Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
The question is, will God be judged by the universe, or is "judgment" all one-sided with Him arbitrarily judging us? This is a serious issue because a mistaken idea here can influence a person's spiritual experience and motivate him or her to serve "God" because of fear. If such craven fear becomes the deepest motivation of our hearts, then our "Christianity" degenerates to become little more than paganism.
Someone may ask, What difference does it make whether "obedience" is motivated by fear or by love so long as it "obeys the law"? The difference will show up in the final test of the "mark of the beast." All fear-motivation will then program us to accept the mark of the beast rather than the seal of God because the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:13-18; 16:2) will be based entirely on fear (the ultimate root of paganism). We MUST find a better motivation. And that will require a clearer understanding of the character of God.
He does not want anyone to serve Him because of fear, because such fear would be for Him a hollow victory. Billions of people bowing low before Him because they are afraid of Him and His retributive judgment would bring Him no joy. He wants deep sincerity. Therefore Christ as the Son of God must humble Himself, make Himself vulnerable, become open and transparent, surrender Himself to the judgment of His creatures, in short, die upon a cross apparently forsaken by God, suffer the pangs of hell itself, drain the last drop of fear in order to disarm and condemn it forever.
According to Revelation 14:6-15, God must submit Himself to the judgment of the universe, "for the hour of His judgment is come." Only thus can Satan, sin, and fear be finally and totally conquered, "because fear hath torment." The universe at last will see that "God is agape," and "agape casteth out fear" (1 John 4:8, 18). You and I can overcome it only by permitting the Holy Spirit to "shed abroad in our hearts" this "agape of God" (Rom. 5:5). Each must ask himself, Am I pagan or Christian?
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 27, 2000.
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