Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Every Knee Shall Bow

In Philippians 2 we read that in the day when all rational creature stand before Christ, all will bow their knees before him and confess him as Lord.  We were recently discussing in church whether they will be forced to bow and forced to confess him as Lord.  I think most people that I have talked to assume that the lost will be forced to bow their knee to him and equally forced to confess him as Lord with their mouths.  And generally I think most of us have always assumed that they will be cast kicking and screaming into Hell. 
Now it might very well be that this is true and I am not stating a dogmatic opinion on this issue (something that will surprise many who know me!).  But I think there is another equally valid way that all this might turn out as well.  Perhaps in the day in which all stand before the Triune God when he has fully and perfectly accomplished all he set out to do and no enemy was able to even slow down his intentions; that all will be able to do nothing but confess that God is all that he claimed to be and that all past rebellion was fruitless and utterly sinful and God is perfectly holy and just to judge all those who refused to repent and trust in Christ.  They must willingly acknowledge and confess this, because for this we were created to do and in that day it will be obvious to all.  God is the only glorious and perfect and wise God and all rebellion is the most reprehensible sin imaginable but in that day it will be pointless and irrational to pretend that there is any glory equal to or greater than God’s. 
To me this glorifies God more; not that sinners were forced to confess this because forced confession doesn’t make it true.  But if all creatures willingly confess and bow the knee then God is fully vindicated and proven to be all that he said he was.  If this in turn is true then it would make sense that all those in Hell are not still in rebellion but know that they are there justly for their sin.  So all sin and rebellion are effectively dealt with by God either through the cross or Hell but in such a way that in the eternal state there will be no pocket of rebels where sin is allowed to reign but even in Hell all those suffering will be confessing that God is just and holy and good. 
I haven’t thought these things through long term and so I would look forward to hearing from anyone who can add to this or suggest problems with this kind of scenario.  Thanks

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