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Archive for the ‘Judgment’ Category

“The Son of man shall come in his glory … And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: … And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” — Matthew 25:31-32a,33

Sweet, loving Jesus had a surprising amount to say about Judgment. Several things are consistent:

  1. Jesus is returning.
  2. Everyone will stand before him (whether they had believed in him or not).
  3. Judgment will be based on each person’s actions.

    “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” — Revelation 20:12

  4. A person’s actions come from who they are:
      Notice the response of both in Jesus story was the same.

      “Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison” — Matthew 25:37 & 44

      They were just living out what they were, the goats being selfish and the sheep being selfless.

Who can, honestly, say their actions have been consistently selfless? No matter what good things I try to do, the “Old Goat” in me keeps ruining it.

The good news (“Gospel”) is that the old goat can die and Jesus, the lamb of God (John 1:29), can live in his place.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” — Galatians 2:20

— fritz

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The Reader’s Digest magazine has a venerable reputation for condensing long novels and literary works.

Someone said the Reader’s Digest even condensed the Bible into four (4) sentences:

  1. He came.
  2. He went.
  3. He’s coming back.
  4. And He won’t be very happy when he gets here.

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Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. — Matthew 13:47-50

Parables each have only a single lesson — and this one’s about a coming judgment.

Some think a God of love couldn’t possibly send poor defenceless creatures to a place of wailing and teeth gnashing. It’s clear Jesus did not think that way, he constantly warned judgment was coming. He often used examples of “good fish” and “bad fish”, “sheep” and “goats”, “wheat” and “weeds”.

His purpose was to encourage us to prepare while there is still time. We can be changed from bad fish to good, from goats to sheep, from weeds to wheat — he is in the life changing business!

The Bible gives a long list of the kinds of people that won’t make it to heaven,1 then adds

“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” — 1st Corinthians 6:11

— fritz@langgang.com
1. 1st Corinthians 6:9-11

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Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. — Matthew 13:47-50

Heaven’s kingdom has quite a draw. So many want and expect to go there — just not yet, and not the way the Bible instructs.

Some are like Mr. Formalist and Mr. Hypocrisy in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Unlike true followers, they climb over the wall instead of entering by the gate. They saw no need to do things God’s way, theirs was easier. But they received no scroll and knew nothing of God’s path so eventually fell away.

But all those who come to Christ with a true heart of repentance have nothing to fear. Jesus said,

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. – John 6:37

— fritz@langgang.com

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A Little Game

It’s a little game the world plays:

  • Workers play it — “I didn’t because [fill in blank]. (“I’ve been sick this week”, “My wife had surgery”, “My truck was stolen”).
  • Job recruiters play it — “You’re just what we are looking for, I’ll call you next week.”
  • Congress plays it — “I didn’t send those pictures, my Facebook account was hacked.”
  • Bosses play it — “Don’t worry, we aren’t making any staffing changes.”
  • Children play it — “The dog ate my homework.”
  • Parents play it — “Not today, but tomorrow, I promise!”

We ought to be more mature; the stories would sometimes be laughable if the character it showed wasn’t so sad ( Do they think I have an “I am Stupid!” sign across my forehead?! ). — it’s more serious than we want to think. The Bible says it’s not just the murders and whoremongers going to hell.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. – Revelation 21:8

Don’t play the game! Honor Christ!

– fritz@langgang.com

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Speak not thou in thine heart … saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. – Deuteronomy 9:4

Our current culture presents the idea that poor innocent natives living in harmony with nature and in accordance with their own peaceful ways were brutally massacred by ruthless people who thought they were commanded by God to destroy the land. We struggle with how a loving God could command the murder of such wise and lovely people groups!

But a second look presents a different understanding!

Long before Israel was told to conquer Canaan, God told their original patriarch there was a primary reason it would be 400 years before the promised land would be theirs – read it here:

[God] said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in [Egypt] … four hundred years; … But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. – Genesis 15:13,16

God was still at work with the inhabitants, giving them 400 years to turn from their sin.

Sin is not a Christian/Jewish concept, it’s universal. The natives weren’t living in harmony and peace — they were violent, ruthless, and sinful! God was working with them, just as with us, to turn around and do right. We read in Genesis 14 how God sent Melchizedek, a Christ-like priest/king, to serve the people in what was later known as Jerusalem.

We only have enough detail to know, for those who notice, that God did not arbitrarily decide to wipe out a bunch of out poor innocents! He worked with them 400 years showing them mercy, calling them to righteousness, offering them true peace.

The Israelites were God’s eventual judgement on a sinful people – how long should he have waited? Was 400 years not enough time to wait for change?

God, likewise, has been patient to us as a nation – sending ambassadors for His kingdom, calling for repentance, offering forgiveness. How long does he have to wait before the cry of victims and the greed of social/economic leaders is full?

– fritz@langgang.com

Related Posts: What about the Pygmies in Africa?! – January 24, 2010

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“I am not at all concerned about being judged … I don’t even pass judgment on myself.” – Apostle Paul (1st Corinthians 4:3-4)

Jesus frees us from all condemnation, even from self. We no longer have to make excuses for our actions or beat ourselves up for our misdeeds – Christ has taken all of that for us. He has become my judge and my justifier so I no longer need to step into those roles.

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection

There was a monk in Paris’ Carmelite monastery who was simply known as Brother Lawrence. After his death in 1691 some of his conversations were published – here is one that applies:

“[He said] that when an occasion of practicing some virtue offered, he addressed himself to GOD, saying, LORD, I can not do this unless Thou enablest me; and that then he received strength more than sufficient.

That when he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault, saying to GOD, I shall never do otherwise, if You leave me to myself; ’tis You must hinder my falling, and mend what is amiss. That after this he gave himself no uneasiness about it.” – Practicing the Presence of God by Father Joseph de Beaufort, Second Conversation”

Prayer: Thank you, Father, you have justified me in Christ. I no longer need to justify myself nor make excuses but turn all my actions, good or bad, to your care.

Sound Bite: Jesus is my judge and justifier, I no longer need to step into those roles.-fritz@langgang.com

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