[Yesterday morning, I preached a sermon based on Revelation 10:1-11. This message was part 3 in the “Lord of the Earth” sermon series. As I have done each week in this series, here are a few more thoughts connected to the message.]
Smug orthodoxy is very unattractive.
What do I mean by this? It is possible to be 100% accurate in your content and miss the point.
Some intellectually know what the Bible says about a number of topics, and can recite those truths to others. But as they do, they have lost touch with the weight of what they are saying. The truth has gone from the page of Scripture, into their minds for organization, and then out their mouths in recitation without that same truth settling deep in their own hearts. When this happens, proper content is delivered without appropriately connected emotion. And the result often lacks true conviction … and is (as I mention) unattractive.
What is an example of this?
Most of us intellectually KNOW that Jesus is coming back one day, and when He does He will judge the earth and its BILLIONS OF RESIDENTS. But knowing that truth, and talking about it as fact, but failing to ponder its implications, can lead us to not have a heart level response. We MENTION His return, but are not MOVED by it. This stands in contrast to the response of Jesus Himself.
In Luke 19:41–44, we see the account of Jesus as He approached Jerusalem just a few days before His crucifixion. It says, “And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Knowing the judgment that was coming upon Jerusalem because they had rejected Him (judgment that would come in 70AD), Jesus did not gloat over the city and declare “you are going to get what you deserve!!!” Instead, He weeps, because the heart of God is for all to come to repentance. Jesus did not just have the truth of coming judgment sit in His head, it was fully integrated into His heart … so He wept.
When we fully have integrated into our hearts the knowledge that judgment is coming upon the world, we also will be moved. The heart of God (the things God cares about) are in the spiritual DNA of all His people. Therefore, His heart moves our heart toward others.
And when our heart is moved, what do we do? Well, in Jesus’ case, the heart of God compelled Him to “seek and to save the lost.” Consider this interaction that Jesus had with the Pharisees who wondered why He was hanging out with well-known sinners (Matthew 9:10-13), “And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ But when He heard it, He said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” When His heart was MOVED, His feet were MOTIVATED to be with the lost and share Christ with them.
When the heart of God MOVES us, it should MOTIVATE us to share the Gospel with the lost as well. As Romans 10:14-15 states, “How then will they (the lost) call on Him (Jesus) in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” We who are found are called to seek the lost and invite them to follow Jesus with us.
In Revelation 10:8-11, the Apostle John is invited to “eat the scroll” that speaks of the coming judgment of God. By “eat the scroll,” John was not being invited to have a snack, but invited to internalize at a deep level the implications of the second coming of Christ. Knowing what was to come, John was to be MOVED and MOTIVATED to speak again to “many peoples and nations and languages and kings” about the Good News of Jesus, so that they might repent while they still have time.
Let us not be a people of smug orthodoxy who know the truth but do not allow this truth to take up residence in our souls. Let’s allow this truth to go down deep where the heart of God will MOVE and MOTIVATE us to action. How can we NOT send missionaries to the ends of the earth if what we read is true? How can we NOT tell those around us about the glories of Christ if the consequences are so significant?
Church, let us not just be smarter sinners, but people who truly feast on God’s Word, and live and feel in light of it.