Tag Archives: Judgment

10 Expectations of the Judgment

July 15, 2014

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We don’t have to go far or ask very many people to find plenty of assorted ideas about how God’s judgment will work. So many who think they are in the right will find that they have fallen short of what God requires of us.

Even worse, the vast number of people misuse Matthew 7:1 to stop others from pointing out their sins, yet they do not check into exactly how they will be judged in the end. Paul helps us with this by first listing off a number of sins (Romans 1:28-32) and then giving us a list of ten points about God’s judgment. (Romans 2:1-16) If we believe that our God is a righteous God, then there are a number of expectations we need to live by. In order of how Paul listed them:

The Apostle Paul  - Bartolomeo Montagna (1450–1523)

The Apostle Paul – Bartolomeo Montagna (1450–1523)

  • We should practice what we preach or we condemn ourselves (Romans 2:1)
  • We should expect to be judged by God’s word (Romans 2:2)
  • We should not view God’s goodness to sinners to mean He isn’t going to punish their sins (Romans 2:4)
  • We should expect to be judged for our works (Romans 2:6)
  • We should expect to be punished for disobedience (Romans 2:8)
  • We should expect to be held to a higher standard as we gain higher position and responsibility (Romans 2:9-10)
  • We should not expect God to judge based on partiality (Romans 2:11)
  • We should expect judgment based on the commandments God gave us (Romans 2:14-15)
  • We should expect to be judged by New Testament standards (Romans 2:16)
  • We should expect to be judged by Christ (Romans 2:16)

The only assumptions about how we face the judgment that can be made, are the ones listed in the God’s standard. The danger many face is applying another standard invented by men and expecting God to abide by that. We cannot set the standards for God!

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4 Tasks to Get Our Spiritual House Clean

April 8, 2014

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An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Luke 12:41-48 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England.

An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Luke 12:41-48 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England.

Firemen are fully suited when they get in the truck.

Our military wears all of their gear when they train.

Policemen have their bullet-proof vests on routine patrol and they are even armed during their off-duty time.

These servicemen all keep their gear clean and organized so they are ready in a moments notice. A wise Christian is ready for action in the same way. Luke 12:35-48 is all about Christian readiness and their fate if they are found otherwise.

The Messy House

Anyone whose house has been a mess when they were surprised by a drop in guest, might have just a taste of the surprise we will feel if the Lord comes back and finds our spiritual house is in disorder.

Avoiding the fate of those caught short requires us to be ready – as if the Lord will be here momentarily. Our text shows us much praise for the diligent servant.

For those caught sleeping? The punishment is swift and severe – especially when they knew better. (Luke 12:47)

Keeping the House Clean

Just like being ready for visitors requires daily attention in our houses, we need daily maintenance for ourselves. We should be planning for the Lord to return at any time, and we should be helping others prepare.

In addition to understanding and coming to Christ through his Plan of Salvation, We are to be trying to live as perfectly as we can in his service. It is a lifelong process of dedication and growth. It is easy to get started and to create the habits needed to be one of the “faithful servants.”

  1. Study – 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV. Understanding the Bible will help you avoid depending on others
  2. Teach – 2 Timothy 2:2. Being capable of teaching helps you stay prepared
  3. Choose friends wisely – Galatians 5:7-9. Friends are a lot like the leaven. Their influence will spread into our lives
  4. Avoid the filth – Philippians 4:8. What we expose ourselves to and think about directly impacts our attitudes

Ready For Visitors

Whether we get into a situation where we can defend God’s word or Christ returns, we need to be ready. Starting with these basic things will help us mature. (Romans 10:17)

Being on the path to maturity is they only place we will want Jesus to find us!

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How to Be Prepared For His Return

February 7, 2014

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Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins - ca. 1616 - Hieronymus Francken (II) (1578–1623)

Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins – ca. 1616 – Hieronymus Francken (II) (1578–1623)

The five foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) and the servant with one talent (Matthew 25:14-30) shared a common end: They were shut out.

The parables also have a common thread within them: The ones who were shut out were presumably members in good standing within their respective households.

If I could only pick one thing from each parable that would have changed everything for the foolish ones, it would be these:

  • The foolish virgins should have been prepared – Christians should be living both like Christ is returning today and like he will be waiting until tomorrow.
  • The servant with one talent didn’t act on what he knew about the master – Christians know what God expects from us, yet many do not deliver.

The combination of these lessons gives us a basic sketch of proper Christian living:

  • We are to prepare ourselves for Christ’s return at any given moment
  • We should be prepared to sustain that readiness for a lifetime
  • We will need to have prepared a proper settlement of our accounts on that day

What can you do to improve your readiness today?

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Looking After Others

October 23, 2013

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Previously, we took a look at Paul’s caution against making unrighteous judgment against our brothers and sisters in Christ. Romans 14 addresses how we are to treat each other within the church, including how we judge and whether we cause another to stumble. Romans 15:1-7 continues that reasoning addressing the responsibility of the strong for the weak.

The Apostle Paul  - Bartolomeo Montagna (1450–1523)

The Apostle Paul – Bartolomeo Montagna (1450–1523)

Here’s a summary for dealing with minor issues of disagreement as Paul laid it out:

  • Be careful how quickly you judge – Romans 14:1-12
  • Be careful not to cause one to stumble – Romans 14:13-22
  • Help others bear their failings – Romans 15:1-7

Keep in mind that there is a limit to how much a weak brother is allowed to influence our actions. We never take it to the extent that we fail to serve Christ properly. Ultimately, we cannot please men and serve Christ. (Galatians 1:10)

So how far do we go? We go as far as we can, as long as it is building up the weak brother. (Romans 15:2) The point when he is no longer growing is the same point we being damaging the body of Christ. It is a judgment call, and coincidentally, more proof that there is no prohibition against righteous judgment. (John 7:24)

God’s master plan includes a body of followers, united in the same beliefs, obeying the same gospel. This is his gift to us so that we can join him some day. (Ephesians 4:1-7) Our responsibility right now is to nurture that gift.

Daily Bible reading for October 23

Psalm 83
1 Kings 15:25-16:34
Ezekiel 46
Romans 15:1-13

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Getting Ourselves Right

October 22, 2013

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In Romans 14, Paul takes a look at a number of issues that must have been causing brothers in Christ to disagree and perhaps pass some unrighteous judgment against each other. It even looks like Paul addresses some of the stricter folks as the weak ones! For as many years as I have been a member of the Lord’s church, I have noticed one thing: You can’t get 100 people to completely agree on every subject.

As I try to get a sense of what Paul means in Romans 14, one verse in particular jumps out at me: Romans 14:10

… we will all stand before the judgment seat of God

This has a lot in common with Jesus’ Matthew 7 teaching on judging others. His warning about the way we are (or are not) to judge people leads into a discussion of “removing the log out of our own eye first.” (Matthew 7:3-5) So … contrary to popular belief, the last word on judging others doesn’t end with Matthew 7:1. Paul says as much after quotes Isaiah (Romans 14:11):

…each of us will give an account of himself to God

The warning is to not get so wrapped up in what other people are doing and forget to look at ourselves.

In any group of Christians, there are experienced one, new ones, weak ones, strong ones. There will be disagreements that do not have to result in taking sides or back biting or gossiping. We are each to get ourselves right, keep studying and learning, and try to help each other – just as strong families should.

Daily Bible reading for October 22

Psalm 82
1 Kings 14:21-15:24
Ezekiel 45
Romans 14

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