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Communion Meditations (2018)

 

Last Day

Originally scheduled for December 9

The story is told of a Jewish rabbi, on his deathbed, being asked by his students for his final counsel. In particular, the dialogue went something like this:

                         “When should a man repent?”

                                                  “On the last day of his life.”

                         “But how is a man to know which day is the last day?”

                                                  “That is the reason you should repent every day.”

It is clear throughout the Scripture that God desires that everyone should repent. The problem is when you tell someone they must do this before his last day on earth, they begin to think that they have plenty of time to repent. They don’t see death coming; life insurance salesmen make no sales with them. They just don’t see themselves dying anytime soon.

But there is another possibility:

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,

(2 Peter 3:9-14)

 

From the earliest days of Scripture, and the earliest days of the church, the followers of God have been taught that there will come a day, known as the “Day of the Lord,” which marks the end of this era and the beginning of the new heaven and the new earth. This concept is taught throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It has always been taken seriously, if not literally. In other words — this is going to happen and you should be ready for it.

God understands how difficult it is for the human being to persist in repentance. He has therefore assigned to communion the task of self examination. You are encouraged to examine yourself and repent; it is necessary for the unity of the church. You are encouraged to examine yourself and repent; it is necessary for a right relationship with God Almighty. Therefore communion has within it the command of self-examination and the obligation of repentance. It is something you want to do now, not later. That Jewish rabbi was right; you don’t know the last day of your life. You may be in perfect health, looking forward to the rest of your life only to find that Gabriel has blown his trumpet and you are now called before Almighty God to give account. Prepare yourself, this week and every week, by examining your self before communion, repenting and then partaking.

 

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