Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
The warnings are coming more and more frequently: Americans are in grave danger of losing their fundamental Constitution-granted liberties. Most people would barter liberty for security in an age of terror. That's a far cry from Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death!"
In the craven love to live in luxury and pleasure rather than uphold justice and righteousness, we put ourselves in the wrong crowd that Friday morning in Pilate's judgment hall. We vote either that self be "crucified with Christ," or we vote to "Crucify Him!" (John 19:6). That episode before the Roman governor was the world's judgment hour; we all were there.
Quietly, unnoticed as a midnight thief, says Jesus, young people judge themselves for life, setting their course even in their teens. (The Holy Spirit may speak to them again, but He may not!) At the same time we adults judge ourselves for eternity; this is going on right now. In Luke 20 Jesus discusses judgment in respect of those who will come up in the first resurrection from the dead: "Those who are counted worthy to attain ... the resurrection from the dead ... [cannot] die anymore" (vss. 35, 36). But He speaks also of those who will be alive when He returns the second time: "Watch therefore, and pray always, that you may be counted worthy to ... stand before the Son of Man" (21:36).
Obviously, that judgment must precede His second coming because we read that "He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect, ... from one end of heaven to the other" (Matt. 24:31). How else will they know whom to resurrect at this first resurrection, and whom to leave to sleep on until the second resurrection 1000 years later when the lost will arise for their judgment? The judgment must be finished before the angels go on this errand! That means we are living in the time of pre-advent judgment.
"Morning by morning" the Holy Spirit calls us to awaken us to "hear as the learned." Even if we have sinned the day before in neglecting Him, He is not resentful; He tries again with each new day (Isa. 50:4, 5).
Our motivation for listening is not terror-driven. No, a higher motivation possesses God's people in these last days: the honest, sincere desire to honor Christ; to witness on His behalf. That's what it means to have a humble part in crowning Him King of kings and Lord of glory.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 24, 2006.
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