Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: Motivation to Live for the One Who Died for Us

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

We read that when Christ was crucified, the two thieves wrestled and fought with the soldiers who nailed them to the bars. In the final judgment when the lost face the second death, will they also fight against the justice of their fate?

We read in Revelation 15:3 that in the end all will confess, "Just and true are Your ways, O King of saints!" All will kneel before Him (Phil. 2:10). The final judgment will include an awakening to the full truth of their guilt before Heaven. Not one will have an excuse to plead. Not one will be able to shake his fist at God and charge Him with injustice, that He did less for them than He did for those who are saved inside the Holy City.

For those who will be saved at last, it will be true that Christ died for them, took their iniquity upon Himself, and died their second death as their Substitute. Did He do less for those who will be lost? Can they charge God with being unfair? Or do the lost pay for their sins themselves, as in the Hindu doctrine of karma, balancing their own books, paying up their debt themselves? They cannot charge God with any semblance of injustice; therefore it must follow, that Christ died the second death of the wicked as surely as He died the second death of the righteous as Hebrews 2:9 says, He "tasted death for every man." "The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:6).

But the lost will realize at last that they have deliberately despised and thrown away that which God had given them "in Christ." A wise writer has said, "The wicked see what they have forfeited by their life of rebellion. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory was despised when offered them; but how desirable it now appears. 'All this,' cries the lost soul, 'I might have had; but I chose to put these things far from me ... I have exchanged peace, happiness, and honor for wretchedness, infamy, and despair.' All see that their exclusion from heaven is just" (The Great Controversy, p. 668).

It will help us all today if we can anticipate that last judgment and also realize that Christ as the Second Adam has died our second death, has paid the full penalty for our sins. Then an appropriate gratitude and praise will fill our hearts, motivating us to live for the One who died for us. This is how we shall discover that Jesus' "yoke is easy, and [His] burden is light."

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 11, 2000.

Copyright © 2015 by Robert J. Wieland.