Saturday, February 25, 2017

Dial Daily Bread: The "Super-Enemy" and the Final Judgment

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

During these thousands of years of human history, a "Super-Enemy" has tried to distort the picture of God's character. His purpose: to create and encourage in us a heart-"enmity against God" (see Rom. 8:7). And, of course, a heart-enmity against God will surely produce a heart-enmity against our fellow men, globally.

It's what "we," the world, see in our mirror--the image of a world dark with misapprehension of God. It's what our human society would be if we had no Savior, if His dear Holy Spirit were withdrawn from the world. Let's enjoy a lovely springtime, but let's remember we wouldn't have even one blossom if Someone had not worn a crown of thorns in our behalf, whose blood ran down the wood from the tree on which He was hanged, to sanctify the earth itself on which we live.

One distortion that Satan has tried to capitalize on is the doctrine of the final judgment. Jesus clarifies a widespread misconception: His Father refuses to condemn even one human being in the final judgment. "The Father judges [Gr., condemns] no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, ... and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man" (John 5:22, 27). In other words, the Father has washed His holy hands of judging sinners.

Where we think we see Him pictured in the Bible as our final Condemner, in reality He is pictured there as presiding at the final judgment. But the final sentencing, the condemnation of the lost, He has left to the One who is our Peer. It's like in our civil society: we select a jury of twelve citizens who are our peers to try a capital case. Our final Judge is to be our Elder Brother who has known and experienced all of our temptations to sin, but "knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:21).

And then comes the amazing next step in understanding: Jesus Himself says, "if anyone hears My words, and does not believe, I do not judge [condemn] him." The only people He will judge "in the last day" are those who believe in Him, and He will vindicate them (John 12:47, 48). May we grasp the message, "Be reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5:20).

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 16, 2002.
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