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Readings for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, Year A — exegesis on the Gospel, Matthew 16:21-28, part 2

This post continues an exegesis on the Gospel reading for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity in 2023, which was the same for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity in 2020, both being in Year A of the Lectionary.

Part 1 explains why Jesus called Peter ‘Satan’ when the forthright Apostle said that He must not die.

The reading is as follows (emphases mine):

Matthew 16:21-28

16:21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

16:22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.”

16:23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their Cross and follow me.

16:25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

16:26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

16:27 “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done.

16:28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Commentary comes from Matthew Henry and John MacArthur.

We continue with verse 24, wherein Jesus told the disciples that anyone who wishes to follow Him should deny himself, take up their cross and follow Him.

Matthew Henry’s commentary explains the verse, which involves obedience to Christ, not our own desires. It involves sanctification, or continual spiritual improvement in the Christian journey:

It is as if Christ had said, “If any of the people that are not my disciples, be steadfastly minded to come to me, and if you that are, be in like manner minded to adhere to me, it is upon these terms, these and no other; you must follow me in sufferings as well as in other things, and therefore when you sit down to count the cost, reckon upon it.”

Now what are these terms?

(1.) Let him deny himself. Peter had advised Christ to spare himself, and would be ready, in the like case, to take the advice; but Christ tells them all, they must be so far from sparing themselves, that they must deny themselves. Herein they must come after Christ, for his birth, and life, and death, were all a continued act of self-denial, a self-emptying, Phil 2 7, 8. If self-denial be a hard lesson, and against the grain to flesh and blood, it is no more than what our Master learned and practised before us and for us, both for our redemption and for our instruction; and the servant is not above his lord. Note, All the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ must deny themselves. It is the fundamental law of admission into Christ’s school, and the first and great lesson to be learned in this school, to deny ourselves; it is both the strait gate, and the narrow way; it is necessary in order to our learning all the other good lessons that are there taught. We must deny ourselves absolutely, we must not admire our own shadow, nor gratify our own humour; we must not lean to our own understanding, nor seek our own things, nor be our own end. We must deny ourselves comparatively; we must deny ourselves for Christ, and his will and glory, and the service of his interest in the world; we must deny ourselves for our brethren, and for their good; and we must deny ourselves for ourselves, deny the appetites of the body for the benefit of the soul.

(2.) Let him take up his cross. The cross is here put for all sufferings, as men or Christians; providential afflictions, persecutions for righteousness’ sake, every trouble that befals us, either for doing well or for not doing ill. The troubles of Christians are fitly called crosses, in allusion to the death of the cross, which Christ was obedient to; and it should reconcile us to troubles, and take off the terror of them, that they are what we bear in common with Christ, and such as he hath borne before us. Note, [1.] Every disciple of Christ hath his cross, and must count upon it; as each hath his special duty to be done, so each hath his special trouble to be borne, and every one feels most from his own burthen. Crosses are the common lot of God’s children, but of this common lot each hath his particular share. That is our cross which Infinite Wisdom has appointed for us, and a Sovereign Providence has laid on us, as fittest for us. It is good for us to call the cross we are under our own, and entertain it accordingly. We are apt to think we could bear such a one’s cross better than our own; but that is best which is, and we ought to make the best of it. [2.] Every disciple of Christ must take up that which the wise God hath made his cross. It is an allusion to the Roman custom of compelling those that were condemned to be crucified, to carry their cross: when Simon carried Christ’s cross after him, this phrase was illustrated. First, It is supposed that the cross lies in our way, and is prepared for us. We must not make crosses to ourselves, but must accommodate ourselves to those which God has made for us. Our rule is, not to go a step out of the way of duty, either to meet a cross, or to miss one. We must not by our rashness and indiscretion pull crosses down upon our own heads, but must take them up when they are laid in our way. We must so manage an affliction, that it may not be a stumbling-block or hindrance to us in any service we have to do for God. We must take it up out of our way, by getting over the offence of the cross; None of these things move me; and we must then go on with it in our way, though it lie heavy. Secondly, That which we have to do, is, not only to bear the cross (that a stock, or a stone, or a stick may do), not only to be silent under it, but we must take up the cross, must improve it to some good advantage. We should not say, “This is an evil, and I must bear it, because I cannot help it;” but, “This is an evil, and I will bear it, because it shall work for my good.” When we rejoice in our afflictions, and glory in them, then we take up the cross. This fitly follows upon denying ourselves; for he that will not deny himself the pleasures of sin, and the advantages of this world for Christ, when it comes to the push, will never have the heart to take up his cross …

(3.) Let him follow me, in this particular of taking up the cross. Suffering saints must look unto Jesus, and take from him both direction and encouragement in suffering. Do we bear the cross? We therein follow Christ, who bears it before us, bears it for us, and so bears it from us. He bore the heavy end of the cross, the end that had the curse upon it, that was a heavy end, and so made the other light and easy for us. Or, we may take it in general, we must follow Christ in all instances of holiness and obedience. Note, The disciples of Christ must study to imitate their Master, and conform themselves in every thing to his example, and continue in well-doing, whatever crosses lie in their way. To do well and to suffer ill, is to follow Christ. If any man will come after me, let him follow me; that seems to be idem per idem—the same thing over again. What is the difference? Surely it is this, If any man will come after me, in profession, and so have the name and credit of a disciple, let him follow me in truth, and so do the work and duty of a disciple.” Or thus, “If any man will set out after me, in good beginnings, let him continue to follow me with all perseverance.” That is following the Lord fully, as Caleb did. Those that come after Christ, must follow after him.

John MacArthur has more on taking up the cross, which had to do with a mass crucifixion that all the disciples would have known about:

You don’t get mystical about the cross of Jesus Christ. The disciples aren’t thinking of that. He hasn’t died yet. They don’t even know – are you ready for this? – that He’s going to die on a cross, He hasn’t said that yet. All He said in verse 21 is He’s going to be killed, that’s all. So they’re not looking at some mystical apprehension of the cross of Jesus Christ. What are they thinking on that dusty road in Caesarea Philippi, up on the plateau where the cool breezes blew and they could overlook the Galilee area, what are they thinking in that day 2,000 years ago when He says “take up His cross”?

I’ll tell you what they’re thinking. Eight hundred men had been crucified in that area, not much earlier than this very event. Something about a hundred twenty years before. And from a revolt following the death of Herod the Great, the Roman Proconsul Varus crucified two thousand Jews. Crucifixion was somewhat common in the Roman Empire, somewhat common in middle Asia, somewhat common in Egypt, somewhat common in Italy. They had seen crucifixions a lot.

Now, when He said, “Take up your cross,” you know what they saw? They saw these poor, sad, condemned souls marching along the road with at least the cross beam of their own instrument of death strapped to their backs. That’s what they thought of. To them, the cross meant you’re walking to death, you’re moving toward your martyrdom. That’s what it meant. And that’s what the Lord is saying. You must perceive following me as putting on the instrument of your own execution. Because the world is going to cut you off. Not all of you will die, not all of the twelve died, but many of them did, as martyrs.

MacArthur warns us about today’s easy Christianity:

… those who come to Jesus Christ, come on His terms. You don’t just sign on the dotted line, folks. You don’t just stick your hand in the air. You come to the end of your self and you are so enamored and so desirous of the precious gift of salvation that He offers that you will sacrifice even your life. And then after you’ve received the gift, isn’t it interesting how we back off from that original commitment? That’s why He’s reminding the disciples as well as instructing the crowd

No, you’re not called to Christ to get the goodies. You’re called to Christ to abandon your self in service to Him. That’s the essence of the epistles. It is this cross that marks the true disciple. You know, if you want a good test to separate the wheat from the tares, the tares are the one who are not willing to suffer the reproach for Christ. They won’t pay the price.

By the way, Luke adds a wonderful word here. Luke doesn’t just say “take up His cross,” Luke says “take up His cross daily,” every day, every day, every day. It’s a way of life, folks, for us.

Jesus continued, saying that those who want to save their lives — eternally in the kingdom of God — will lose it on earth, and those who lose their lives for His sake will find it (verse 25).

Henry explains the paradox:

(1.) The weight of that eternity which depends upon our present choice (v. 25); Whosoever will save his life, by denying Christ, shall lose it: and whosoever is content to lose his life, for owning Christ, shall find it. Here are life and death, good and evil, the blessing and the curse, set before us. Observe,

[1.] The misery that attends the most plausible apostasy. Whosoever will save his life in this world, if it be by sin, he shall lose it in another; he that forsakes Christ, to preserve a temporal life and avoid a temporal death, will certainly come short of eternal life, and will be hurt of the second death, and eternally held by it. There cannot be a fairer pretence for apostasy and iniquity than saving the life by it, so cogent is the law of self-preservation; and yet even that is folly, for it will prove in the end self-destruction; the life saved is but for a moment, the death shunned is but as a sleep; but the life lost is everlasting, and the death run upon is the depth and complement of all misery, and an endless separation from all good. Now, let any rational man consider of it, take advice and speak his mind, whether there is any thing got, at long run, by apostasy, though a man save his estate, preferment, or life, by it.

[2.] The advantage that attends the most perilous and expensive constancy; Whosoever will lose his life for Christ’s sake in this world, shall find it in a better, infinitely to his advantage. Note, First, Many a life is lost, for Christ’s sake, in doing his work, by labouring fervently for his name; in suffering work, by choosing rather to die than to deny him or his truths and ways. Christ’s holy religion is handed down to us, sealed with the blood of thousands, that have not known their own souls, but have despised their lives (as Job speaks in another case), though very valuable ones, when they have stood in competition with their duty and the testimony of Jesus, Rev 20 4. Secondly, Though many have been losers for Christ, even of life itself, yet never any one was, or will be, a loser by him in the end. The loss of other comforts, for Christ, may possibly be made up in this world (Mark 10 30); the loss of life cannot, but it shall be made up in the other world, in an eternal life; the believing prospect of which hath been the great support of suffering saints in all ages. An assurance of the life they should find, in lieu of the life they hazarded, hath enabled them to triumph over death in all its terrors; to go smiling to a scaffold, and stand singing at a stake, and to call the utmost instances of their enemies’ rage but a light affliction.

On that theme, Jesus asked two questions (verse 26): ‘For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?’

MacArthur gives this analysis:

… another way to look at it, verse 26, “What will a man give as an exchange or with what will he buy his soul?” Let’s say he owned the whole world, could he buy back his soul with it? No – no. You see, if you’re going to throw your life away in this world, you will be bankrupt forever. But if you abandon your life and give it to Jesus Christ, you’ll be rich forever. And He may just choose to pour out riches in this life as well.

Henry urges us to think of our souls when reading the verse:

What is a man profited, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? ten psychen autou; the same word which is translated his life (v. 25), for the soul is the life, Gen 2 7. This alludes to that common principle, that, whatever a man gets, if he lose his life, it will do him no good, he cannot enjoy his gains. But it looks higher, and speaks of the soul as immortal, and a loss of it beyond death, which cannot be compensated by the gain of the whole world. Note, First, Every man has a soul of his own. The soul is the spiritual and immortal part of man, which thinks and reasons, has a power of reflection and prospect, which actuates the body now, and will shortly act in a separation from the body. Our souls are our own not in respect of dominion and property (for we are not our own, All souls are mine, saith God), but in respect of nearness and concern; our souls are our own, for they are ourselves. Secondly, It is possible for the soul to be lost, and there is danger of it. The soul is lost when it is eternally separated from all the good to all the evil that a soul is capable of; when it dies as far as a soul can die; when it is separated from the favour of God, and sunk under his wrath and curse. A man is never undone till he is in hell. Thirdly, If the soul be lost, it is of the sinner’s own losing. The man loses his own soul, for he does that which is certainly destroying to it, and neglects that which alone would be saving, Hos 13 9. The sinner dies because he will die; his blood is on his own head. Fourthly, One soul is worth more than all the world; our own souls are of greater value to us than all the wealth, honour, and pleasures of this present time, if we had them. Here is the whole world set in the scale against one soul, and Tekel written upon it; it is weighed in the balance, and found too light to weigh it down. This is Christ’s judgment upon the matter, and he is a competent Judge; he had reason to know the price of souls, for he redeemed them; nor would he under-rate the world, for he made it. Fifthly, The winning of the world is often the losing of the soul. Many a one has ruined his eternal interest by his preposterous and inordinate care to secure and advance his temporal ones. It is the love of the world, and the eager pursuit of it, that drowns men in destruction and perdition. Sixthly, The loss of the soul is so great a loss, that the gain of the whole world will not countervail it, or make it up. He that loses his soul, though it be to gain the world, makes a very bad bargain for himself, and will sit down at last an unspeakable loser. When he comes to balance the account, and to compare profit and loss, he will find that, instead of the advantage he promised himself, he is ruined to all intents and purposes, is irreparably broken.

What shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Note, If once the soul be lost, it is lost for ever. There is no antallagmacounter-price, that can be paid, or will be accepted. It is a loss that can never be repaired, never be retrieved. If, after that great price which Christ laid down to redeem our souls, and to restore us to the possession of them, they be so neglected for the world, that they come to be lost, that new mortgage will never be taken off; there remains no more sacrifice for sins, nor price for souls, but the equity of redemption is eternally precluded. Therefore it is good to be wise in time, and do well for ourselves.

Then Jesus referred to His Second Coming: the Son of Man returning to earth with His angels in the glory of the Father, at which time He will repay us according to our deeds (verse 27).

Henry says:

The great encouragement to steadfastness in religion is taken from the second coming of Christ, considering it,

[1.] As his honour; The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angelsThe Son of man shall come. He here gives himself the title of his humble state (he is the Son of man), to show that he is not ashamed to own it. His first coming was in the meanness of his children, who being partakers of flesh, he took part of the same; but his second coming will be in the glory of his Father. At his first coming, he was attended with poor disciples; at his second coming, he will be attended with glorious angels; and if we suffer with him, we shall be glorified with him, 2 Tim 2 12.

[2.] As our concern; Then he shall reward every man according to his works. Observe, First, Jesus Christ will come as a Judge, to dispense rewards and punishments, infinitely exceeding the greatest that any earthly potentate has the dispensing of. The terror of men’s tribunal (ch. 10 18) will be taken off by a believing prospect of the glory of Christ’s tribunal. Secondly, Men will then be rewarded, not according to their gains in this world, but according to their works, according to what they were and did. In that day, the treachery of backsliders will be punished with eternal destruction, and the constancy of faithful souls recompensed with a crown of life. Thirdly, The best preparative for that day is to deny ourselves, and take up our cross, and follow Christ; for so we shall make the Judge our Friend, and these things will then pass well in the account. Fourthly, The rewarding of men according to their works is deferred till that day. Here good and evil seem to be dispensed promiscuously; we see not apostasy punished with immediate strokes, nor fidelity encouraged with immediate smiles, from heaven; but in that day all will be set to rights. Therefore judge nothing before the time, 2 Tim 4 6-8.

Jesus ended His discourse saying, ‘Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom’ (verse 28).

Jesus was referring to His Transfiguration, which opens Matthew 17:

The transfiguration

17 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’

When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. ‘Get up,’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid.’ When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, ‘Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’

However, Henry looks at the verse more broadly, with reference to the growth of the Church:

At the end of time, he shall come in his Father’s glory; but now, in the fulness of time, he was to come in his own kingdom, his mediatorial kingdom. Some little specimen was given of his glory a few days after this, in his transfiguration (ch. 17 1); then he tried his robes. But this points at Christ’s coming by the pouring out of his Spirit, the planting of the gospel church, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the taking away of the place and nation of the Jews, who were the most bitter enemies to Christianity. Here was the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Many then present lived to see it, particularly John, who lived till after the destruction of Jerusalem, and saw Christianity planted in the world. Let this encourage the followers of Christ to suffer for him, [1.] That their undertaking shall be succeeded; the apostles were employed in setting up Christ’s kingdom; let them know, for their comfort, that whatever opposition they meet with, yet they shall carry their point, shall see of the travail of their soul. Note, It is a great encouragement to suffering saints to be assured, not only of the safety, but of the advancement of Christ’s kingdom among men; not only notwithstanding their sufferings, but by their sufferings. A believing prospect of the success of the kingdom of grace, as well as of our share in the kingdom of glory, may carry us cheerfully through our sufferings. [2.] That their cause shall be pleaded; their deaths shall be revenged, and their persecutors reckoned with. [3.] That this shall be done shortly, in the present age. Note, The nearer the church’s deliverances are, the more cheerful should we be in our sufferings for Christ. Behold the Judge standeth before the door. It is spoken as a favour to those that should survive the present cloudy time, that they should see better days. Note, It is desirable to share with the church in her joys, Dan 12 12. Observe, Christ saith, Some shall live to see those glorious days, not all; some shall enter into the promised land, but others shall fall in the wilderness. He does not tell them who shall live to see this kingdom, lest if they had known, they should have put off the thoughts of dying, but some of them shall; Behold, the Lord is at hand. The Judge standeth before the door; be patient, therefore, brethren.

MacArthur acknowledges that and offers more explanations before returning to the power of the Transfiguration:

in verse 28, look what He says, “Verily I say unto you” – and whenever He says “truly I say unto you” or “verily,” it’s something very important – “there are some standing here who shall not taste of death” – that’s a Jewish phrase simply meaning not to drink the cup of death, not to die – “some of you won’t die until you see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” Now, that is amazing.

And you say, “Somewhere in this world, there are some very old fellows.”

Has anybody found them? How – how – what is this? “Some standing here will not taste death.” Well, first it was only some. Most did taste death before they saw Him, just some wouldn’t. Most would die before they saw Him, but some wouldn’t.

And commentators come to this verse, and it’s amazing what happens to their thinking. First of all, may I note for you that what He is saying, I think, in verse 28, best could be translated this way: “Some of you standing here shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in His royal majesty.”

You have the right, with the term basileia used 150 plus times in the New Testament, to render it not only as the kingdom itself, but the kingliness of the King in regal splendor, royal majesty. In fact, you might put that there in your text, because that’s the best way to see this, “There are some of you standing here who will not die until you see the Son of Man coming in His royal majesty, His regal splendor.”

Now, what does that mean? Well, some commentators suggested it means the resurrection, that He came out of the grave in royal splendor. Some suggest it means the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, that the Spirit of God came in the majesty and so forth, and all that happened in the birth of the Church.

Others say that it was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., when He came down in judgment against the apostate Israel and, using the royal army, wiped them out. And some have even suggested that it refers to a spiritual coming when Christ comes and enters into your heart.

Well, all those are wrong. All those things happened, but they don’t have anything to do with this verse. It can’t be the resurrection, because the resurrection is never expressed by the verb “coming,” it’s the first step in Him going back to heaven. And it can’t be Pentecost, because He didn’t come. Who did? The Holy Spirit. And it can’t be the destruction of Jerusalem, because it says some of you will see the Son of Man, and nobody saw Him there. And it’s just mystical to make it some spiritual coming.

If you want to know what it means, you just have to keep reading, folks. And unfortunately, they stuck a chapter deal in here, and then a bunch of other headings and a few other verses you could look up, when you ought to have these things flow together.

And may I suggest to you an interesting thought? This same promise, “Some of you are not standing,” and so forth – “Some of you standing will not see death,” appears in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And in all three cases where it appears, it is immediately followed, every single time, by the same incident so that what the Lord is simply doing is interpreting what He just said by what happens. “Some of you standing here shall not die till you see the Son of Man in regal splendor.” You know what they were about to get? A personal, private preview of second coming glory. It’s exactly what they were going to get.

Do you want to get in on it? Verse 1, “After six days, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother” – that’s it, just those three; that’s the “some” who didn’t die till they saw Him in regal splendor. The rest died, folks, before they saw Him in regal splendor, because they haven’t – He hasn’t come in regal splendor yet.

Now, this was an overwhelming scene.

“And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here.’” Man, this is what we’ve been waiting for, and this is it. And then he makes a really dumb suggestion, “Let us build three booths: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” His idea was just to live there permanently, never go back down.

“While he yet spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them.” God had another plan. “Behold, a voice, out of the cloud, which said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased; hear ye Him!” Now, the disciples, according to Luke, were already terrorized, and this didn’t help.

“And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face and were very much terrified. And Jesus came and touched them and said, ‘Arise, be not afraid.’ And when He had lifted up their eyes” – they had lifted up their eyes – “they saw no man except Jesus only.” And you could stop there.

What an experience, huh? They went on this little retreat into the mountain privately with the Lord. And Luke says they were sleeping. They often did that. Jesus was praying, and they were sleeping. Same thing. And in the middle of this prayer of Jesus, and just as they were coming out of their sleep, He pulls the veil back and says, “I just want you fellows to know that when I said I was coming in glory, I meant it”. And He pulls the veil of His flesh back, and He shines like the sun at midday. And they’re terrified. And then comes the voice of God, and Moses and Elijah, and it’s overwhelming. It is a preview of the second coming. Every single, minute thing that happened depicts an element of the second coming. An incredible event.

It changed Peter’s life. It changed his life. It became the theme of his message. You read 1 Peter or 2 Peter, basically the theme is the second coming. “Don’t worry about your pain, don’t worry about your suffering, folks; He’s coming. He’s coming.” And if you want to have somebody interpret that passage properly for you, all you have to do is listen to what Peter said.

Second Peter chapter 1. The one thing Peter knew Jesus would do was return. And the resurrection just verified it. He sort of waned a little bit when Jesus died, but he was strengthened by the resurrection. And this became His great anticipation. And I believe he was literally consumed with the coming of Jesus Christ.

And when he wrote 2 Peter 1, in verse 16, he says, “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He says, “When we go around preaching that Jesus is coming in power and glory, this isn’t some human fable; we didn’t make this up. We were eyewitnesses of His royal majesty. We were eyewitnesses of His regal splendor.”

When was that? You were? “For He received from God the Father honor and glory. It was when there came a voice to Him from the excellent glory, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” And, you know, Peter never forgot that. I mean he was a basket case when that voice came out of that cloud. That’s when it was.

MacArthur concludes:

And Peter writes, at the end of 2 Peter and says, “I know in the last days, mockers are going to come, and scoffers are going to come, and they’re going to say, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? All things continue as they were from the beginning’”

And Peter says, “Have you forgotten the flood? And just as God destroyed the world by water one time, He’s going to destroy it in the fiery, furious judgment when Jesus comes.” And then Peter says this, “Seeing these things shall come to pass, what manner of persons art ye to be in all holy living and godliness?”

That’s the message, folks. Jesus is coming. He previewed it for us … You can’t hide it. There’s no escape. For those of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ, there’s a sweetness about His coming; it is a promise filled with hope. For those who do not know Jesus Christ, it is a warning filled with terror.

Indeed. Some unbelievers have said to me, ‘I don’t need to worry about judgement, because I don’t believe in God. You do. You’re the one who has to worry’.

Well, we shall see on that fateful day who has to worry. Let no one say I didn’t warn him or her far in advance.

Forbidden Bible Verses will appear tomorrow.

This post first appeared on Churchmouse Campanologist | Ringing The Bells For, please read the originial post: here

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Readings for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, Year A — exegesis on the Gospel, Matthew 16:21-28, part 2


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