(Article for publication week of 3-13-2014 AD)
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11).
The Lord Jesus Christ, Who is truly God, possessed eternal glory. He underwent a great humiliation in becoming a Man. In His humiliation, He humbled Himself to the death of the cross. In so doing, He paid the sin debt of His elect people. God the Father was satisfied by the atoning death of His Son, and His perfectly righteous Life, and so raised Him from the dead for our justification. God the Father has now bestowed eternal honour upon His eternal Son, and exalted Him to His rightful Throne at His Own Right Hand. The Lord Jesus Christ is presently seated at His Father's right hand pleading the cause of all for whom He died (Roman 8:34). Now God demands that everybody, everywhere bow to His Son and confess that He is Lord. And every knee shall indeed bow to Him (Romans 14:11).
God glorifies His sovereign grace by efficaciously drawing some men to His Son to worship Him. God sweetly forces all his chosen race to bow down to His Son and confess His name. It is with silken cords of love and grace that God uses to bring poor sinners to love a Saviour for Whom they had no love by nature. Here is the mark of a sinner saved by grace; he loves for the Lord Jesus Christ to be his Lord. He gladly bows his knee to Him. He gladly confesses that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father. The believer in Christ knows that his chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, and this he is able to do only through the merits of His rightful Lord. Those who are saved by grace are presently bowing to Christ and confessing His Lordship.
Those who refuse to bow to Christ and confess Him as Lord now, will be forced to do so after death and at judgment. "Every knee should bow", and " every knee shall bow." Every unbeliever shall bow to Christ at the final judgment and confess what they refused to confess in this life, that He is Lord. Every scoffer shall bow; every skeptic shall bow; every "free thinker" shall bow; every secular humanist shall bow; every agnostic shall bow; every atheist shall bow; every Moslem shall bow; every Hindu shall bow; every Buddhist shall bow; every New Ager shall bow; every cultist shall bow; every papist shall bow; every "liberal churchman" shall bow; every hypocrite shall bow; every lost church member shall bow; every friend of the world shall bow; every rebel against Christ shall bow. EVERY knee shall bow, and EVERY tongue shall confess what they refused to acknowledge in this life for salvation, that Jesus Christ is Lord. Omnipotent God will glorify His justice and wrath by forcing every unrepentant and unbelieving sinner to bow down to His Son . And then He will send every last one of them to hell to be punished forever for refusing to bow and confess for salvation. Dear reader, if you will not bow now, you will bow later. And all through eternity you will be weeping and wailing and gnashing your teeth as you are punished by the Lord you refused in this life. We cannot begin to imagine how awful hell is, but no doubt one of its miseries will be that the lost will have to bow to a Lord that they do not love.
On the other hand, those who love Christ and are bowing to Him now and confessing His Lordship now, will go on in eternity doing in perfection what they did imperfectly here: worshipping Christ. And that is what makes heaven, heaven. Dear reader will you bow now, or later?