Saturday, February 23, 2008

Portraits of Jesus: Alpha & Omega as judge

Jesus’ judgment of Satan is something we look forward to, but there’s another judgment to come that I’m not nearly as excited about. This is tough. I love the idea of Satan being thrown into a lake of burning sulfur. I’m not so fond of thinking of the resurrection of the dead and the judgment to follow. One of the ways Jesus expressed His deity in the gospels was by forgiving sins. That’s something only God can do. Now we look at the point where judgment comes for us – and our sins are either forgiven or held against us.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20.11-15
There are some people who I feel like deserve this – Hitler, rapists, murderers, and the like. I feel like others don’t.

But my feelings are irrelevant.

The fact is that all of us deserve this. Romans tells us we’re all sinners. That doesn’t mean we just make mistakes. It means we’re rebels against God because we’re not living the way He created us to live. Isaiah says our works of righteousness are as filthy rags. We have nothing to offer that would earn us a place in the Book of Life. We need to ask God to save us, to put us in that Book by repenting of our sins, trusting in Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for our sin, and submitting to the leadership of Jesus in our lives today. When we make t his choice, we are given new life.