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Isaiah 66, a summary

The 66th chapter of Isaiah, a summary...

God is in heaven. We are on earth.  He doesn't need anything from us. (66:1)  What he delights in is humility, that is, that we know who we are in light of who he is.  To humbly, contritely, and reverentially heed what God has revealed in his Word.  (v 2)

Motions of worship and sacrifices in themselves not only do not impress God, but they are positively an abomination to him.  Just because people may act worshipful, or pray, or sacrifice, or give money is no sign of true affection for God.  (v 3) 

Self-righteous people who mock and belittle the Lord's people will themselves be put to shame.  (vs 4-6) 

God will restore his people, his holy city, and his creation just as he promised, and it will come about suddenly, and at an unexpected time.  For God's people there will be glory and "peace like a river."  (vs 7-14)

All flesh will be judged --  all nations, all peoples, all idolaters.  (vs 15-17)  But God's glory will be upon his people.  (vs 18-20)  

God will be glorified both in his judgment and in his mercy.  All humanity will be divided into two groups:  a) those who worship God forever in a new heavens and new earth (vs 21-23), and b) those who are judged as an eternal abhorrence, whose end will be the undying worm and unquenchable fire.  (v 24)

Our Lord Jesus affirmed Isaiah's words and quoted this final verse in his teaching:  "And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 'where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'"  (Mark 9:47-48)  And like Isaiah, Jesus declared that there are but two eternal destinies:  "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 25:46 ESV)

Judgment is coming upon all the earth.  Everyone, every person, either at their death or at the end of history, will face the holy God and give an account.   At that time our technology will not save us.  Our science will not save us.  Our heroes and entertainers and politicians and athletes will not save us.  Our money will not save us.  Our supposed morality and self-identification will not save us.   

Our only hope is in the gospel!  That we would humbly and contritely believe his Word, that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead and will save all who call upon his name.  

Please consider...

"...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  For the Scripture says, 'Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.'  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.  For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"  (Romans 10:9-13 ESV)

"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."  (John 5:24 ESV)


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