Thursday, October 06, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: A "Do-It-Yourself" Condemnation

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Is there a biblical basis for the idea of a pre-Advent judgment? When we confess our sins, doesn't the Lord Jesus forgive us our sins, and hasn't He promised to cast them into the depths of the sea? Why then would He drag up out of the sea bottom that Titanic of shameful sin that He promised should be left there? Isn't this entire idea of a pre-Advent judgment something contrary to gospel common sense?

There are two biblical statements, both unquestionably inspired because they came from the lips of Jesus. and they are not out of context:

(1) He said to the Sadducees, "They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that [eternal] world, and the resurrection from the dead ... [cannot] die any more" (Luke 20:35, 36, KJV). He had already taught the reality of two resurrections--"they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life" (John 5:28, 29), which obviously can take place only at His second Advent (1 Thess. 4:15-18), and that of those "that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Revelation 20 quite clearly says it takes place at the close of the thousand-year post-Advent judgment (Rev. 20:4-7).

Before Jesus returns again as He promised and resurrects those "that have done good," somehow it must be determined, or "judged," who to resurrect in that first resurrection and who to leave sleeping on until the second. It's hardly common sense to say that God Himself (who presides at the Judgment) needs this investigative knowledge; He knows everything. But the "court" composed of the intelligences of the universe needs to know (and so do we!).

(2) Jesus spoke of "judgment" as of two kinds: condemnation and vindication. In this pre-Advent judgment Jesus leaves that Titanic of confessed and forsaken sin and guilt submerged where it is. The only people He agrees to judge are those who believe in Him, and He will vindicate them. The rest will judge themselves. It will be for them a "do-it-yourself" condemnation (John 12:47, 48).

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 24, 2000-1.
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