Read Zephaniah Chapter 3
Zep 3:8 Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD, “for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out My wrath on them—all My fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of My jealous anger. 9 “Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve Him shoulder to shoulder. 10 From beyond the rivers of Cush My worshipers, My scattered people, will bring Me offerings. 11 On that day you will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to Me, because I will remove from this city those who rejoice in their pride. Never again will you be haughty on My holy hill. 12 But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the LORD.
I do not claim to have a lot of knowledge concerning the end times. I’ve heard most if not all of the theories, compared them to God’s word, and find that for the most part they are just that – theories. Actually, it really doesn’t matter much to me (I may get some flack for this statement). No matter how the end comes about, one thing is sure. God’s children will be ultimately victorious. The end will be a blessing for God’s people. In this passage, we get a glimpse of how different our lives will be once God returns to gather all of us together forever. I know the writer is prophesying about the City of Jerusalem. But I firmly believe the application is equally applicable to those of us who are repentant over our misdeeds.
- We will be purified – verse 9. I can hardly wait. I have desired purity for all my life. I have yet to achieve it, except for the fact that the purity of Christ has been given to me as an undeserved gift. But in eternity, I will no longer have this raging battle within between the Spirit and my flesh.
- We will call upon Him – verse 9. Well, we do that now. But in eternity, it will be different. We will not have any doubts. We will not wonder if He is hearing us, or whether He will respond to our plea. We will see Him face to face. We will walk with Him in non-ending communion.
- We will serve Him shoulder to shoulder – verse 9. We will serve Him in complete joy and love. We will not reluctantly submit to His will. We will no longer have any desire to serve our own selfishness. Also, we will serve Him in unity, with no differences of opinion about matters of faith and truth. That will be absolutely beautiful!
- We will no longer be ashamed of our failings – verse 11. This one is difficult to comprehend. I can hardly conceive of the idea that I will no longer rue the days and moments when I disobeyed God in regard to the issue of homosexuality. Not only on that issue, but also in all the other ways that I have sinned against Him.
- We will no longer be haughty – verse 11. We display our haughtiness every time we decide to open up a porn site, cruise by an unsavory park, lust after another man or woman, or willingly choose to engage in any kind of unholy sexual act. Our haughtiness tells us that we can get away with our sinfulness. Somehow we believe that the rules do not apply to us in that particular situation.
- We will only be surrounded by like-minded men and women – verses 11 and 12. Can you imagine living in an environment where sin and sinful people no longer exist? The thought is mindboggling! Would we love to turn on a TV and not see sinful behavior paraded before our eyes as though it is not offensive? What would it be like if we never again heard another cuss word? How wonderful would it be to never again hear of a child who was sexually molested, or beaten, or shaken to death? Our list can go on and on.
- May I mention a thought which probably was not intended by the writer? In verse 11, he writes, “I will remove from this city those who rejoice in their pride.” My mind conjures up a picture where there are no more gay pride parades. Whether the writer meant it or not, there truly will be a day when there will no longer be any gay pride parades. Personally, I look forward to that day with great anticipation. Every time I see or hear of one of these events, dark sadness overwhelms me. I can hardly endure the thoughts that all those men and women will miss out on this perfect, utopian world which will be enjoyed in eternity. May God have mercy!
Prayer: Father, we do look forward to a time when sin will no longer be a problem in our lives. We especially rejoice over the knowledge that we will never sin again! We also look forward to living in a world where sin and sinful people cannot be found. But most of all, we eagerly await the time when our communion and companionship with You will have to barriers, no hindrances, no shame or regrets. Lord, come quickly. But we cannot end without once again pleading for the lives of those who have been deceived. Lord, have mercy, and grant them additional revelation to Your truth.