“There Is Something That Must Be Higher Than All Knowledge”

Norbert Lieth

A professor of theology was once asked, “Sir, when we’re in heaven, will we see our loved ones again?” The professor answered, “Yes, definitely, but everyone else, too.”

Heaven isn’t a place of privacy, but a place of community with the Lord and all His saints. This includes those we weren’t so fond of on earth, could barely tolerate, and those we distanced ourselves from. In eternity, they will be as near to us as our earthly family members. Let’s remember that we’re a body, and its limbs can’t be detached.

In this respect, we Christians often come off badly. We’re so quick to condemn other believers by our own criteria or our own understanding of the Bible. We make blanket judgments without scrutinizing ourselves, and without speaking to those involved. We don’t know their motivations, their relationship with the Lord, or their Bible study … but how they live doesn’t suit us; they’re either too narrow or too broad. We don’t like how they see things, so they’re obviously wrong.

Let’s hear how Jesus judges: “And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us” (Luke 9:49-50). And on another occasion, Jesus announced, “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth” (Luke 11:23).

Jesus is the criterion. Perhaps someone belongs to another church, another ministry, or another denomination. Perhaps they focus on different things or perceive things differently. Maybe have a different view of things in the Bible that aren’t essential to salvation. “Forbid him not, because he that is not against us is for us.” However, anyone whose aim is not the Lord Jesus is not with Him and for Him (does not gather). He is against the Lord; he “scatters” and is to be avoided (2 John 10).

“Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way” (Rom 14:13). As the saying goes, “If you’re looking for mistakes, use the mirror, not the binoculars.” The following observation was made in the 2019 issue of the German devotional glauben.leben (“believe.live”): “Others are fighting against a decline in values, and are blind to the disintegration of their own relationship with God because they’re only arguing ethical concerns. Still others fight for the biblical truth of various end-time interpretations, Bible translations, or spiritual songs, forgetting that they are called to love their brothers and sisters, and by extension, the Lord. In the effort to fight radically for the Lord and His concerns, it’s all too easy to go the wrong way, or to go astray […] Zeal is good, radicality is good, but it’s best to have a radical relationship with the Lord Jesus! Pray that in the future, it won’t be just about a single issue, but about Him, about His person.”

An example: Erasmus of Rotterdam debated in writing with Martin Luther. The two never met in person. Erasmus held the view that man had free will, while Luther believed in God’s predestination. Erasmus preferred a moderate Reformation, whereas Luther preferred a hard line. Erasmus wrote to Luther at that time, “I think one gets further by courtesy and moderation than by clamour.” And Luther responded in his own “polite way,” “He who destroys Erasmus will destroy a bug which will stink worse dead than alive.”

When mountain climbers ascend a summit from different sides, they don’t get the same view. But it’s the same mountain, the same foundation, and the same summit. Only when they have reached the top do they get the same view. For this reason, one climber shouldn’t crash into the other, leave him hanging, or wish he would fall and cut his rope! This means that anyone who is convinced of his own judgment in this limited life is wrong from the outset. There is something that must be higher than all knowledge; namely, the love of Christ, which transcends all knowledge (Eph 3:19). Let’s strive for this, with all that we have and all that we are. Maranatha, our Lord, come!

Midnight Call - 08/2019

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