I was re-listening to the sermon I offered a few weeks ago and wanted to make a quick clarification. I spoke about how when we choose drunkenness, we start to slip away from our identity as Children of the Light. To offer a correction, I’m not so sure that we can ever slip away from our identities that Jesus offers us. Romans 8:31-39 speaks to this:
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So I think that if we are drunk at the moment that Jesus comes back, He will not look upon us as disappointments. He will not be sad to see that we squandered our time with hollow endeavors. He will look into our hearts and see the brokenness that we all share, and He will proclaim that His resurrection has purified us of all our iniquities. And He will remain delighted and overjoyed that we have trusted in Him, no matter our shortcomings.
And yet it is still true that we should pursue God, pursue sobriety, and have a deep longing to be close with Jesus, so that we can become like Jesus and show the world what it means to love and to be loved. 1 Thess 5:10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up just as, in fact, you are doing.
Response to Questions:
Comment/Question: We are supposed to be awake and prepared and ready….but also a place at the end, you don’t have all the shame from all the times when you weren’t awake.
Response: I agree that at the end of life, we may not be overwhelmed, or even mildly concerned, with shame from the times when we were spiritually asleep. I feel like the Gospel of Resurrection and Redemption is applicable at any time of life, even up to the point to death. Seldom do I encounter a person who has capacity to do a pre-death self-examination, which only supports Jesus’ approval of us without conditional. Jesus will say, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” no matter what. We have accepted Jesus as Lord; He will provide as one.