Romans 14:11 (NIV)
It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
So our verse today is a precursor to a larger study I have been working on and hope to post soon. But let me say, I believe this verse is quite prophetic in the context of what is happening in our world. I truly believe the Coronavirus Pandemic situation is setting the stage for more turbulent times than we have already experienced in the past couple of months. Note what the verse states: “EVERY knee will bow before me; EVERY tongue will acknowledge God.” Paul is quoting from Isaiah 45:23; and I would encourage you to read the entire chapter for context. But to me, the key word is EVERY. And looking at our world, our culture, and our society, I see very little reverence for God or the pursuit of holiness or righteousness among unbelievers. And this indifference … this lack of fear toward God and the Lord Jesus Christ is probably an issue for many who claim or profess to believe in Him….
Perhaps, this verse today is a reminder to us all that Jesus is sovereign … He is in authority … He alone is worthy of all honor, praise, and glory. Perhaps, it is a call today for repentance! Perhaps it is time for the church to return to reverence and worship of our awesome, loving God. Perhaps it is time to adamantly include the word LORD along with Savior in our profession of faith! Perhaps it is a call to humble ourselves before the Lord in deep repentance as individuals … as families … as communities … as nations … across the earth.
Philippians 4:5-11 (NIV)
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage;
7 rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Yes, EVERY person WILL fall to their knees before Jesus Christ and confess He is LORD! And the Church ought to be the best place to set the example. The Apostle Peter warned:
1 Peter 4:12-18 (NIV)
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (Cf. Proverbs 11:31)
Perhaps we need to revisit the words of the Apostle Paul who admonished: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (Cf. Corinthians 13:5) Likewise, the words of Jesus should cause us some introspection when He questioned: “But why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,” and not do the things which I say.” (Cf. Luke: 6:46) The presence of this unusual “pestilence” and the panicked reaction of the world should prompt us all to take note at what God is doing in His world right now. He is shaking the earth once more! (Cf. Haggai 2:21) But this shaking is not a physical earthquake like we might imagine; rather, it is the awakening of the Church to be a light unto the world! But how can The Church be a light to the world … if we too participate in its darkness? God is calling us once more to sanctification and holiness. These are not options. It is a command: “Be Holy, for I am Holy.” (Cf. 1 Peter 1:16) “For this is the will of God: your sanctification….” (Cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:3)
Ephesians 5:1-15 (NKJV)
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Light (Spirit) is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep. Arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Well, I pray these passages will stir our hearts … challenge our thinking … and create a personal revival in each of us! We need to wake up and realize we are in the latter days. This is the year for prodigals to return. This is the time of harvest…. The fields are wide open…. We are to be about the master’s business because His return will be soon. When Jesus taught His disciples about the end of age, He concluded: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Luke 21:25-36 (NKJV)
25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” 29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 “Truly, I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
I sense we had better check our fear of God again. The Lord Jesus is not reverenced in our lives, and therefore, in the Church as He ought to be! We need to return to the cross … make our altar at the cross … return to the quiet place of prayer and intimacy … and equip ourselves for the work till to be done. I will say it again: “Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.