Written by Todd Mangum
Monday, 04 March 2013 00:00
Three things have happened to me in the last three days that have brought vividly to mind this question:
My travel plans for chairing an accreditation visit to Dallas, TX came at the same time that the yearly inundation of “life insurance deals” came from AAA. (I doubled my life insurance coverage for travel, by the way).
I attended the funeral of the mother of one of my colleagues here at Biblical; a good Baptist worship service and celebration of her home-going, it ended with a poignant invitation to give one’s life to Christ then and there. “My mother is with her Lord right now!” said her son. “Are YOU ready to meet God?”
In Saturday’s class, we went through a section of Jesus’ teaching that sends a chill up my spine every time I read it – Luke 12:1-7. Take a look at it. I always engage this passage in theology class when we talk about the “fear of God” and what it is – I’m telling you, if you read this passage thoughtfully, it will create more than just “reverential awe.” . . . It’s downright scary.
First of all, Luke clarifies that Jesus is speaking “first of all” to His DISCIPLES. The natural instinct of too many preachers and teachers is to write off this passage as directed to the “White Throne Judgment-bound” unbelievers – but it isn’t. It is directed first and foremost to His DISCIPLES – would be followers of Christ (you and me?).
His warning is against hypocrisy – being something different when people are watching than you are when no one is watching; no one but God is watching, that is. . . .
And then He warns (again, His DISCIPLES): “There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”
What’s that do for you? How do you feel about everything you do in private being open to full disclosure? Does that make you nervous at all?
And then, as if that weren’t enough, He goes on to say, “Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, but after that have no more that they can do. But I’ll show you whom to fear: fear the One who after He has killed your body can throw you into hell, too! Yeah, that’s right – fear Him!!”
How does your private life measure up to the scrutiny of God? How will you feel about what you talk about behind closed doors being opened up and brought to full exposure? . . .
That’s just one of three sets of contemplations I’ve gone through in the last three days that’s raised afresh for me the question: “Are you ready to meet God?” How are you doing with that question? . . .
Todd Mangum is the Academic Dean and Professor of Theology at Biblical. He is ordained by the Southern Baptist Convention. Todd is the author of The Dispensational-Covenantal Rift, and of several articles seeking to bridge divides among Bible-believing Christians. He is married to Linda and they have three sons. See also http://www.biblical.edu/index.php/todd-mangum