A lot of people fear divine judgment.
It is because they have a distorted view of God and what He can do on the way to and through judgment by his work of redemption.
There is no option to avoiding divine judgment. It is inevitable according to many passages of scripture (Acts 17:28-31 “he will judge the world”; 2 Cor 5:10 and Romans 14:10 “all stand before the judgment seat of Christ; etc.)
But there is an approach we can take to this.
We can try to hide or we can trust the love of God and face our judgment.
When Adam tried to hide from judgment in the garden in Genesis 3, he made a horrible mistake that cost the human race a lot of wasted time, lots of social and emotional suffering, and a huge amount of distorted living. He should have come clean and faced divine judgment and he would have been treated like the woman caught in adultery (John 8), who, by the grace of God, received NO CONDEMNATION. Adam had to hide and then get stuck in the blame game when he could have had a much better outcome to his poor and sinful choices.
So, as a sinner, the distorted view is to hide from judgment. It takes faith to face judgment….faith in God’s reasonable and radical love.
The message of the SDA church is that judgment is now and judgment is inevitable. If you try to hide, your approach to the judgment hour message is to “call for the rocks and
“They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” Revelation 6:16
“Then “‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”‘
Not a good choice. It is a choice that shows we don’t understand God and don’t understand judgment.
The SDA church has been given an opposite message. IT IS THE HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT. COME AND WORSHIP.
Worship is to come to God in faith, knowing that despite our sinfulness he is able to save us. It is not hiding, excusing, blaming others. It is facing the music of our stupidity and requesting God to help us as only true love could.
As I have repeatedly argued throughout this blog, I see a judgment ethic for the Adventist church that is deeper than just a wholistic health ethic or even a sabbath ethic, although those are part of this judgment based ethic. But at our core, our contribution is to present a judgment view of ethics based on God’s redemptive work of love. Divine judgment, rightly understood, is the GOSPEL. The judgment is the goodnews for our time of what God is like and what he can do for sinners.
My two favorite stories of judgment–John 8 and John 9— and my two favorite passages connecting gospel (light) and judgment–1 John 1:9 and Micah 7:9 –all point to the powerful redemptive core engine of a biblical teaching on judgment.
There is no non-judgment option. There are just two:
Judgment and Hide.
Judgment and Worship.
Can the SDA church shed its legalistic views of God and His judgment and show the light of Micah 7:9 which is a powerful call to worship BECAUSE of HIS JUDGMENT!!
Prayer: God help us say yes to His judgment Hour!!!