詩篇 98:9 確かに、主は地をさばくために来られる。主は義をもって世界をさばき、公正をもって国々の民を、さばかれる。

It should be fairly obvious that only those who are in the right would rejoice that God is coming in judgment! Israel got rather presumptuous on that point, and many of the prophets warned that “the day of the Lord” wouldn't be at all as they imagined it. Now that we have the whole Bible we can get a much better picture of what God's judgment looks like, and from the human viewpoint it really isn't pretty. From our
standpoint, the “problem” is that God isn't fooled by appearances; He knows our hearts. When God judges with “righteousness and equity,” we come out guilty! That's why the NT makes it very clear that only in Christ do we have right standing before God and confidence on the Day of Judgment. The Gospel isn't necessarily good news if we don't understand that A) we are guilty and B) real forgiveness is possible because of Christ. Isaiah prophesied it before it happened in the flow of time“All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) Until we understand that judgment is very real and that we are guilty, we don't understand the magnificence of God's grace.

Trying to communicate this is a constant struggle for me. Modern society, perhaps more than in any past age, bends over backwards to excuse instead of forgive, to overlook instead of call to accountability. That's why in America today so many attack the Bible and those who try to stand on its truth. That's why in Japan, the very concept of accountability is difficult to express clearly. I can't begin to overcome those things in my own wisdom and strength, but rather than be discouraged, I need to remember that nothing is impossible with God, and that the work of the Holy Spirit is to convict of sin, righteousness and judgment. (John 16:8-11) If I try to do the convicting, I will come across as judgmental and will be rejected. I must speak the truth in love and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. Sometimes even then people will reject me because they will see me as the source of the guilt they feel, but I must not let that deter me. I need to love people enough to risk rejection.


Father, this is a really big issue, one of the biggest. Thank You for the courage You have given me recently in this area, and for how You are working in various people. Help me continue to grow as a channel of Your uncompromising love, so that people may be delivered from the deceptive traps of the devil. May I fear no one and nothing apart from You, allowing Your love and grace to flow through me unhindered and undistorted, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


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