"Giving Dogs a Bad Name "
Revelation 22:15 - Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
The fire at the home of Robert and Elsie Whitson broke out in the early morning hours of March 9. The last I heard, a space-heater in the family room was thought to be responsible for the blaze. By the time the fire department arrived, Robert and Elsie were safe. They survived because when their dog Lassie smelled smoke, she gently nipped at their fingers until they fled from their home. Lassie's body was found under a section of the collapsed ceiling.
Which explains why many of us love dogs.
You should know the Bible doesn't share that feeling. That's because, over the centuries, people living in the lands of the Bible have thought of dogs as being ravenous beasts, scavengers. That's why, when the ancient Jews wanted to show their disrespect for someone, they called him a "dog."
Now, why all this talk about dogs? I'll tell you. In the book of Revelation, it tells how things will be after the judgment. Jesus shares: "Those who stand firm to the end will be saved" (see Matthew 24:13). The Savior's words promise that this world's sadness will be replaced by unending joy; tears will be dried and laughter will be heard; pain and problems, trials, troubles, and tribulations will be no more. Salvation is the living Savior's gift to all who stand firm until the end.
And the dogs? The Savior tells us that outside will be the dogs, those who practice magic arts, "the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood."
In other words, after Judgment Day this world's sin-twisted tables will be turned. Those who wanted only to live their lives without God, who demanded nothing more than to be free of the Savior -- His work, His sacrifice, His redemption, His forgiveness, and salvation -- will be granted their wish. The Father, quite rightly has decreed that these lovers of falsehood will spend eternity as ungrateful, unthankful, unappreciative mongrels, which they have shown themselves to be.
Eternity will be spent without God, without Christ's love, the Holy Spirit's peace. They will spend eternity howling through the unending hours of perpetual night and darkness.
Does what has just been said sound too stern, too severe? Remember, that isn't God's wish. God would have everybody be saved. That is why the Father sent His Son into this world to purchase our freedom. After the judgment, if some are sent as dogs to live outside heaven's doors, it is not by God's desire, but by humankind's disobedience.
And what of those who have remained faithful until the end? What about them?
Jesus tells us what will happen to them. He said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven ..." (Matthew 5:3-12).
Is there anyone who hears this devo who does not wish to be so blessed?
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, while there still is time, let the lost be saved. To that end, may I be of help. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Those who wish to reference this story may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/17525736/ns/us_news-life/t/dog-dies-saving-family-burning-home/#.WwVVgq2WzIU
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 12-14 John 8:28-59
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