By Joseph Diop
Copyright © 2017 by Joseph Diop
I got a crown, you got a crown
All God’s children got a crown
When I get to Heaven gonna put on my crown
Gonna shout over God’s Heaven
Ev’rybody talkin’ ‘bout Heav’n ain’t goin’ there
Gonna shout all over God’s Heaven
Those are the words to an old African American spiritual, entitled “Shout All Over God’s Heaven.” Today, those words ring true and ring through with such piercing and stunning force, when you consider that it is written,
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 13 Take [them] away, and cast [them] into outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Matthew 7:22, 23; 22:13; 25:46
The salvation granted through the gospel is absolutely the most safe, secure, and solid proposition ever recorded. Yet, at the same time, individually and personally speaking, it can be the most precarious. That’s why Peter warned, ”Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make YOUR calling and election sure” (2Peter 1:10). Meanwhile, Paul said, “Work out YOUR OWN salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). And again, Peter said, “17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God. And if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous SCARCELY be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1Peter 4:17-18)
What?? Peter just said, “The righteous are scarcely being saved.‘” He may as well have said, “We Christians are making it into heaven only “by the skin of our teeth.” Don’t look now, but I think the apostles literally meant to put the fear of God in us, when they told us those things. So, where’s that solid ground of “The Solid Rock” we sing about? I’ll tell you where it is. Listen carefully. It is in the Spirit of Grace, which is in our hearts by faith. Of whom it is written “in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). And, “But ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:7). That’s good. But, it’s still seems like a crap shoot, when you consider that your heart is a tricky and untrustworthy vessel. As Jeremiah put it, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Therefore, anyone who thinks that they can skate on this salvation, is a fool. There’s absolutely nothing casual or lackadaisical in the cadence of salvation. I take my own heart in my hands every single morning before the Lord, and with reverence and godly fear, I make earnest supplication for it. There are billions of souls from throughout history, who will approach Christ’s throne at the end, who claim so much on the service side of the ledger, who will summarily be turned away. And they, with shock and disbelief, will be relegated to the lake of fire. Oh, my Lord God, I DON’T want to be in that number.
So, considering all this, when MY name is called as one among those “which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27), I’m gonna have something to shout about!!! I will consider myself most fortunate indeed, like one who jointly shares in the grand prize of the cosmic lottery. God’s love will have made me a winner. His blood will have saved me. His grace will have sustained me. And, his mercy will have carried me through. And, I will most certainly say, “Lord, ‘you make me feel like dancing!’” Amen.
“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 96:9