Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

It Will be Awesome!

Ezekiel 1:28  Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.

The Beauty of the Rainbow
A rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day can be a thing of great beauty. The rainbow reminds us that God still remembers His promise not to destroy the earth by a universal flood again.  But it also proves to us that God is an artist who paints beautiful pictures for us.  Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord and he likened it to a rainbow on a rainy day.
Glory Means Different Things
The word glory is used to mean different things in the Bible.  The word was used to ascribe praise and honor to God when the angels said “Glory to God in the Highest” at the Lord’s birth..  The word often has to do with beauty and majesty.  For example glory is used that way in Matthew 6:29 where the Lord says, “And yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these (lilies).”  It often seems to be associated with splendor or brightness as it is in the vision that Ezekiel saw and as it is when Peter, James and John saw the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration.  In 2 Peter 1:17 Peter says,   “For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’"  In Matthew 17:2 we read, “And He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.”
Astounding Biblical Sights
There are some sights that I am sure must be seen to be appreciated.  I think Moses would have said that was true when he saw a bush that burned but was not consumed in Exodus 3.   I am sure that was true when Manoah and his wife (the parents of Samson) saw the  Angel of the Lord ascend into heaven on the flame of fire that was consuming the sacrifice on their altar.  I am sure that must have been true when Elisha saw the chariots of fire that took Elijah alive into heaven in 2 Kings 2.  It must also have been true when Elisha and his servant were in Dothan surrounded by the Syrians.  The servant said, “What are we going to do?  Elisha said to the Lord, “Show him.”  And suddenly the servant saw the chariots of fire that surrounded the city protecting them.  That must have been an unforgettable sight.  In each case that I have mentioned there was an outshining of the glory of God.  Usually that outshining was likened to a flame of fire.  But Ezekiel’s vision was likened to a rainbow on a cloudy day.  I would personally rather see the rainbow than the fire.  To me the rainbow speaks of hope even though destruction is being prophesied by Ezekiel while fire speaks of the coming righteous wrath of God.
What Men have Seen
When the Lord was on this earth, most did not see His majesty and kingly beauty.  That is why Isaiah says in Isaiah 53:2 that when Israel saw the Lord, there would be no beauty that they would desire Him.  He didn’t come from the right city, he didn’t have the right parents, and he didn’t come rich.  Instead he came poor.  He didn’t come with an army.  He didn’t sound like or look like one who could overthrow the Romans and establish Israel as a self-governing nation again.  The Lord was willing to veil his glory.  He was found in fashion as a regular man.  When he was reviled he did not threaten.  Instead of fighting, He was willing to die a horrible death.  Most of us have trouble getting the vision of the crucifixion out of our minds.  Today when we hear of atrocities in the wars currently being fought in the middle east, when we read of beheadings and of the killing of innocents, we forget that times have not changed.  The Lord was a truly innocent man dying at the hands of those who cruelly envied His following.  But the cross was not a scene of glory and beauty, it was a sin of darkness and shame.
What Christians Expect to See
But the Lord was raised from the dead.  God proved that the Lord Jesus had satisfied His righteous judgment.  God proved that the Lord did not die for His own sins, instead He died to bear the punishment that we deserve.  And to those who believe in Him, He is going to appear the second time for salvation from the presence of sin.  Hebrews 9:28 says, “So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of (the) many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”  I believe that second appearing will be an epiphany or a coming in splendor.  To unbelievers He will appear to judge the earth in righteousness.  They will see the splendor of fire.  To the believer, his coming will be one of hope and comfort.  We will see the Lord in His majesty and we will be His bride.
After the resurrection, the disciples saw the resurrected Lord.  Thomas and the other disciples saw Him in the upper room and His body had been changed since he could appear miraculously in their presence.  But I personally believe that we who are saved are going to see the Lord in the outshining brightness of His glory, beauty and majesty. He will be clothed with light.  It will be awesome.  It will be beautiful.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of November 15, 2015

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