Johan Kotze - When the King Comes in - Durban, South Africa Special Meetings - 2007

I Thessalonians 5:4, "But ye brethren are not in darkness that that day, which we have been singing about (we had sung, 'When the King comes in') should overtake you as a thief. Ye are the children of light and the children of the day." Verse 6, "Therefore let us not sleep as do others but let us watch and be sober." Verse 8, "Let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us unto wrath but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ."

 

When the King comes in, how will it fare with thee and me?

 

We've had a wonderful day today, and in a few minutes we are going to walk out of these doors to go back home. I just wondered how many of us are really going to take a different way going from here. For how many of us would this day really be a watershed; that the pattern of the future will not be set according to the pattern of the past? We feel at home here. Most of us come here year after year - we feel comfortable here; we feel comfortable in each other's presence. But just for a moment, just think of the reality of this that we have been singing about. If our King should really walk in at this moment, will we be glad to see Him? Would He be glad to look at us and see us wearing the wedding garment that He paid for, that cost SO much to provide? We see each other in our natural garments but He who sees the spiritual attire of every child of His, will He with joy rest His eyes on each of us or would there be some very awkward moments for some?

 

I thought of that meeting that God had with Cain. We know the story how those two brothers each brought an offering and the one was accepted but the other one not and that caused feelings between these two brothers. Then God came onto the scene and He said to Cain (what He said in effect) was, "This matter is between you and Me, it is not between you and Abel. This is between Me and you and if you do well, will you not also be accepted?" God was so kind, that while there was still time, He tried to reason with Cain, like He is trying to help me and you today.


I am very glad for the things that have touched my heart even in this meeting, and in this morning's meeting. But it is what I am going to do about it today that will change tomorrow for me that may change eternity for me. So often, we listen to good things like we've done today.


We heard about walking, a very practical thing. Our walk with God is SO important that the way we walked yesterday needn't set the pace for the way we walk tomorrow, if we are willing to change and come into step with Him today. Sometimes we try and follow somebody and we are just a little bit out of step and either you bump into each other or you bump into something else, because you are not keeping in step. I am conscious that there are times when I have been out of step with the One I profess to follow.


We sometimes speak about being in the Truth and in this Way, and we’ve heard the expression this afternoon that this is the only Way. I think it is good when we use expressions like that, that at least in our own mind we understand what we really mean by saying those things. What is the ONLY way? When we say this is the only Way, what do we think of a group of people or a gathering of saints? Do we think of it as a doctrine? This Way that is the only Way is Jesus. Because it is Jesus, His life, His example, His teaching, His spirit and because it is Jesus, it is perfect. Because the only way that leads to heaven above is Jesus, it can never change to suit our own fancies, our own thoughts or our own tastes. Because the only way that leads to heaven is Jesus. He who said, "I am the way the truth and the life," can NEVER be proved wrong and it need NEVER be defended. We have heard of the strength of this that we believe in, yet we must be sure that we keep our eyes on the One who IS the way, the truth and the life.


Otherwise, we could be just as guilty of having a false security as the people of Jerusalem in Jeremiah's day were and what we have been reading about on Wednesday evenings. They felt, "We are God's people; we're inside the walls of this city. God will never allow this to be destroyed. Here's the Temple and God will never allow the Gentiles to come and destroy His Holy Temple." It gave them a false sense of security that they could live any way they pleased, do whatever they liked, say whatever they want to say, live a selfish lifestyle, just like all the Gentiles around them. It was a false security of being inside Jerusalem and feeling safe.


When the King comes in, this that we trust in, will it still give us security? Those words were mentioned this afternoon, where Jesus said, "The prince of this world is coming but he has nothing in Me." Satan had no starting point with the Lord Jesus. The Afrikaans word is 'n vatkans. He just couldn't get a grip of Him. He had nothing that he could get a grip on in the life of the Son of God. What about you and me? We're going to go out of those doors and as the Lord said to Cain, "If not then sin lies at the door and his desire is towards you." He is waiting for you, he is crouching there by the door and you have to change now before you go out or else he is going to have you. We don't need to end up like Cain, a fugitive and a vagabond, just fleeing and just nowhere at home and always feeling that his life was in danger, and it was. We don't need to live like that. We may be strangers and pilgrims in this world but strangers and pilgrims have a destination in mind, they have a citizenship in the country they are journeying to. They are not at a loose end, they are not without direction.

 

I read this chapter in another translation, which says, "We are awake, we are not sleepwalking like some in the world." People who walk in their sleep are not in touch with reality. What they do fits another picture their dream picture. My dad was telling us, and we always loved these stories about their childhood and the things they got up to. Of course, they didn't tell us half I'm sure, but my dad told us about his brother who was a sleepwalker. They all knew that if he got out of the bed suddenly in the middle of the night and made for the door, then they had to follow him and make sure where he was going. Well, this one night, he was making straight for the well in the back yard. It was an open well, where they got their water supply, and here he was walking straight towards it.  They followed to see what he was going to do, but he went straight for that well and they felt sure that if they did not try and prevent him, he would surely fall into the well that night. So one of them grabbed him and a terrible fight ensued because he was not in touch with reality and saw the person that was trying to save him as his biggest enemy because of the dream he had been having. The danger that he was being saved from, he saw as something very attractive to go towards. It is possible that the devil could get us into a condition of sleep walking - seemingly so elated and so satisfied with the dream image that we are living in that we are not in touch with reality.


We are going out into a future that is unknown in a sense, but to God's people, it is not altogether unknown because, as this chapter says, we don't know the times and seasons because that is not given to us and it is not necessary to know, but something about the future that we do know is there is coming a day when our King is coming back and the wedding feast will take place, whether we are ready or not. That should be a great incentive to make this day a watershed in our lives so that the pattern of yesterday wouldn't necessarily be the pattern for the future that we would really go back to, as we heard, another way, the safe way.

 

One thing we are told in this chapter about the future is that we ought to do all we can to help one another to reach that safe destination. I once read about these yacht races. One of their rules is that if any vessel is in danger or in some form of distress that they radio the vessel that is closest to them to go to their aid and if they go off course in another direction, to go and help that vessel in distress, that time is calculated. Because lives are at stake, it is not just like a foot race, lives are at stake and those people who go out of their way to help those other people in distress, they get rewarded double time for the time they spent going off course to help another vessel. They don't lose anything by helping the other one they gain. We don't lose by trying to be a help to another, to help another achieve this objective that we all have, to become more like our master.

 

Another testimony in this meeting that touched my heart was our dear little sister at the back when she spoke about trying to be acceptable to her friends. Is she the only one in this tent today who has that struggle? This thing of worldliness has been a plague to God's people through the ages and we, in our day are no exception. It is not strange, at times, to see worldly people trying to behave like Christians, but it shows through because it is not genuine. But that doesn't give Christians license to sometimes behave like the world if it makes them acceptable, because then we lose our light. God has called us to be a light and a light is the opposite to darkness, and if we are not willing to be the opposite to the environment we are in and not be acceptable to the world but  be acceptable to God, then we have lost the privilege of being a light for Him.

 

May God help us that our tomorrows may be better than our yesterdays and that that perfect day, that day of days when the King comes in, He will find each one of us clothed in that wedding garment that cost Him such a price to provide.