“So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” – Philippians 2:10
Jesus was totally submitted to the will of the Father. He was obedient to the point of a shameful death on the cross, the worst type of death imaginable, and He is now exalted above all. Above all human rule and authority, and above the cosmos. Every day we are inching closer to a moment in which every living thing in the universe will submit physically to Him. We are inching closer to a day where we will join every other seen, and unseen being, in bowing to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Yet, there is another element to this. Every knee will bow, but not every knee will be saved.
This text in no way teaches Universalism, which is the false teaching that says everyone will be saved in the end. Our Lord Jesus never taught that, the Bible in no way teaches that, it is simply not true. It is true that all will bow, but not all will bow with the same heart. We who have received God’s saving grace in this life, have placed genuine faith in Christ, have born fruit in keeping with repentance, and have been preserved by God’s strong hand to the end, will bow in love and admiration of our Savior. Those who have rejected the truth, held onto their sin, and loved darkness more than light will bow in agony, and defeat. The point of the text remains, all will bow their knee one day, to the glory of God the Father.
Think of all the ‘great names’ that have walked this earth. Those who fancied themselves gods, and wise men. Those who thought highly of themselves, and gloried in shameful things. Atheists with darkened minds, blind to the truth, yet openly defied a Holy God. There are so many throughout history, and they all will bow.
Richard Dawkins, famous atheist, said this in regard to the study of God, “What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all?”
Sadly, for Richard Dawkins, the absolute truth defeats willful ignorance such as his. Theology is the greatest subject in the universe. Theology is the deepest subject in the universe. Theology is the only subject that leads to the salvation of souls. To study God is to learn the meaning of life, and more importantly to know the life-giver. Theology would have been of wonderful use to him. Theology is the subject of subjects. For Richard Dawkins, a day is coming when he would give anything to go back, and study this text that teaches that every knee will bow at the name of Jesus, including his. Ignorance cannot save us on that day, only genuine faith.
I think of Pontius Pilate, whom Jesus stood before his crucifixion. The one who claimed to have the authority to release Jesus, only to be rebuked and told that Jesus’ Father was the one with all power. It will be such a sight to see him bow before Jesus, what a table-turning sequence. Jesus, now risen to glory looking over the one who sent Him to death, along with every other enemy.
Every knee, means every knee. Rich, poor, black, white, conservative, liberal, believer, and non-believer, all will bow to the name of Jesus one day. Yet, only those who truly bowed in this life will be saved.