So how does God judge?

This is a continuation of the last post (and if you missed it, I encourage you to read it here) so let us jump right into it shall we?

Since the Garden of Eden, when Adam apportioned blame on his wife and years later when their son Cain singlehandedly decided that his brother did not deserve to live, humankind has been inclined to sit in judgement over each other, deciding who and what is right or wrong.

A couple weeks ago, my pastor in his sermon said, “We judge others by their actions but we judge ourselves by our intent” and that is so true of myself. I get upset when I think I have been judged too harshly by others if my intentions were noble! I say things like “God knows my heart”… or “God knows I never meant to…” and that brings me to another truth I have discovered about God in Romans: God knows all things! Let’s break that down a little further.

Romans 2:16 assures us that a day is coming when God will judge all men’s secrets and nothing will be hidden from him. His judgment will be based on one thing and one thing alone: TRUTH (Romans 2:2). But how do we know what is the truth about anything?

  1. There is something within each and every one of us that that points us to what is right. Romans 2:14-15 says we demonstrate that each one has a moral compass of right and wrong written in our hearts and this compass is policed by our consciences which either accuses or defends us. The problem with our conscience though is that when sin takes over a person’s heart, the standard by which the needle of our consciences moves is tainted and can become skewed through hypocrisy (which are the lies we tell ourselves). So if our conscience can be led astray through falsehood, and God’s judgement is based on truth, then we are in trouble.
  2. How about the law or a set of rules (described as the embodiment of knowledge and truth in Romans 2:20)? What if we follow a set of rules and live by them? That is all well and good but the thing about rules is that it is all or none. Once you break one rule, you are considered a rule breaker (Romans 2: 25-27) and therefore stand condemned. The purpose of the law or rules, therefore, is to help our consciences along by creating a consciousness of sin.
  3.  This is how we are justified: by our faith in Jesus Christ who himself is described as the Spirit of truth or Truth (Romans 3, 1 John 5:6). When we believe in Jesus Christ and belong to his fold, we are no longer condemned (Romans 8: 1).

So back to my initial thought. God knows all things and his knowledge is infinite and based on truth. So how will God judge the world? In truth! What is truth? Our limited minds cannot fully fathom what truth is and that is why God promises us that His spirit will lead us into all truth; because only God knows the “whole truth.”  Therefore how God will judge those that never got the opportunity to hear and know Jesus is really within his infinite knowledge of the truth (answer to last week’s question). However, today you and I are blessed with the opportunity to have heard of Jesus and what I do know is that JESUS IS TRUTH and if I believe in him, I will not be condemned when I stand before the Great Judge.  Let that sink in for a minute.

Yours Truly.

Know your truth and live it

One of the most confusing, weird, and controversial stories in the bible that I have encountered so far has been the story of the young and the old prophet from 1st Kings 13. To summarize the story, God sends a young prophet to deliver a word to the ruling king but not to stop or eat or drink or return the way he came. After he delivers the word he sets on his way but an old prophet chases after him and deceitfully persuades him to come home with him and eat. As soon as the young prophet finishes eating, the old prophet asks why he did not obey God and tells him he will die because of that and true to the word of the old prophet he is mauled by a lion on his way home.

For days, I have been meditating on that scripture asking what lessons can be learned from such a bizarre story and this morning a scripture crossed my mind,

By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action. Dan 11:32 NASB

This scripture, even though contextually was a prophecy about the future state of the Israelites has allowed me to think through this story a little bit more. The young prophet received a word from God not to eat or drink after he had delivered the message to the king. The king tried to convince him to stay for a meal but he refused but when the old prophet came and deceitfully told him God had said he should come home and eat, he relented and went with him. What went wrong? Did he no longer believe God had initially spoken to him? Was he motivated to disobey God’s word because he was afraid to offend the old prophet? I don’t know the answer to these questions but what I know is that there was a disconnect between what he spoke as truth and how he lived that truth in different circumstances of his life.

The scripture from the book of Daniel assures us that those that know their God will display strength in the midst of deceit, confusion, fear, mixed messages or flattery and will resist such influences. They will not only speak their truth which comes from the word of God but they will live that truth. With all the uncertainty surrounding the covid virus and its implications on global health and wealth, there are so many theories out there and frankly, some are scary. And yet God assures us that his promises for us will not fail because He cannot lie. He offers himself to us as an anchor of hope when it feels like we are being battered by the storms of life and that should be the TRUTH we SPEAK and LIVE.

So when God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath. Thus by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strongly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6: 17- 20 BSB

Regardless of the circumstances, we need to hold on steadfastly to the truth of God’s word and not be influenced by anything especially fear. Know that the God who has promised is a faithful God, rest in His promises, be strong and courageous and walk in the strength of the Lord.  Jesus is praying and interceding for you.

Yours Truly.