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1 Corinthians 16:21-22
I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. If anyone does not love the Lord --a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!
Thoughts for Today:
Perhaps a result of eyesight that was failing, Paul had taken to the dictation of his letters. However, to establish authenticity he often took the pen in his own hand to write a final greeting. I think it is interesting that Paul would choose to write: "Whoever does not love the Lord is cursed."
These words might seem a little harsh to an outsider, especially someone who didn't know Paul's heart. I don't think Paul's tone is harsh, but rather pleading. He appeals to the Corinthians to come to their senses. He's saying, "If you don't love the One who died for you, who cares about you, and who gave His up everything to be with you in this life and the one to come, then you curse yourself. The Lord is coming soon and you need to make a decision to adjust your life to this truth now."
John 3:36 tells us: "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them." So a future time is coming when God will pour out His wrath on all the earth. (See Revelation 6:17; 11:18; 14:19; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19; and 19:15.) However, in this present age, Jesus did not come to condemn, but to bring grace and truth (John 1:14: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."). The warning is for anyone who does not repent and place their hope, faith and trust in the Son in this life, they will suffer the wrath of God. That's the curse humanity brings upon itself when people don't respond to God's love.
Questions to Ponder:
Paul tells us, "Anyone who does not love the Lord curses themselves." Does that sound like anyone you know? How will you share the truth of Jesus with them? He is coming soon, so we must not delay. Will you take a step to offer the Gospel message to someone today?
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About the author
Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.