Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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I’m Going With the Empty Tomb!

Meditation for the week of March 31, 2012

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12

Accountability is the name of the game in this life.  It is also the name of the game in the next.  We are all going to give account to the God who created us whether we believe in Him or not.  But if we have believed in Him and the Son He sent to redeem us, our future will be one of joy and reward.  If we reject Him, our end will be eternal doom.  It doesn’t make any difference as to what the intellectuals tell us.  It does not make any difference as to what the skeptics of “so-called” science say  (1 Timothy 6:2).  Facts are facts and the fact is that witnesses saw Christ after he was raised from the dead.  Science says that can’t happen.  Philosophers say it makes no sense.  Faith in faithful witnesses to the resurrection of Christ contradicts the logic of men.  I am personally going with the truth of the empty tomb.

Of course, that means that I am accountable to the Living Savior.  He says that if we love Him, we should keep His commandments, that is, we should guard His truth (John 14:15).  Just as there are differing degrees of punishment for unbelievers when they are held accountable after they die (Matthew 11:20-24), there are differing rewards for faithfulness for Christians after we die (1 Corinthians 3:14-15).  We are saved by grace alone but the saved are rewarded for their faithfulness.  It is all about accountability.

When the children of Israel were told to possess the good land of Canaan that God was giving to them, they were told to utterly destroy the people in that land.  Those people had once known the truth but had turned away from it.  They were all descendents of Noah’s son Ham and his grandson Canaan.  They knew about the flood and the judgment God had inflicted on the world before the flood.  The people of Noah’s day had developed hearts that were only evil continually (Genesis 6:5).  Succeeding generations lost the awe and fear of God that Noah and his family had after the flood and chose other gods.  I believe that people choose the kinds of gods that they worship based on the kind of lifestyle that they want to live.  The people of the land had turned to idols and all of the immorality allowed by those idols.  Their gods appealed to the lusts of the flesh.  The children of Israel were to eliminate these people so that they would not learn about and start worshiping their gods.  That seems extreme to us today, but it was the only way to preserve Israel and keep them faithful to the Lord.

Israel failed to drive out all of the Canaanites and ultimately they began worshiping their gods.  In worshiping their gods, they became immoral just like the Canaanites.  The end result of that downward slide many years later was the crucifixion of their own Messiah.  Their hearts had become hard to the Truth.  They didn’t want to be confused with the facts because their minds were already made up.  In the day of Christ, religion had become the idol.  Religion was being used to control the people by ruthless scribes, priests and lawyers.  It was no longer a question of serving “other gods” though some were doing that.  Instead, it was a matter of telling God how to be worshiped rather than letting Him tell the Jews how to worship.  God wanted the hearts of the people.  The religious leaders only knew about dead rules and ritual.  They hated to be in bondage to the Romans but had no problem using Pilate to accomplish their evil  plan to eliminate the Lord so that He could not compete with their authority and leadership.   They wanted accountability to no one but themselves.

Unfortunately for this world, the time of accountability is coming.  On Easter we celebrate the only living Savior and are reminded of an empty tomb.  But we are also reminded that this Christ who came the first time as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29) will reveal Himself when He comes the second time as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16).  His coming at this time will be to destroy His enemies and to set up a righteous kingdom on earth.  Revelation 1:7 says, “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”  This time the Lord will not be crucified. He will come in power and with authority and will judge sin righteously.   He will set up His kingdom and He will demand accountability.  All of the philosophers and all the skeptical scientists will not be able to deliver men from the reality that Christ is Creator, Christ is King, and Christ is God and Christ is Judge.

Yes, I am personally going with an empty tomb and the accountability that goes with that truth.  The Christ I will meet after this life is over is the One who died for me.  Believers will meet Him as their Savior.  Unbelievers, in spite of what they thought, will meet Him as their judge.

Bruce Collins

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