Greece, the most moving spot of all is in the city of ancient Corinth. I have seen travelers who were just "tourists" for the whole trip until they reached that spot. But there beneath the raised stone platform, called in Greek the bema, suddenly the awesomeness of the moment overtakes them and they see themselves at a future day standing before Christ's throne. Often tears, even deep silence, and always reverence, fill each one as the scene unfolds before their eyes.

Jesus said: "Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25). The real victory is not to prudently preserve our life as long as possible. Rather, as martyred Jim Elliott once said, we ought to "give what we cannot keep, to gain what we cannot lose."

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