Many years ago I worked for a man who also had his girlfriend working there. That wasn’t a good situation because his wife would also come in to see him at various times. Ok, to call the situation a trainwreck would be closer to the truth. He was talking to me one day about his plans to advance in the company. After a while, I couldn’t take the drama and I resigned – with appropriate notice. About a week after my last day, I went in and saw that the manager had been fired and the district manager had come in to clean up his mess.
We don’t like to think about judgment often. If we do, we think about it happening to the other guy. We look at the person who cuts us off in traffic and say, usually in other words, “God’s gonna get you!” Because we think of judgment related to the other guy, when it comes to us, we aren’t ready. “The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18)
While the book of Revelation has many lessons, it reminds us of a sure judgment to come. Up until that time of the final judgment, God offers His forgiveness to all. It is extended freely to all who call on Jesus. This passage talks about rewarding His servants the prophets and all of His people. But for those who refuse to call on Jesus; for those whose lives lead not to building up God’s Kingdom, but destroying the earth, destruction awaits.
So what does this mean for us in our daily lives? We need to remember that the judgment that is coming for all people may wait until after Jesus comes again. At the same time we need to realize that judgment may come swiftly, when we aren’t expecting it. If we have followed Christ, we are ready for that judgment. There are friends and family members who aren’t ready though, and we should remember to be diligent in sharing the good news of Jesus with them. It is neither PC nor “seeker-sensitive” to speak of the final judgment or of hell, but the reality exists and God has given us the privilege of introducing others to eternal life. We must be faithful to our call.
Lord God, we so want to leave judgment out of our thoughts. If it were up to us, You would accept all of our friends into Heaven, while sending judgment on our enemies. I am reminded that my enemies have the same thoughts. Help me be faithful in sharing Your love and grace with friends and enemies alike.