Living with the end in view involves
Taking the Opportunity
And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city! (Matt. 10:14–15)
Jesus said the above to His disciples prior to sending them out two by two to preach the kingdom of heaven. This passage reveals God’s basis for administering various levels of judgment.
At the judgment, people who rejected the message the disciples proclaimed will receive a harsher judgment (such as the Galileans) than those who had never heard the word (such as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah). The harshness of the groups’ sentences will depend on their reaction to the Word of God when the Word was preached to them. If the Word was not declared, the citizens had less opportunity to repent and be ready. They will receive a less serious sentence. Those who heard a clear message of the coming kingdom, and did little to avail themselves of God’s help to prepare for it, will receive a sterner judgment.
America is awash in Bibles. Last I read, it is still the number one bestselling book. I belong to a local church where the Word is preached faithfully, its bookstore is well stocked with edifying literature, and plenty of opportunities are available to serve the Lord. I have more opportunity to be ready to meet the Bridegroom than those of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Jesus stated an underlying principle guiding His judgment: “But he who did not know, yet committed things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48). My boss would have higher expectations of someone who has worked in the office for decades than one who had received on-the-job training over a few days. Clearly, the Lord is a fair judge who expects more with experience and understanding. With understanding comes responsibility.
Living with the end in view means to be responsible for the teachings and opportunities He has given us.
Steps of faith:
Learn to apply Bible teachings to daily life.
Learn to seize the opportunity to serve.