Thursday, December 9, 2010
Forgiven or Condemned
Rev 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
Have you really thought much about being forgiven? Lately several things have happened that reminded me about the amazing fact that God loved us and sent His Son to die, that we might be redeemed. Sometimes I tend to minimalize that wonderful gift of grace and forgiveness.
The first occurrence was a couple months back. I was harboring some resentment towards someone. The situation was over, everyone had moved on, but I just couldn’t let it go. I was really hurt and very angry. One afternoon I was stomping around complaining when I felt that inner voice say, “Don’t you think you’ve ever disappointed me? Even though you have I forgave you and still love you. Now you need to forgive.” Ouch! As of that moment, I decided to move on and try to show love towards this person, instead of the animosity I had been harboring.
The second instance is more recent. Someone I know was in the wrong place at a very wrong time and now could be facing a felony charge. The family is trying everything they can to get the charge dropped, forgiven, redeemed.
According to A Dictionary of the Holy Bible by John Brown, it says: “The reference is an allusion to the Greek custom of marking their absolution by white stones, a white stone given by Christ, denotes a full pardon and a glorious reward.” Another use of white stones was to allow entry, like a ticket to an event. The white stone given to us by Christ also has this meaning, redemption and now entry into heaven.
In the reference, Exposition of Revelation by Walter Scott, he says “A white stone was largely employed in the social life and judicial customs of the ancients. Days of festivity were noted by a white stone; days of calamity by a black stone. A host’s appreciation of a special guest was indicated by a white stone with a name or message written on it. A white stone meant acquittal. A black stone meant condemnation in the courts of justice.”
In ancient times courts used a stone system to signal the guilt or innocence of the accused. After the evidence was presented, the jury or judge would hand out either a white stone to signal forgiveness or innocence or a black stone to show guilt, condemnation.
The Biblical reference is at the end of time when Christ returns and the stones will be handed out, not only will we receive a white or black stone, but a new name will be written on the white stone. A name that only you and God will know.
Rev 2:17 "Let everyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: Everyone who is victorious shall eat of the hidden manna, the secret nourishment from heaven; and I will give to each a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one else knows except the one receiving it.” TLB
Have you asked God to forgive you of your sins and trespasses? When Christ returns will you receive a white stone with your new name, redeemed, forgiven or a black stone of condemnation. I pray we all repent and prepare to be redeemed.
Just in case you were wondering what the Hebrew words on the stone say:
מחול = forgiven
חנינה = pardon
לחוס = spare
מכוסה = covered