Acts 17:22-23,30-31 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said,
Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.
The Greeks worshiped many gods. But it seemed they suspected that there was a God above the rest. They didn’t know Him, but not wanting to leave out such a God they erected an altar bearing the inscription TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. The apostle Paul observed this and said, “Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.”
Previously God had winked at their ignorance; that is, He did not hold them accountable for their idolatry. “But now,” said Paul, “God commands all to repent, for He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness.” This meant that the time would come when submission to His Lordship would be required. Devotion to an altar dedicated to the unknown God would not be enough. They would have to be subject to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Christianity, in a sense, is somewhat like the Greeks in Paul’s day. The Greeks worshiped many gods. Although Christians only worship one God, they vary in their perception of Him and in their manner of worship. Christian organizations are divided in how they view the Lord Jesus, how they interpret the Scriptures, and in what is required of them. In that sense it is also much like it was for Israel during the days of the Judges. In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Judges 17:6. Since there was no king to submit to they could do as they pleased. And because submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ has not been demanded, the majority of Christians have pleased themselves in their religiosity. God has winked at the times of this ignorance, but He will not let Christians slide by forever without submitting to His Lordship.
Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given
Him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
God has been gracious in giving us much time to voluntarily submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. But the day is fastly approaching when every knee will be required to bow and every tongue to confess that He is the Lord and not the imaginations of our minds. Many Christians will be distressed when that time comes and they realize that they don’t know how to submit to His Lordship. The day of the Lord is the day that submission to His Lordship is required, and it will catch many Christians unaware. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. I Thessalonians 5:1-3.
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Too many Christians are doing their own thing, having their own brand of Christianity, and calling it serving the Lord. It seems to be a general attitude that God is just waiting around to serve them. As Americans we have a constitutional right to worship as we please, but God does not give us that right. Jesus Christ redeemed us by His shed blood on the cross. We are His possession. A Christian has only one right, the right to have no rights. The Lord has all rights to our lives. He is the Lord! And it is our responsibility to submit to His Lordship. As long as we are directing our own lives, we are not under His Lordship. God has winked at our ignorance, but His winking will come to an end. Watch therefore, for you do not know in what hour submission to His Lordship will be required of you. The ministry of the rod of iron will come and every knee will bow.
Matthew 24:43-44 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had
known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not
have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
We are not looking at these verses in regard to a personal return of the Lord, but in regard to His Lordship being required of us. The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night (I Thessalonians 5:2). And only those who have learned to submit to Him will be prepared. We must be properly related to the Lord, for “judgment begins at the house of the Lord” (I Peter 4:17).
Matthew 24:45-47 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath
made ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That He shall make him ruler over all His goods.
The faithful and wise servants are the ministries who have taught those under their charge how to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When the Lord stops winking, and judgment comes to the house of the Lord they will be prepared. The day of the Lord eill not overtake them as a thief (I Thessalonians 5:4).
Matthew 24:48-51 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart,
My Lord delayeth His coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The evil servants are the ministers that do not bring the people under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. They know that the day comes when submission to the Lord is required, but they always place it in the future. They smite their follow-servants by placing them under the man-made rules and regulations of a religious organization. They partake with the drunken; that is, they are numb to the leading of the Spirit. The day of the Lord catches them unaware.
The most important thing a Christian can learn is submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to give you a revelation of what it means to be in submission to Him. Those who are not submissive to His Lordship are usually not aware of it. The Lord has winked at our ignorance, but His winking will come to an end.
Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose