The Amityville Horror was a movie based upon a book by the same name. I did not read the book or see the movie. Supposedly, they were living scared within a “haunted house.” But living without Christ in a fallen world is much scarier. And that is the horror story in which we are all born.
In Sunday’s passage you will learn how to move from the Enmityville Horror to the Amityville Hope.
Colosssians 1:21-23 divides into three sections:
OUR PAST CONDITION: SEPARATION, 1:21
Note the three-fold former condition of these Colossian believers. They were alienated (Position); hostile in mind (Perspective); and engaged in evil deeds (Practice). I believe there is a progressive connection. Alienated, hostile and engaged in evil deeds, this is a horror show!
OUR PRESENT CONDITION: RECONCILIATION, 1:22
The Good News is we do not have to remain in such a horror show. We can be reconciled! One theologian of yesteryear said “The best New Testament word to describe the purpose of the atonement is reconciliation.” Dr S. Lewis Johnson, a past professor at Dallas Theological Seminary defines reconciliation as the “finished work of God by which man is brought from an attitude and position of enmity with God to an attitude and position of amity and peace with God by means of the removal of the enmity through the cross.” In other words, it makes you savable!
Reconciliation also makes you presentable! Sometime in the future, following the Rapture (1 These 4:13-18) we shall be presented. Contrast the three-fold condition of 1:21with the three-fold description of 1:22. Christ died on a cross in order to present youholy, blameless and beyond reproach. Can you imagine how you will feel when the Lord of Glory, puts His hand on your shoulder and presents you as His brother or sister. But there is an “if.” You find it in 1:23
OUR FUTURE CONDITION: GLORIFICATION, 1:23
Looking forward to the above presentation is strong motivation to remain faithful. Many however, teach we cannot have this hope of eternal life unless we persevere in the faith. They teach it is presumptuous to say you have eternal life unless you continue firm in the faith, throughout your life. One local seminary professor does not even think the Apostle Paul, had assurance of salvation unless he remained faithful! I will quote him this Sunday. But that is the craziness of Reformed Theology.
But Paul is not warning them about Eternal Salvation but Eternal Rewards. We must continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, not moving away from the hope of the gospel, IF we hope to be rewarded. There is a danger of falling away from the hope of the Gospel but no danger of losing one’s salvation.
Not knowing if one will be in heaven at death is a horror story!