The Certainty of Jesus' Words
The Foundational of Truth
“Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.”
The one certainty that we hold dearly to is the certainty of heaven. It is the one hope upon which we base our lives. When confronted with the reality of death and the transitory nature of life, we hold fast to the belief that God has something in store for us that is beyond this present life. But there is one thing that is even more certain, more unchangeable, and more undeniable than heaven itself: the words of Christ.
In the previous verses, Jesus described the impending judgment that will come before his return. Yet this is the one thing that many people reject today. Everyone affirms the love and grace of God. We all agree that God is merciful and provides heaven for his followers. However, bring up the justice and judgment of God, and people will refuse to believe that Jesus would eternally condemn people to Hell. They want a God who saves everyone regardless of who they are, their beliefs, or how they live. So, they reject the threat of judgment. Yet in this passage, having warned of the danger of the impending judgment of God, Christ affirms the truthfulness and integrity of his word.
Verses 32-35 are transitional verses from the promise of divine judgment to the application of repentance and surrender. In the following verses, Christ uses a series of parables to warn us of the importance of spiritual preparation for the coming of Christ. As he has done repeatedly in this whole narrative, beginning in 21:28 and continuing until the end of chapter 25, Jesus has divided humanity into two categories. The first category is those who reject his message and offer of salvation. They continue to live in disobedience to his word. As a result, they face the certainty of eternal punishment (25:46). The second category of people are those who repent of their sins, accept the salvation Christ offers, and surrender their lives in obedience to Christ. Those will inherit eternal life (25:46).
Today, people want to obliterate these categories. They reject the necessity of repentance and faith by affirming that everyone will get to heaven regardless of their faith, ideology, or lifestyle. They accept the verses affirming God’s grace while rejecting the verses warning of his judgment. Yet it should not escape our attention that amid this warning, Christ gives one of the strongest affirmations of the truthfulness and reliability of his word and the warning he is giving. Jesus affirms that his words and warnings are more certain and unchangeable than heaven itself. Christ confirms that the threat of judgment is not just an idle warning. The danger is real, and the repercussions are inevitable. His judgment is inescapable, just as his salvation is unchangeable. His wrath and his justice, his love and his holiness, his grace and his righteousness, must all be kept in perfect balance. To deny one is to deny the other. Therefore, the only question that remains is how we avert judgment and fully realize his grace. It is this question that Jesus will now answer as he calls us to a life of repentance and faith. We need to recognize the reality of judgment in order to accept the offer of grace. We need to examine our lives to be prepared for his return by accepting the salvation he offers through repentance and surrendering to his sovereign reign in our lives.