Friday, May 21, 2010

The Judgement To Come

Acts 24:15-16 - I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.

Acts 24:25 - Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self control, and the judgement to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you".

Theses are some of the statements Paul answered to the religious Jews who were accusing him creating dissension among the people. He proclaimed the resurrection to come and the judgement that would follow. Because there would be a resurrection and judgement of all men, both the just and the unjust, Paul lived his life accordingly. Here is some more verses from Paul along those same lines. What life did he strive to live? A life that did not offend God and man. In the study of the word strive (exercise in the KJV), I found that it meant living a life in such a way that others looking at or following your life would not have an opportunity to stumble or sin.

2 Cor 5: 9-11 - Therefore we make it our aim, whether absent or present, to be well pleasing to Him, For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body , according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men: but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well know in your conscience.

Lets look at another preacher in the new testament, John The Baptist.

Mt 3:7-12 - John the Baptist in his preaching to the religious leaders of his day - But when he saw many of the Pharisees and the Sadducee's coming to his baptism, he said to them, Brood of vipers who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? And do not say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from theses stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier that I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. We will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Proper biblical preaching prepares us for the resurrection from the dead and the judgement to come. It challenges us to prepare for the after life by living in such away as to not offend God and men. Have you ever asked yourself the question - Is my life offending God? See that God that alot of people believe in today is a God that has been made up by man. The God man has made up is a God that won't judge. How many times have you heard the statement "you can't judge me". Well many live their lives as if to be saying this to God. You can't judge me. Well folks the God of the bible will judge us for how we lived on the earth. We will Judge us according to the fruit we produce. His judgement will not be based on our idea of what is right and wrong or good or bad. It won't be based on what we think is good fruit or bad fruit. It will based on His word and on the example of His son Jesus Christ. Why do you think Felix was afraid after Paul talked to him about righteousness, self control and the judgement to come. Why would Paul describe the coming Judgement as the terror of the Lord. These are not descriptions we hear today of the God that has been made up by man. These men didn't proclaim how much God loved them and how much He wanted them to have better lives. But this is what you hear predominantly from the pulpits of America. The prevailing thought today is that everybody is going to heaven because God is a God of love. If you will be honest you know I'm right.

We all need to judge ourselves and the way we are living by the word of God. Please may we all wake up and began to live lives that are pleasing to God. We must all appear before God to give an account of how we have lived on this earth. Don't run to the excuse of "I'm not perfect". This is not how Paul thought or lived. Religion won't save you from the wrath to come. If so the Sadducee's and Pharisees had it made. Only a life that is pleasing to God by living and following His Son Jesus Christ and the leading and power of His Holy Spirit transforming and changing our lives to bear fruit worthy of repentance.