Where All Roads Are Leading
Robert Wurtz II
Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:29–31 NKJV)
Let none ever suggest that God is not merciful; for He had overlooked the sins of multitudes leading up to the advent of Jesus Christ. He sent them rain in an attempt to express His goodness with a view to their repentance. Once the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has come, that period of “overlooking” is over and the standing command is to repent. The revealed meaning of this word “repent” is described by Jesus who used the wicked city of Nineveh as his archetype “repentance” city. Having no Bible or means of knowing how to respond to the message of Jonah they proclaimed a fast for everyone including the animals. Everyone was commanded to turn away from their evil ways and mourn their past actions in sackcloth and ashes. The programmatic message of the repentance of the city of Nineveh is available to all of us; therefore, Jesus said that they, the Ninevites, will rise up in judgment against all who hear the word of Christ and refuse to repent and believe. (Matthew 12:41; Luke 11:42) Why? Because the people of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, but now an infinitely greater messenger than Jonah has come.
Moreover, we have also to consider the fact that the Lord is going to judge His people; and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. (Hebrews 10:27-31) We have to ask ourselves what Christ will do with those people who have been left in charge of His “vineyard” or “flock” and yet are treating those things as if they were their own and not the Lord’s. (Matthew 25:14-30, Matthew 7:21-24) We have many warnings in the Gospels along these lines. Nevertheless, those warnings are typically made of none effect by clever theologies that try and insulate believers from those words. Common sense should tell us that if Jesus is speaking about eschatological events they are sealed and true future events and are immune to clever men and their vain theologies. When Jesus said that people will say to Him, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name […] only to be told “depart from me you worker of iniquity for I never knew you” — that is actually going to happen (Matthew 7:22). It is a sealed reality and we will someday see it come to pass.
But if that evil servant says in his heart, “My master is delaying his coming,’and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:48–51 NKJV)
Cut Him in two? So much for gentle Jesus meek and mild. Though people think God is delaying Christ’s return, Paul said God has “appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.” And the Lord Jesus said, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Not “maybe” or “possibly” but there shall be. Why? Because some people will grow arrogant and confident as the Lord “appears” to tarry. The servant who is wicked is the one who is led to believe that the master will be away for a long time and therefore seizes the opportunity to bully fellow servants and spend time carousing with drunkards. (Robert H. Mounce, NIBC, 1991) Bullying among Christian leaders is almost a sport in some circles. They use their powers to beat their fellow servants. The Greek word for “beat” in this passage is tupto and could be translated “to wound” like in 1 Cor. 8:12. Surely these are the type of things Jesus was referring to in Matthew 24:48ff.
Dangerous Split Personalities
The most dangerous people on earth are they who can smile and act cordial (friendly) in public, but are all together different in “back room” situations. This is why Jesus adds the phrase, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. A hupokrites (hypocrite) is a person who does things to be seen or to give the appearance of being something that they truly are not. They are by practice a “play actor.” They are always putting on a show for the audience. So there is a public personality and then there is the real behind-the-scenes person. These are they “bullies” who treat people in ways that Jesus said warrants the judgment of Hell fire. When called out they make excuses and therefore almost never apologize to their victims. Typically they perfume their bad behavior with “spiritual sounding reasons.” They lure the sheep in with their charm and then justify their bullying. This is an all-too-often problem in these last days when many leaders have lost sight of the coming judgment.
From saint to sinner God is going to judge everyone on earth. This is why He was called by Abraham, “The Judge of All the Earth.” And He is going to judge the world in Righteousness. (Psalm 8:6) He is going to judge the world by the revealed word of God. The hidden counsels of the hearts are going to be made known. The secret motivations are going to be exposed. The evidence will be brought forward from the all-seeing eye of an omniscient God. Heart motivations are going to be revealed. The facts will be laid out on the table and a judgment is going to be made. What a sobering thing to consider. This is why it is pointless to pass judgment on one another. Someday God is going to put all of these things right. Multitudes will stand in awe.
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. (Romans 14:13 KJV)
Why would Paul have to write something like this? It is because people don’t always have sense enough to know they can cause a person to stumble and fall in the faith by their actions. This is why the bully will be judged so harshly. Their hypocritical actions will have caused untold numbers of people to stumble or nearly stumble. Nevertheless, let us not therefore judge one another any more. God is going to sort it all out and make it right soon enough. We can rest confidently in that fact when we are tempted to act out when stumbled or wounded. As Paul said it, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19 KJV) We must do our best to act Biblically and lovingly in these last days where false teachers and false brethren brought in are making havoc of the churches.