Friday, January 14, 2011

Revelation 7 (Part III) Tribe of Reuben

By Odon Bulamba (Friday 27th May 2005)

The book of Revelation is clear if you take the explanation from the Bible.

Israel means: someone who stands up and fights against God. The first time this name is used is when Jacob fought.

If the church today is called Israel, it’s not because we’re fighting God in every decision but because God chose us as his people. If God chooses you, you are Israel.

Jacob had twelve sons and Reuben was the first one.

Today we’ll try to marry some of these names with what the Word of God teaches us about them.

Romans 14:12.

So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

On that day, each person will stand in front of God and give Him a “feedback”. No matter who you are, a scientist, someone who is depressed, sick or what you look like, tall or short, young or old, you will stand in front of the Lord and tell Him about what you did under the sun. The Lord Jesus will also tell you all the good and the bad you’ve done. There will be no room for discussion or justification, He will be the only One to judge and His sentence will have supreme authority.

God gave us that picture in Genesis 49, as a picture of judgement of the end of time. We will be called one after another and on that day, we’ll specially talk about what didn’t please God in our lifes.


In Genesis 49, Reuben was alone with his father and when Jacob started: “You are my first-born”, Reuben was expecting a blessing. “You are full of strength and above your brothers” Reuben felt encouraged by his Dad and how he saw him above his brothers but this was just the beginning

Jacob carried on saying: “unstable as water, you shall not excel”, comparing him with wavy, turbulent water. When Reuben heard that change, he suddenly wandered if his Dad was attacking him. Imagine how he felt! He kept quiet, though. Jacob said this because his son dishonoured him by his behaviour. Jacob was referring to something that happened 40 years ago with Bilhah. At that time, Bilhah accepted and opened the door, things appeared to be done secretly but Jacob came to know it and waited until Genesis 49 to talk about it. Jacob was against his son’s actions, and in 40 years, Reuben hadn’t repented, so because of a lack of repentance, Jacob removed his first son’s birthright and told him he will never succeed.

Today, in our churches, we can easily forget to repent. Christians speak easily about love, the gifts of the Holy Spirit or Scriptures but never about repentance. Some people talk about it only when they exhort others. If we exhort others and don’t practice repentance ourselves, our faith is just a dead faith and if the Christians chosen by God in the earlier time think they are the first-born, they know everything and are above others but actually carry on with their old sins in their hearts, hiding them without repenting, they’ll be put aside. On the Day of Judgment, many will say: “We have served you and done this and that”, He’ll answer: “Go away!” Just because of repentance.

A clever Christian will repent every second and every minute, he’ll remember the Son of Man might be back at any minute or he might die and go back to his creator at any minute. He realises he must be ready, so he’ll ask for forgiveness to people, to God and he will forgive others too. A Christian must not wait for the offender to come to him and ask for forgiveness to forgive.

Mark 11:25 commands us to forgive others so that our Father in heaven may also forgive us. If we don’t forgive others, our sins will never be forgiven too. Don’t hide things in your heart and keep others’ wrong doings as a reference, this would be a sin.

A good Christian tries to put aside yesterday and live a new life today. I personally say every morning when I see the sun: “This is a new day, it has 24 hours like yesterday’s. Things will be different today”. You might feel life is the same everyday for you, Christian, but things are different in your journey. Today you are happy, tomorrow you’ll feel sad when the day starts, and the following day you might be angry. Know how to control yourself and try to make things better so that you can please your Creator and from that category of Christians, God will choose only 12,000 people. Will you be chosen?

Try not to be in that category of people, the first-born of Jesus-Christ whose life didn’t please the Lord. You might forget what you do, you might not be willing to fix things and not practise repentance but remember God doesn’t forget.

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