Let us pray: Lord, in a world awash with evil and deception, few fear Your final judgement anymore. So, Your people cry for justice and mercy to thunder forth from heaven and free us from all evil! Today remind us that judgement will come to all without exception. And also remind us that as Your beloved children, we don’t need to fear it because Christ’s rightness with You extends over all of us and eternally protects us. Amen
GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM CHRIST, OUR ETERNAL JUDGE!
Text: I Thessalonians 5: 1-11
Dearly Beloved By Christ:
50 years ago my old math teacher, Mr. Stramel, used to say: “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” It’s true. Likewise, we’ve all learned that: laws don’t really matter, what does is who enforces the law. A current variation of that is: votes don’t matter, whoever counts the votes matters. Humans certainly create a lot of messes, don’t they?
I can remember when a Pastor could speak of judgement day and instill fear among most people. That’s because they had not hardened their consciences as much as today and still held to vestiges of belief in God’s existence and His ultimate justice. This past year in America should have taught all of us the fallacy of believing that. Felons get a free pass, criminals are overlooked, politicians are bought off, and the beat goes on. Fair play, playing by the rules is scoffed at. Yes, money talks louder than justice in America. And money buys power and power corrupts. We shake our heads and sadly utter those words: “Where’s God? Where’s justice?” Such is life in this evil world.
Today is a graphic reminder that God exists, that God cannot be bought off by any human, and that a specific day for judgement awaits everyone. We don’t know exactly when that will be, but God assures us that it WILL occur. It will happen during dark times when justice seems impossible and no one expects it. “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety’ destruction will come on them”…”and they will not escape.”
Will the world end during my lifetime? Will the universe vanish in a poof, all people raised from the dead, Christ appear and demand a truthful accounting of all lives, and then believers assumed into heaven and evil unbelievers cast into hell? YES! It is coming! It’s called justice. God is the Lord of complete justice and He “cannot be mocked” forever.
Meanwhile, we all see and experience “mini-judgement days.” Those mini-judgements usually take the form of: death. That’s when you’re transported out of this reality into an eternal one. Even if you don’t believe in God, or His ultimate judgement, everyone knows death awaits, and the morally corrupt approach death with trepidation because it’s uncontrollable.
But we, as Christians, don’t! For us judgement day means a completion of justice. It means vindication. It means our entrance into heaven. It means a never-ending embrace by Christ, the light of the world. Listen anew to St. Paul’s confidence: “But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.” Why? Not because we’re inherently extra special good. We’re not. We’re sinners. Our thoughts, words, and actions betray any sense of perfectibility. No, instead we’re children of God’s light because His Son Jesus gave us that status. He won it for us on the cross, thus changing our lives. He forgave us our sins and now counts His rightness with God as our rightness. This is all yours through faith.
This means we should not be lulled into complacency like the unbeliever, “but let us be alert and self-controlled…putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Judgement Day is the great unknown. But not for us! Right here we’re given comfort as we slog towards it all. We know where we’re going—heaven. We know how we get there—through faith in Christ’s forgiving love. And we know that perfect justice will prevail on that fateful day. That might give you pause, but always remember: God’s justice was placated by Christ when He died on the cross and confirmed when He rose again. That same Jesus Who saved your body and soul will be your final judge. And because when He looks at you, He sees Himself, so “Not guilty of all sin” will be His sentence.
Personally, for me, judgement day will be a time of relief! Evil won’t get away with hurting people any more and justice will finally be served. It’s the time of real comfort for the believer. So we approach it with humility, knowing that ‘God humbles the proud but exalts the humble.’
Amid all the current world chaos, keep this in mind, and never forget: God is keeping the final tally card for all people, and His vote count is perfect! Amen THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH….
Pastor Thomas H. Fox