Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Who decides

God’s verdict

According to the Bible,

God is the Judge – He created, He does judge and He will judge, He will have the final word.

God is just – He is impartial, morally perfect, all wise and all knowing.

God is good – His purpose is good. Hell was never the intended destination of humans. Hell was created for the Devil and his angels.

God is gracious  - In His perfect justice He calls people to repent. The opportunity to change is granted, it is not a right. His intention is to show mercy when repentance is real.

God is a redeemer – His offer of pardon and forgiveness is made real by the fact that Jesus Christ the Lord, died for our sins and rose again.
So He as the judge is just and the justifier of all who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord. ( Romans 3)

Many religions present God as judging with a set of scales, weighing out the good deeds against the bad deeds. Then to make the punishment seem just , they limit the time frame of hell  according to the seriousness of the sin. That may suit logic, but the Bible as our compass points in a different direction. God’s judgement is just, but it is only executed on those who reject God, reject His word and reject His Son Jesus Christ.

This may appear to some as strange justice. But it is as old as humanity.
Let me explain – A father relates to a child differently to someone outside the family. A father acts in chastisement in the hope of restoring a lost relationship. A judge without that relationship, judges by a law that is seen as universal and takes no account for relationships.

God’s choice is to know us all as children. But when humans choose not to know Him, His laws then become the benchmark for His judgement. He keeps records and if mercy is refused condemnation  becomes inevitable.

Long ago Abram was justified before God because he responded in faith to God’s call – he believed God . On the basis of God’s promise he looked ahead to hope of being a resident in the city of God – heaven.
The people of Sodom were condemned and judged according to their wickedness because they rejected the visitation of the angels of God.

This principle of justice, is the underlying message of Jesus Christ. His birth, life and death was the very special expression of God as father seeking to reconcile humanity before judgement being implemented. Over and over again, Jesus called the people to ‘repent’(opportunity to change). Many times He called people to “come to Me”, giving an opportunity to connect with God. His repeated invitation to “follow Me” , presented an opportunity for a very different life and eternity with Him in heaven.

At the end of His time of teaching, He pointed to the final day of judgement  - “the words that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (John 12)

 So as a preliminary answer to the question of who goes to heaven  - all God rejecters have no place in God’s home.
All Christ rejecters likewise have no place in the Father’s house
He said
“If you believe not that I am He, you will die in your sins.” ( John 8.24)

In contrast the promise still holds good:-
“But to all who received Him, He gave the right to become the children of God, even to those that believe in His Name.” (John 1.12)

Again the prospect of heaven and eternal life is based upon His promise, not our good deeds:

“My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish. “    ( John 10.27 )

J McKee

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