Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
In his chapter 60, Isaiah is overjoyed to write about the time when the earth will be drenched with a special "light" of "the truth of the gospel." He says to God's people, "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you" (vs. 1). We have usually thought of this as the time when we will have greater media outlets for increased volume, so everybody in the world will at last hear what has been our traditional understanding of the message.
There is an identical "loud voice" in Revelation 14:9 and 18:1-4 that characterizes the last soul-winning ministry of all time. Will it be a greater noise level that will command the world's attention? We have talked, and prayed, and sung about it for generations. Have we assumed it will be a glorious and triumphant success for the church, to validate all our past labors? Millions who have gone to "sleep in Jesus" have dreamed of living in those awe-inspiring days when the earth will be "lighted."
But wait a moment: The Bible is not talking about an increased noise level, but of increased "light." It's to be a clearer grasp of what Paul repeatedly calls "the truth of the gospel" (Gal. 2:5,14). Jesus said "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Greater light in understanding the gospel of righteousness by faith brings that freedom.
But if someone feels "rich and increased with goods" in his understanding of the message, it could mean he has no "hunger and thirst for righteousness" (see Matt. 5:6). Emotionalism can easily be mistaken for truth. The "glory" spoken of in Isaiah 60:2 and Revelation 18:1-4 will be a clearer grasp of justification by faith. We don't want to be blinded to the light when the Lord sends it as the Jews were blinded to their Messiah when He came. You can "follow" Jesus only if you "take up [your] cross daily" to be "crucified with Him" (Luke 9:23, Gal. 2:20).
Living is serious business now. Be serious in coming to the Lord.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 19, 2004.
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