To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our savior, be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore Amen. Jude 24-25
I want to hit the first part of this section — keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.
Imagine that you were to die tonight and stand before God, and He was to say to you Why should I let you into my kingdom? What would you say? These were questions that a guy named Kennedy came up with in the 70’s and used in something he called evangelism explosion. It shocked people and got them to say how they thought people got into heaven. Was it by their works, or did it depend on God’s mood that day, or maybe in comparison to others you were good enough to make the cut — kind of like God grading on a curve and he was going to take a set amount of people. You didn’t have to be the best, just better than a bunch of other people.
Jesus is the real answer — if he says you are in, God the Father says ok you are in. It isn’t based on what you have done, but on you accepting what Jesus has done and being willing to trust and obey him. I’ve pictured it that I’m standing before God and this 3D image is showing all of my life — the good, the bad, the ugly. Then Jesus steps in and says He is with me. The Father kind of looks at me and makes a face and says — ok, I know that I said you could say who is in and who is out — are you sure about this one?
But look what it says in this verse — he can keep you from stumbling. Imagine that you are running a race up a very steep mountain. The trail is narrow and slippery. You lose concentration and run off the side of the trail and tumble head over heals over and over down the mountain, until you are broken and bleeding and wiped out. He can keep you from that. You might trip and fall, and stop trying for awhile and Jesus is still with you during those times. Then look at the next section. He will present you without fault (he covered the price for you sin) and with great joy.
We do a version of that with a sports banquet. The coach talks about each player and finds something positive to say about them. The hard work and long hours seem to be worth it. But this isn’t everybody plays, everybody gets a trophy. This is Jesus saying with great joy that you are in. And it isn’t about how hard you worked, it is about you trusting him and obeying him and believing that he is the the son of God.
There will be others that he says Go away, I don’t know you. They may know what he said, but just weren’t willing to trust him and follow what he said.
For me, I want to be presented with great joy.