Anathema, Maranatha

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
"Accursed, The Lord cometh," is the meaning of the above words, which we have in 1 Corinthians 16:2222If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. (1 Corinthians 16:22). "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha."
The meaning is as solemn as it is clear. At the coming of the Lord in judgment, he who does not love Him is accursed. And so it is elsewhere written, "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Jude 1414And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (Jude 14), 15.
"Ungodly deeds," and "hard speeches" are the outcome of a heart that does not love. Woe to such! Judgment, swift and unsparing, will fall upon him who thus acts and speaks against the Lord.
Friend, love to the Lord Jesus is the touchstone. Where there is true love to Christ, there is also a manner of life that is pleasing to God. Love for Christ is at the same time love for the truth; and this, I need hardly say, is productive of a life according to God.
It is not mere belief about Christ. One may have his mind stored with correct doctrine and illumined by clear views, but that will not suffice. Many a one at heart hates the Lord Jesus, while in his head he carries the most lucid apprehension of His history, His words and His work. This may startle you. Yet how frequently does one meet with those who are intimately acquainted with the Scriptures, able to quote them to the letter; but when the simple, but all-important question, "Do you love Jesus?" is put, they become uneasy, vexed and angry. But this simple question is, nevertheless, the crucible. Hence, we do not read, "If any man be ignorant of Scripture, fail in clear theological conceptions, or such like," but "if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed, the Lord cometh."
Reader, you are either among the Christ-lovers, or the Christ-haters. There is no neutral ground. What an awful thing to hate the blessed Lord Jesus whose very nature is love! In John 15:2525But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. (John 15:25) we are reminded that when He was here, "they hated" Him, but it was "without a cause." No crime could they lay to His charge— not one act of unkindness, not one untruthful word. He healed their sick, fed their hungry, gave sight to their blind, raised their dead; and— fearful moral contradiction— they hated Him. And why? Because the light He diffused showed forth their sins. The silent witness of His pure and perfect life declared forcibly the guilt of a godless world.
It left them no cloak for their sins. And so they took Him, and with wicked hands they crucified and slew Him. This consummated their hatred. It could not have gone further.
Wondrous to say, God found in this climax of human guilt the ground of pardon. Guilt and goodness meet at the cross. What guilt! What goodness! Ah, the love of Christ, how it answers to the hatred of man! "Christ died for us." "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."
Nothing makes one so ashamed of self as does the cross. Hatred buries her head at the sight. He "loved me and gave Himself for me." And what is the consequence? "We love Him, because He first loved us." Again, "Whom having not seen, ye love." How divinely intelligible! The believer loves Him; the unbeliever hates Him.
Reader, which are you?
Ah, remember that if you love not the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be accursed at His coming. Do you love Jesus?