Sunday, July 22, 2007

What kind of judgment do we face?

Next time you get a speeding ticket try this: show up with your records of charitable giving. Bring your friends, neighbors, co-workers, children, spouse, et aliud with you to testify to how good you are in various aspects of your life. I really think it will work! Oh, Oh, here is another one: deny the authority, legitimacy, or existence of the court. There is a couple in New Hampshire that was recently in a standoff with the feds after being convicted of not paying taxes because they denied the existence of the law that required them to pay the taxes. And there were the dinosaur people in Florida that are in jail now for the same plan.
Really now, who would be dumb enough to try that? Yet that is exactly the plan that many people have in mind to do at the final judgement. Among other places Paul confronts this in his letter to the Colossians and Laodiceans when he says, “For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.”
We all understand this, right. If you speed or steal or murder, it really doesn't matter what else that person has done that is good, they are guilty. We often bridle to hear that some rich person gets off with a light sentence for DUI or tax evasion or some other infraction of the law because they have the ability to hire some great attorney for $500 an hour. Yet we instinctively feel that God is going to use this same kind of standard in his court.
We must remember that one of the great teachings of the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments is that God is the righteous judge. One day He will have every person stand before Him and He will judge them based on the wrong that they have committed and He will do it without partiality, without respect for different persons/stations in life or favoritism.
The good news is that we all have equal opportunity and access to hire for ourselves the greatest Advocate ever! Who could ever be a better person than the Son of God? What better person than one who never, ever even thought about transgressing any of God's righteous standards? And, the news gets even better! There is no retainer, no fee, no quid pro quo! All there is, is to ask Him to represent you at that tribunal.
That is the Good News. We can all have the lawyer that will get us off because He has already paid the penalty for our violation of God's law, for our unthankfulness and He can assure us of a good verdict! This is the message that we need to share with our friends and neighbors.

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