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Every Knee Shall Bow

Updated: Jan 22, 2022

This is an open letter directed toward a couple of my sons and their wives, and also to my sister, and also to anyone else who has suffered through a series of bitter disappointments in your life that have failed to bring you to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior—at least so far.

My dear loved one, I know that you have suffered. I won't presume to say that I know how much you have suffered, for who can ever really know another's pain? But I know it's been hard for you, about as hard as you thought you could bear, or maybe even worse. My prayer for you is that these hardships will prove in the end to have been the rod of God for correction in your life, and that you will come at last to bow your knee to your Lord. Because the alternative is too hard to contemplate—though you must—that these wearisome trials have been for you just the beginning of sorrows, and that your tormented soul will find no relief forever.

Because bow the knee you must. The Bible clearly tells us so. God Almighty, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, first declared it thousands of years ago: "Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath" (Isaiah 45:22-23). In the New Testament, hundreds of years after Isaiah, the Apostle Paul quotes the prophet when he speaks about our impending judgment: "For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.' So then each of us shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14:10-12). Paul further identifies elsewhere in the New Testament that it is not just a generic "god" to whom we must bow the knee, but a specific person, Jesus. "God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 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, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11).

The Apostle Peter, after performing a notable miracle shortly following the Resurrection of Christ, declared that there was only one name in which salvation was to be found, "nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). And what was that name? "The name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth" (v. 10). And Jesus had said as much Himself during the days of His ministry among the people: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).

So, my loved one, you perceive the perilous state you are in. You have known these things, at least peripherally, for many years: that Jesus is your only hope for salvation, and that God Almighty has declared that every knee will bow to Him one day … including yours.

Please, I beg you, let it be now, and let your knee learn to bow to Him in growing worship and adoration, instead of bitter resentment and sour subjugation. Because though you may stand up straight now—your joints firmly locked, your teeth and your fists clenched—you inevitably will bow, one day soon enough. But it will not be as an adopted child before a gracious Father, but as a vanquished enemy before a fierce King in the day of battle. Please, do it now, while His arms are still outstretched toward you with the offer of eternal love and peace. Turn away from your rebellion and self-reliance, and own Jesus as your Savior and Lord.

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