9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Who are these people worshipping Jesus? It sounds universal. It’s not happening now, nor has it ever happened since the curse, so it has to be at some time in the future; perhaps during the Millennial Kingdom, but at least at the Great White Throne Judgment.
So those in heaven have to be the good angels and all those who have died in Christ and have already gone to heaven because of their faith. Those on earth would be all who are alive at that time. But those under the earth? Who are they? People say that those under the earth are the devil and his demonic hordes. Yes! That would be true. But, those under the earth has to also include those who died apart from Christ. They are the lost who were judged for their sin and consigned to hell.
Harry Ironside writes:
“The lost will never be reconciled. Heaven and earth will eventually be filled with happy beings who have been redeemed to God by the precious blood of Christ . . . . But under the earth will be those who have their part in the outer darkness, the lake of fire. They flaunted Christ’s authority on earth. They will have to own it in hell! They refused to heed the call of grace and be reconciled to God in the day when they might have been saved.”So the lost sinners are consigned to hell. But, even in hell, they must recognize the Lordship of Christ. Every knee and every tongue means every knee and every tongue without exception. The entire universe will declare that Jesus is Lord. That has been God’s purpose from the beginning. God wanted to exalt His only begotten Son.
But now here is the real thriller. Look at what Jesus promises in Revelation 3:11-12:
11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.Wow! Jesus shares with us His glory. He shares with us His name. He’s going to write on each of us His own name. When Jesus redeemed us, it wasn’t just to spare us from the penalty of our sin. It wasn’t just to keep us out of hell. It was to share with us His exaltation! That is the payoff of the Christian life. We will be exalted with Jesus.
But never forget: Jesus is our Lord too. Acknowledging that is part of our salvation. We are the willing who bow at the name of Jesus and confess that He is Lord.
Romans 10:9-10 declares:
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.W.H. Griffith Thomas, a cofounder of Dallas Theological Seminary, wrote:
“Indeed the Lordship of Christ over the lives of His people was the very purpose for which He died and rose again. We have to acknowledge Christ as our Lord. Sin is rebellion, and it is only as we surrender to Him as Lord that we receive our pardon from Him as our Savior.”That is God’s truth! Jesus Christ is Lord so we must obey Him. We must live lives that are surrendered to Him - to His will, to His Word. But it is so worth it. If you are a believer, you will have the glorious privilege of spending eternity in praise and worship of our Lord.
Johnson Oadman Jr., wrote a hymn, and the chorus begins this way:
“Holy, holy is what the angels sing,We have a special reason to praise Jesus. He saved us from destruction. He saved us from our sin.
And I expect to help them make the courts of heaven ring;
But when I sing redemption’s story, they will fold their wings,
For angels never felt the joys that our salvation brings.”
But, be careful about calling Jesus your Lord, if He isn’t.
Matthew 7:21-23 shows Jesus’ response to those who don’t:
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’He’s not your Lord unless you obey Him.
But, do you see the flow of this passage? Jesus humbled Himself by coming from heaven to earth only to be exalted by His Father in heaven, and restored to even greater glory - all because He came to redeem us.
In his book, Miracles, C.S. Lewis wrote:
“In the Christian story, God descended to re-ascend. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity . . . But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him. One has the picture of a strong man stooping lower and lower to get himself underneath some great complicated burden. He must stoop in order to lift, he must almost disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders.”Isn’t that what Jesus did? He came to earth to rescue us so that He could take us to heaven with Him. There we will join the throng of heavenly host exalting God’s Son as Lord. But, you will only be a part of that joyous throng if you now, on earth, receive Him in faith and confess Him as Your Lord.
Have you? Will you be part of that heavenly throng? Or will you be those who are forced to bow in hell with no chance to rectify your eternal decision. Trust Jesus now! Receive Him today as your Lord and Savior!