Death is not the worst thing that can happen to you. The worst thing that can happen to you, or to any human being, is to die on the wrong side of God’s judgment. As Jesus said of Judas after he exposed himself as a greedy betrayer rather than a genuine follower of Christ, “It would have been better for that man if he had not been born” (Mark 14:21).
Nowhere in the Bible is this made clearer than in Psalm 2. There the psalmist tells us that the kings and rulers of this world, along with the nations of people that follow them, are raging and plotting against God and against “his anointed” (i.e., his appointed king, ultimately, Jesus, God’s Son—God’s Messiah). In wicked and hostile rebellion against God and his Son, the peoples of this world are vainly attempting to “burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us” (Ps. 2:1-3).
These “bonds” and “cords” represent the creative power and authority of God and the Lordship of his Son, Jesus Christ. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1) through the instrumentality of the Son—”the Word” (John 1:1-3). Because he created the world, he owns the world, and because he owns it, he has every right to rule over it as he sees fit. Simple and undeniable logic. Nevertheless, the peoples of the world, themselves created by God, made in his own image (Gen. 1:26-27), in the desperate wickedness of their fallen hearts resent, resist, and rebel against this creative authority and lordship. They must be their own masters, subject to no one! In their ravening minds and by multiplied schemes they delude themselves, creating arbitrary and irrational standards that (they vainly imagine) make them free them from any divine restraint.
Many deny that God exists, or that he created the world, opting instead to cling to the unscientific and long-disproven “science” (actually a false religion) of the evolutionary theory. Others say they accept that the world was created by God, but they deny that his word in the Bible represents any trustworthy or binding moral authority over them. The minds of many others are so corrupt that they even deny the plain basic structure of the creative order. In their eyes, the “bond” of God’s created sexual and marital order is intolerable and must be rejected in favor of the perverse and ever-changing urges and inclinations their fallen minds devise. Amazingly, even the “cord” of God’s prerogative to create human beings as unalterably either male or female is resisted and denied. In a shocking denial of the most obvious and undeniable reality, it is widely held that a male can decide to become a female, and a female can decide to become a male!
Contrary to what one might imagine, God is not vexed or perplexed by all of this raging and plotting. Far to the contrary, he sits in the heavens and “laughs.” He “holds them in derision” (v. 4). Not only is he not bothered by these rebels, he assesses their ridiculously ineffective attempts to thwart his creative order and authority, and he scoffs at their rebellion. After all, as God knows, all this raging and plotting is “in vain” (v. 1).
What the psalmist says next should terrify any rebel who has any remaining sense. He tells us in verses 6-9 that God has established his true king, the one who now owns, rules over, and will one day judge and punish these rebels. In the end, this one great and supreme king will “break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” As the Bible makes clear in places like John 5:25-29, Acts 17:30-31, Romans 1:1-4, and Ephesians 1:19-22, this king is the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one who will judge the living and the dead. He is the one who will vindicate his own faithful followers and will punish the wicked in the eternity of hell. He is the one who will “tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty” (Rev. 19:15, cf. Is. 62:1-6). He is the one who, on that day, will prove beyond any shadow of any doubt that God’s created order and righteous standards were never optional—never subject to debate or modification by his human subjects. On that day, he himself will be acknowledged by all as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Rev. 19:16).
The resurrected Lord Jesus Christ—the man appointed by God as the one who will judge the world in righteousness—is your very worst problem. Ironically he is also your only way out of this problem. As the psalmist continues, the kings and rulers and peoples of the world must “be wise; be warned” (Ps. 2:10). You cannot win this contest! Either you “serve the LORD with fear” (v. 11), or you will be destroyed (v. 12). Either you “Kiss the Son” (denoting the kiss of submission and homage), or in his anger you will “perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled” (v. 13).
“Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (v. 13). None who refuse to take refuge in him will be able to find refuge from him.