Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thought of the Day !!

But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself.  For a day of anger is coming, when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.  He will judge everyone according to what they have done.  He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.  But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.
                                Romans 2:5-8 (NLT)

Those who know me know that I'm not a "Hell, fire and brimstone" kind of preacher.  I would much rather instruct the faithful or speak the love of Christ to an unbeliever.  But we must take seriously the eternal effects of our lives.  So today these verses came to me (in a round about way), and I feel compelled to speak on them.  

There will be a Day of Judgment.  Christians differ on the specifics of this.  When will it happen? How many judgments will there be?  etc.  But the one thing we can all agree on is that everyone will come before God and be judged.  

Even though I don't have all the answers, I feel confident about this.  One day everyone will come before the Lord.  It might be when they die or when Jesus, Himself comes back to Earth.  At some point Jesus will judge between the righteous and unrighteous.  In the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:14-30 he tells us that we will be divided into those who go to Heaven and those who will go to Hell.  This is a straight forward "yes or no", "enter or do not enter" decision.  

The bible teaches that there will be another kind of judgment.  This may happen at the same time or at a different time.  For those who've spurned God and lived this life for themselves the bible makes clear that they will be judged by their selfish deeds.  "The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead.  And all were judged according to their deeds." (Rev. 20:13 NLT)  These, John writes, will be thrown into the "lake of fire."

But those who love Jesus, who place their trust in Him instead of themselves, who are willing to turn to Him and His ways, will be judged as well.  But this judgment is not about picking out all the wrongs we've done.  Jesus teaches forgiveness.  David wrote about our sins being cast away as far as the east is from the west in Psalm 103.  So what is this judgment about?  Jesus shares in Matthew (on his Sermon on the Mount) that we are to store up for ourselves treasures in Heaven.  This judgement is not to punish, but to reward.  

There is one central truth that all will come to understand at some point in this life or after it.  This truth is that there are two destinations.  One is eternal death and judgment of sins.  The other is eternal life where we are rewarded for the ways in which we follow Jesus.  If you have not placed your trust in Jesus, loving Him more than life itself, then look to Him and ask for what He desires so badly to give you.  If you have accepted Him into your life, let these verses remind you of the significance of our sharing His love with others.

In the love of Christ,



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