WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – That will be the headline in heaven one day. Not yet, but one day.
Up until that day, Jesus’ declared enemies will continue to trash talk Him. His undeclared enemies will continue to love their fabrications of Jesus and despise the real One revealed in the Bible. Nonetheless, the headline has already been written and will, at the proper time, be emblazoned across the universe: “Christ Defeats All His Enemies.”
Today’s passage explains why our Lord’s victory is not yet obvious: The age in which we live is a gracious interval between Jesus’ coronation as King and His final triumph over all His enemies.
“This man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until his enemies are made his footstool” (Heb. 10:12-13).
Jesus went to the cross to secure our eternal forgiveness. “For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth – and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:9-11). Notice that God’s bestowal of Lordship is past but the bowing to and confessing of that Lordship is future. We live in that in-between time.
It’s a difficult time for believers. Respected professors will continue to dismiss the Bible as a myth. Talented actors will continue to portray Christianity as foolishness or sentimentality. Learned theologians will continue to reinvent the Scriptures to fit their preferences. Powerful governments will continue to restrict believers’ freedom to serve their Lord.
But every enemy of Christ, no matter how barbaric or sophisticated, is destined to go down in defeat before Him. John saw a glimpse of that moment: “The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever’” (Rev. 11:15). He’s already enthroned, but not all His enemies are defeated. They will be. For now, He’s waiting.
WONDERFUL THING IN OUR LIVES – So what’s the holdup? The delay is not for His sake but for ours. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9 NASB). Christ knows that some of His enemies can be saved. He’s willing to wait.
He was willing to wait for Paul: “But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate his extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in him for eternal life.” (1 Tim. 1:16). Praise God, He was willing to wait for you and for me! We’ll end up in heaven because of it.
Three take-aways, dear brothers and sisters:
- Don’t fret too much over the apparent successes of the opponents of Christ. They’re only temporary.
- Don’t be deceived by their compelling arguments. They’ll be revealed in the end as foolishness.
- Don’t waste time – there’s not that much of it left. “Pay careful attention, then, to how you live – not as unwise people but as wise – making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16). As long as He delays, some of His enemies can still be saved. You are His plan to accomplish that.