I think us Americans are programmed from childhood to love surprises. We enjoy birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, and nice new things at Easter, etc. Then in the romance arena there is a surprise engagement ring or piece of jewelry. Then in the entertainment industry contrast & “surprise” is popular. But in this real world we also have “Rude Surprises” which usually are not lovable. Every example below is/was real.
- - Incoming phone call: “You say my child did WHAT on the school grounds”?
- - Your wife (husband?) put anti-freeze in the transmission by mistake. ($2500. repair bill)
- - Pilot husband having heated argument with wife while flying over Florida in their private plane. She snatches keys from the ignition & tosses them out the window. $150 K airplane lost to citrus trees, but no fatalities. (just one deceased marriage)
- - Incoming phone call: “You say my wife & daughter-in-law have been in an auto crash & are being flown to the hospital’?
- - At the time of delivery you have twins when all the while the medical folks said it was a single baby.
- - Your doctor requests a private conference, then informs you of Leukemia in your blood.
- - In the middle of your auto repair your mechanic & friend has a coronary & is pronounced deceased at the hospital after failed CPR in route.
I am thankful that not all the above RUDE SURPRISES happened to me. But most of them did . . . My father who was a survivor of the great depression and WW2 as a grunt often said, “Freddy, life is not a bowl of cherries.” He was right. Now he & I being acquainted with a few “rude surprises”, I want to ask, “what would be the RUDEST surprise of all ?”
What could be worse than going out of this life & meeting a Biblical God for personal judgment and standing there naked? Ecclesiastes 5:15 The theme of scriptures from Genesis to Revelation appears to be personal accountability to the only God, and judgment is explained & defined more clearly as the progressive revelation develops through the New Testament. The Great White throne judgment can be found close to the end. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.” Revelation 20:11-12 Jesus Christ explained this also in John 12:48 maybe 50 years earlier.
Now I cannot imagine the shock of the hard-nosed atheist or normal unbeliever facing a Biblical God that he/she didn’t believe existed; AND dismal prospects for eternity, not having the proper robe of salvation at that time. According to scripture no excuses will float. “I saw too many hypocrites in the church.” "I thought my wife did a good enough job with religion in our house." "My university Profs. said we created you." "All my friends said the Bible was just myths." "My karma ran over your dogma." I know God is very generous & he might explain to each lost soul why they failed judgment. But I wouldn’t count on that because of the vast quantity of available information on the subject already provided – The Bible. See a penetrating account of a judged soul in Luke 16:19-31 – The rich man & Lazarus.
To conclude I would admit we can expect some “rude surprises” from time to time. But the rudest imaginable can be avoided. It can be avoided by simply accepting the salvation of Christ. “Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and have white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. As many as I love I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (the resurrected & glorified J.C. said that) Revelation 3:18-19 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gate,” Revelation 22:14 Choose Jesus, He is alive. And be blessed in this life, and well “dressed” at the end of it.
Many other Titles: www.gospelnotes.net - Link 1 is Index * * Fred J. Stone * *