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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Entering Zion National Park 9/28/19
Entering Zion National Park on scenic Route 9 in Utah

"The Great White Throne"

Message summary: The main thing in this life is to be ready for that final appointment, judgment day. I am trusting in Christ and believe I am ready. Are you?

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"Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it" (Revelation 20:11).

Our final national park to visit during our western trip was Zion which likely has its name based on the Zion in the Bible (see here). We entered the park from the east on Utah state route 9, a very scenic highway. At the entrance I was pleased to be able to use my lifetime senior pass. But after pulling it out of my wallet to show it, I was told there was no need as it was a free pass day! That meant the park was very, very crowded.

Nevertheless the drive was beautiful although due to the crowds we didn't go into the main part of the park which requires shuttles and even finding parking was hard. Maybe another time!

Zion is distinct from other canyon parks in that you drive through the canyon looking up at the walls rather than from along the rim looking down. You can't drive through the Grand Canyon! However we did take a hike to a vista point overlooking the park.

A popular scenic point in Zion National Park is known as the Great White Throne. It is often used as a symbol of Zion National Park. Since that was in a portion of the park requiring a shuttle ride we didn't get a photo but here's one online.

We assume this also has a name based upon a Bible passage, our daily text. However please don't forward this to the "Freedom From Religion Foundation", a group that manages to find offense in any expression, display or reminder of this country's Judeo-Christian foundations. Probably Zion would upset them as well!

The Great White Throne in our daily text is the place of final judgment. Those who are judged are assigned to their final state. The Bible does not indicate any chance for belief after this final judgment. The Great White Throne Judgment refers to a time in the future when all who have ever lived will stand before God in judgment, and He will decide who will be a part of His Kingdom, and who will receive eternal death.

The reminder of future judgment is a Biblical truth that many are uncomfortable with or find offensive. Proclaim that today and you will be labeled a crackpot by the world and sadly many in the visible church would critique your message to be "unloving".

The Apostles Creed forthrightly states that "He shall come to judge the quick (living) and the dead." A spiritually healthy outlook in life includes a perspective of future judgment. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy (and through Scripture to all of us): "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead" (2 Timothy 4:1).

The Bible says that Jesus didn't come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). He appeared in flesh and walked upon the earth 33 years, taught the ways of godliness, lived a sinless life and died upon the cross that we might be saved from our sins.

Every one of us has a final appointment. This appointment will take place whether or not we believe in it. Having faith is not necessary. This appointment can't be skipped nor forgotten. You can't cancel it or reschedule at your convenience. There will be no excuses accepted. Wealth, position, power or possessions won't matter when it comes to our final appointment!

The secular reader will smugly smile at this. Although he certainly cannot deny the inevitability of death, he may chuckle at what seems to him the archaic notion of an appointment of future judgment and accounting to God.

The believer in Christ and the believer in the worldly system both have faith. Death is the final step of faith for both.
  • One believes the record of the Bible, the other believes the record of "enlightened" man.
  • One has faith that the words expressed in the Scripture are true, the other believes in what man has said.
  • One believes we are uniquely created in the image of God, the other believes we are just a higher form of evolved animal life.
  • One believes that following death there is judgment day with a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. The other believes that we are merely physical matter and at death we simply cease to be (although I find it interesting that at the death of a loved one, all, except for the most ardent secularist, tend to express belief in an after-life).
What do you believe today? You do believe one way or the other. There's really no middle ground. I believe in the record of the Bible. I accept its words as truth. I believe in a future judgment. And I don't want it to be merely "religious" belief that is compartmentalized but a dynamic, living faith that impacts every area of my life. The main thing in this life is to be ready for that final appointment, judgment day. I am trusting in Christ and believe I am ready. Are you?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we read in Revelation 20 about the Great White Throne Judgment where all will stand and give account of his or her decision to follow after You or to rebel against Your righteousness. As believers we will stand before Your throne blameless because of Jesus' righteousness which delivers us from the punishment we deserve. I want my faith to be living and active, influencing my every thought and motive, as I live out my life here on earth. In Christ's name I pray. Amen.

Note: For discerning readers I am aware there is a separate "judgment seat of Christ" for those who have followed Christ.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park 9/28/19 (Click to enlarge)
Zion National Park
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Zion National Park 9/28/19 (Click to enlarge)
Zion National Park
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Zion National Park 9/28/19 (Click to enlarge)
The hole in the center is a gallery window to a long tunnel we had just driven through. It was used during construction to remove debris. Here's an interesting article.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Zion National Park 9/28/19
Look carefully to see about ten Bighorn sheep on the ledge over this tunnel. Tomorrow we will share a photo of a close-up of a Bighorn sheep we saw our last full day in Valley Of Fire State park in Utah

Zion National Park 9/28/19
It was a beautiful drive!

Zion National Park 9/28/19
Checkerboard Mountain is on the east side of the park.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Great I Am Still Is"  Video  Triumphant Quartet

"The Great I Am"  Video  New Life Worship

What is the Great White Throne Judgment? (from the gotquestions.org teaching site)

"Freedom From Religion Foundation" (not an endorsement!)

Finally today:

Utah Rt 12 9/28/19
We took this photo on a scenic route between Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. The scenery doesn't stop being beautiful outside the parks!

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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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