If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. ~1 Corinthians 16:22
As we come to the close of this year, we are considering a sentence that exhorts us to live fervently for the Lord. It is presented as a warning and a precaution. It is given to us in a way that causes us to be always mindful of the consequence of letting our fire for the Lord diminish.
We see the spiritual goal.
The goal and preeminent ambition of the Christian life is to love our Lord with all our heart, all our soul, and all our might. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” We are able to love our Lord because He first loved us. Loving our Lord entails a daily walk with Him. We will spend time in His presence in worship, confession of our sin, and praying for His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Loving our Lord means loving others. Our heart's devotion should be constantly doing those things that honor and please our Lord.
We see the special greeting.
Christians greeted one another with the word Maranatha. It means “our Lord will come.” We are to live with anticipation of the imminent return of our Lord for us. He will come for us as a Jewish bridegroom would come for his wife to consummate the betrothal and finalize the marriage. His coming will come as a surprise. His coming will come suddenly. His coming will come soon. Maranatha was a password among believers so that they would know each other. It was also a watchword reminder of the Lord’s coming. There is a crown of righteousness for all those who love His appearing. This word distinguished the fervent from the feeble.
We see the sobering grief.
“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” The word Anathema pronounced a curse. It has the idea of an animal being offered as a sacrifice on behalf of another. The offering of this animal represented a curse being lifted from the guilty and placed on the animal. This word strongly implies that if a person did not love our Lord, he is cursed at the Lord’s coming. John said in 1 John 2:28, “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” This confidence is that we are not cursed with the shame of being unprepared when He comes. It is also a warning to the unsaved that they will be left with no hope for being saved if they have rejected the Lord’s salvation before He comes.
We see the satisfying grace.
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." Anathema tells us that there is a curse if we do not love our Lord. The grace of our Lord tells us that He cares for us and gives us grace for our preparation. I believe that He gives us grace to serve Him (Hebrews 12:28). I believe that He gives us grace to sustain us (Hebrews 4:16). I believe that He gives us grace to strengthen us (2 Corinthians 12:9). I believe that He gives us grace when we suffer. God knows that we struggle with our flesh and sins that easily weigh us down. However, He gives us grace to help in time of need. We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto us at the revelation of our Lord Jesus. We must be cautious about the grievous, but we can move forward because He gives us grace. And by the way, He gives us more grace when things get tougher. Yes, Jesus is coming! Let us live in anticipation that He could come even in the next few minutes. Return to your first love for the Lord. Maranatha!
Have a passionate God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Revelation 17-21