Reflections on the Resurrection, Part 2: Every Secret Thing Revealed: Good News?05/02/2016
On the day all are raised from the dead every act and thought of your life will be revealed. King Solomon’s prophetic word will come true: “God will bring every deed into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Eccl 12:14) God is light, and His son is the light of the world. In the presence of the one who is the origin of light — the one who said “Let there be light” — all things are transparent. All things. Actions, thoughts, belief systems, worldviews, assumptions, and motives. Motives are perhaps the most secret part of who we are. Often this part of us is known only to God and conscience. But having “your heart in the right place” does not alone justify. Only blood justifies even good intentions, for our good motives are fully tangled with the roots of the Fall. Only a total renewal–a new creation–makes absolute purity possible.
On resurrection day, all things will be uncovered to ourselves and discovered one to another before the presence of the One who knew them already. “This will be the day when,” as Paul writes, “according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” (Rom 2:16). Paul describes this event as an integral element of the gospel : the good news.
Why is the revealing of every secret thing good news? Because the thousands of choices we made to lean on Him, submit to Him, love Him, and obey Him will be revealed as having mattered; as having been seen. It will be fully revealed to us that we have been known, loved, and understood all along and that God is good and just with such comprehension. The significance of our lives did not depend on the ways of this age, in which the lucky, the clever, the unjustly rich, and the strong seem to prevail. Rather, it will be revealed that what we did offline and off camera (or online while no one was looking) really mattered. What we chose in our hearts for the sake of faith in Him, hope in Him, and love for Him and others //mattered//. In a word, there will be justice.
This is why, in light of such good news, it is imperative that we confess our sins and bring into the light everything that is shameful, sinful, and wrong. This is why honesty is not only the courageous thing to do but the wise thing to do. By doing so in this age we show that we have faith in the sufficiency of Christ’s cross to cleanse our conscience for the day when the Lord Jesus arrives in bodily form. We show that whatever loss of reputation, respect, right or role we may suffer through our honesty is //nothing// compared to the surpassing riches of experiencing Christ’s good pleasure on the day He raises us from the dead.
We understand that until the hour of His coming (or the hour of our death, which, for earthly purposes, will be the Second Coming to us as deceased individuals) we live in a space of grace for repentance: the free gift of forgiveness; the free gift of His ongoing grace to mature into His likeness; and the free gift of His Holy Spirit as a down payment on what the Kingdom of God will be like in the ages to come. By confessing our sins and turning away from self-destructive and self-seeking mindsets and behaviors we are preparing the way of the Lord in our own lives and contributing to the return of the Messiah at the end of all time. (Isaiah 40:3)
God’s motive is love. His thoughts toward us are filled with compassion. He knows the number of the hairs on our head. His thoughts toward us are a stream of affection that is as countless as the grains of sand. Yet He combines His amazing compassion with absolute clarity. He knows every secret thing, both the things we have deliberately covered up because of fear and love of the darkness; and the things we have chosen to put to rest because we are content with the reality that “our heavenly Father sees in secret” and will reward us openly in His own time (Matt 6:4,6).
If we live today as if it were indeed the threshold of the Day of Resurrection and thereby lived in absolute transparency before God and man, we have much to look forward to on that day. It is indeed good news.
- Photo by Anna-Mari West , #22558795. Copyrighted.