God Himself Is Judge
A Psalm of nAsaph.
50 oThe Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
pfrom the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, qthe perfection of beauty,
rGod shines forth.
before him is a devouring tfire,
around him a mighty tempest.
4 uHe calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made va covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6 wThe heavens declare his righteousness,
for xGod himself is judge! Selah
7 y“Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you.
zI am God, your God.
8 Not for your sacrifices ado I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9 I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 bI know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
cfor the world and its fullness are mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
and eperform your vows to the Most High,
15 and fcall upon me in the day of trouble;
18 “For I know1 their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming2 ato gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them bI will send survivors to the nations, to cTarshish, dPul, and dLud, who draw the bow, to eTubal and eJavan, fto the coastlands far away, gthat have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 hAnd they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations ias an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 jAnd some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the Lord.
22 “For as kthe new heavens and the new earth
that I make
shall remain before me, says the Lord,
so lshall your offspring and your name remain.
23 mFrom new moon to new moon,
and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
declares the Lord.
4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For hthe Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. iGod is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, jin which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to kthe Father of spirits land live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, mthat we may share his holiness. 11 nFor the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields othe peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore plift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and qmake straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint rbut rather be healed. 14 sStrive for peace with everyone, and for the tholiness uwithout which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one vfails to obtain the grace of God; that no w“root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is xsexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that yafterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken
18 For you have not come to zwhat may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and athe sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words bmade the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, c“If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, dso terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to eMount Zion and to the city of the living God, fthe heavenly Jerusalem, and to ginnumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to hthe assembly1 of the firstborn who are ienrolled in heaven, and to jGod, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, kthe mediator of a new covenant, and to lthe sprinkled blood mthat speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
The Narrow Door
22 mHe went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and njourneying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, owill those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 p“Strive qto enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 rWhen once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, s‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, t‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, u‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, tI do not know where you come from. vDepart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 wIn that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see wAbraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but wyou yourselves cast out. 29 And wpeople will come from east and west, and from north and south, and xrecline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, ysome are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”