I received a call from our grandson, Connor, last Sunday and he wanted to know if I could help him with an assignment for school. Apparently, he had to write a composition on somebody in the family and there were several questions that he was encouraged to ask. For example, “Tell me something about our family that I have never heard before” and “What was one of the defining moments for the family somewhere back in our history.” To say the least, they were thought provoking questions. First of all, I was honored that he chose to interview me – but it really did cause me to think about both of my parents, their parents and so on – back generations and, from the history that I know, to pick out defining moments and decisions that were made by ancestors several hundred years ago.
For example, the fact that my maternal great grandfather came to the US from Germany back in the mid 1800’s and settled in Chicago. Or the fact that my maternal grandfather left home when he was 13 because his mother died and after his father re-married, there were 13 children in the blended family and his father, an engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad, couldn’t support all the children. So Grandpa left hoping it would make it easier on his father to take care of the rest of the kids.
To sum it up, it was quite a reflective afternoon and Connor learned quite a bit about some of the history of the family. Now we all know that things get more complicated the further back you go, but at least he heard about interesting ancestors who he can now identify with as part of his family.
It occurred to me that every one of us who is a believer in God will some day go before the Father and be interviewed about our lives here on earth. Those who do not believe will also be judged and eternally separated from God but each of us will have our time in front of the Father. And I am sure that it won’t be a pleasant experience for those of us, like me, who have fallen far short of what I could have done for the kingdom. Yes, I know that heaven is in my future somewhere, sometime – and while it is true that I have done ministry work and reached out to help others, there are all kinds of sins that I have committed throughout the years that I am not very proud of. And while it can be downright scary to face the Creator of the universe and get interviewed, it will be even more embarrassing if people I know are around and listening to my interrogation. And, to be sure, the questions will be incredibly provoking and probably a lot more difficult than the ones that Conner asked me – those were hard enough!
Now God already knows everything about me – he knows my good points and my sins. I sometimes wonder why the questions will be asked, but maybe it is so I will ask them of myself during my time here on earth, during my lifetime, so I will think twice about some of the stuff that I do before I do it!
The verse for this evening if from John’s vision as recorded in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible.We are told, in Rev. 20:11-12, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” We are told that the dead will be standing before the throne. And from what we understand, there is a book of life for those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior – I hope that your name is in that book!
My encouragement this evening is that you will consider the questions that God may ask you when you arrive at the foot of the throne. Even though if may be a little unpleasant, you can rest assured that your place in heaven is secure if you have accepted Christ. My prayer is that in the meantime we all may live healthy, productive lives dedicated to helping others and considering, but not dwelling on, the eventual interview with God we each will have. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…