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The Final Word with Music, Too.

The Bible literally ends this way:

The grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with all the holy ones. Amen.

Revelation 22:21

I’ve had an earworm of a song running through my head, my heart, and my life yesterday and today.

It’s one of the many good pieces of the legacy of my time in a very conservative community of faith; I learned more there than I could ever have realized back then.

The lyrics themselves are powerful —

1 Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
yonder on Calvary’s mount out-poured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Refrain:
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin.

2 Dark is the stain that we cannot hide,
what can avail to wash it away!
Look! there is flowing a crimson tide;
whiter than snow you may be today. [Refrain]

3 Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
freely bestowed on all who believe;
you that are longing to see his face,
will you this moment his grace receive? [Refrain]

The tune fits perfectly (…although, disclaimer alert, when I learned it we sang this about twice as fast…that’s how I hear it and sing it still, with a lot more energy than this version, but you’ll get the idea here) —

Putting it all together, so you can see it (might need to enlarge it on your screen) and sing it and play it at whatever tempo you’d like —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Wins?

The Bible literally ends this way:

The grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with all the holy ones. Amen.
—Revelation 22:21

Yesterday we glanced at the connection between God’s love and God’s grace.

We saw that the former was the basis for the latter, and that both are fully expressed in Christ Jesus.

So was Rob Bell right with his 2011 book, Love Wins?

TheFinalWord, and One More

The Bible literally ends this way:

The grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with all the holy ones. Amen.

—Revelation 22:21

Yesterday we thought together about how our Bibles end, and we saw that they end, well, they end graciously.

That is, full of grace.

And that starts with a four letter word.

L-0-V-E.

The source of the grace of God is the love of God.

For God so loved the world is how the first Bible verse many of us ever learned starts, and that’s a good place to start. What John 3:16 says is that the Gospel begins with God’s love.

God’s love and God’s grace, woven together in Christ Jesus.

Gotta appreciate that!

 

 

BONUS BLOG: “Why All This Final Word Stuff, Joe?”

“Why all this stuff the last several days about how The Bible ends, Joe?”

Glad you asked!

I have friends who read the ending of a mystery novel first.  They want to know how the story ends.

There are some people want to know how everything ends…as in, well, everything.

So it is that once again people are proclaiming that they have figured out the time of Christ’s return and what they deem the end of the world. This time it’s Saturday,  September 23.

By contrast, consider that about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Jesus said that in Matthew 24:36.

I choose to believe Christ Jesus about how everything ends.

How about you?

 

 

The Final Word ἁγίων

The Bible literally ends this way:

The grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with all the holy ones. Amen.

Revelation 22:21

Hagiography is a word often used in a derogatory way to describe the practice of making somebody’s life seem bigger and better than reality.

But that fancy-sounding word “hagiography” itself has a fabulous little root word tucked in there.

The original Greek New Testament word ἁγίων sounds like HAGGY-own, and in its simplest form means holy…but wait, there’s more.

It also carries the meaning of being set apart, or separated out, by God and for God.

But wait. There’s more. A significant portion of that HAGGY-own business involves the preparation that makes being ἁγίων possible.

But wait. Yes, of course there’s more.

Who does that ἁγίων prep work? Who makes it possible for us to even begin to do our parts in becoming and being ἁγίων?

To answer those process questions, we go back where we began so long ago with Genesis 1:1 and its In the beginning, God. God starts the process.

Then here at the end of our Scriptures in Revelation 22:21, we’re awash in The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. God completes the process.

Hagiography in its purest form is about God’s love and grace first dressed up in human form as Christ Jesus, and then at work in other people:

The grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with all the holy ones. Amen.
Revelation 22:21  

People like you: ἁγίων.

 

 

Them, Too?

The Bible literally ends this way:

The grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with all the holy ones. Amen.
Revelation 22:21  

Who’s in?

Who’s out?

Whether we approve or not, Scripture is clear: all. 

(Please don’t panic, we’ll get to those next three words in this verse, I promise. For now, let’s hold up at that three letter word, all.)

This little word all is majorly inclusive. Maybe for some reading this right now it’s monstrously inclusive.

Bishop Woodie W. White loves to say that every time we pray the words “Our Father, who art in heaven” we get a whole lotta family we might not have counted on.

How big is the circle God draws? Bigger than I can imagine.

And it includes them, too? The last verse of the Bible says it includes all of them.

Let’s hope they’re not asking the same thing when they look at us: “Them, too?”

 

 

The Final Word. Now.

The Bible literally ends this way:

The grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with all the holy ones. Amen.

—Revelation 22:21  

It’s not a wish, nor a hope, nor a dream.

It’s not even a prayer.

It’s a stated fact.

As in, The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ ALREADY IS.

Like, ALREADY IS with you.

Right now.

And so?

Third World, a reggae band, sings, “Now that we’ve found love, what are we gonna do with it?”

Now that we have (t)he grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, “what are we gonna do with it?”