“EXAMINE YOURSELVES, TO SEE WHETHER …” Thoughts from today’s Bible readings – Sept 7th
Today we completed reading Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians. The last 10 verses are a telling summary of his challenge to them to live in a worthy manner – a challenge that we should take and apply to ourselves.
In the Old Testament we read of the foolish actions which lead to disaster in the reigns of the kings in the northern kingdom – they had become totally ungodly – and we can see comparisons to our world today and its’ ‘gods’. These ‘gods’ are the things people seek after and which occupy their minds. Do we feel tempted to follow, at least a little, the example they are setting? We fear the answer is ‘Yes.’
And what a testing time Ezekiel had (ch.4) when God instructed him to ‘teach’ these exiles to live according to their spiritual heritage. As a result of his ‘acted’ teaching the LORD wants them to “look at one another in dismay … because of their punishment.” [v.17], that is, the punishment the acted parables indicate! Is this situation coming upon our world today – it has exiled itself from “the word of God,” indeed, nearly all have no thought to there being a real God who sees all.
Back in Corinthians, let us heed Paul’s words, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.” [v.5] Then he puts a challenging question before them! “Test yourselves … that Jesus Christ is in you?” He qualifies this by adding – “unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” A question for us? What is our answer? Is Christ truly “in” our hearts, in our thinking? What do our actions show – the things we read – and watch!?
We reflect on the last sentence of ch. 12, “I fear that when I come … I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.”
And when Jesus comes again! Remember the key question of Jesus in Luke 18 v.8, “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Let us all “examine (y)ourselves” so that the answer to our Lord’s question is “Yes.”
How close are we now to the time when the Lord “will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect “? [Matt. 24 v.31], the days having “been cut short, (or) no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” [v.22] Let us all “examine (y)ourselves so that the answer is “Yes” – and we are among those who are among “the elect” – what wonders far beyond our present comprehension await all those who do this.