Friday, August 05, 2005

DEATH AND JUDGMENT

"...it is appointed for each to die and then comes the judgment..." (Heb. 9:27).
Talking about death and judgment is not a popular subject. Many men prefer to continue on as if these realities did not exist. And they think there are no consequences to things done in this life.

The Hebrew writer tells the sobering truth that everyone will die and face the judgment. Leaving this world unprepared, most people die in their sins and suffer the punishment of eternal hell.

The Hebrew writer adds the good news:
"So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." (Hebrews 9:28)
The same Greek word translated "appointed" is used four times in the New Testament where it speaks of "the hope 'laid up' for you in heaven", and "in the future there is 'laid up' for me the crown of righteousness" (Col. 1:5; 2 Timothy 4:8). Death and judgment are "appointed, or "laid up" for each in the sense that they are an unavoidable part of God's justice, but there is good news for those who "eagerly await" the coming of Christ.

God's judgment will be perfect. It is the "righteous Judge" (2 Tim. 4:8) who will give to those who have biblical faith, the crown that consists of righteousness. Just as death and judgment are inevitable, so salvation in Christ is part of God's predetermined plan and it cannot be altered or circumvented. Every person who "eagerly awaits" this, can be thankful to God that salvation in Christ overcomes death and judgment.

Each person that makes the decision of faith to turn from sin and obey Jesus can count on the crown of righteousness and the eternal reward of heaven. Those who reject Christ, can count on receiving the judgment of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord (2 Thess. 1:9).

In the Bible, belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ was followed by repentance from sins, a desire and willingness to confess Christ, and immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for the remission of sins. By obeying the Gospel of Jesus in the act of faith called baptism, the person is released from sin (Acts 22:16; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:26,27). Just as we see in the Bible, there is a sense of urgency to respond to the Gospel today. Those who reject this have nothing to look forward to but death and judgment.
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Sin of commission and omission

1 comment:

  1. Discipler, just wondering about your thoughts on this: After remission of sins through baptism concupiscence or disordered desires remain. From your perspective is this sin itself? Or is it a “defect” that may lead to future sins? I’m sure that you agree that sin is a constant danger even for the baptized?

    “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:8-10)

    This point was a major controversy at the time of the Protestant Reformation. Lutherans at that time taught that these disordered desires had the character of sin. The Catholic Church has always taught that these disordered desires “has never been understood to be called sin in the sense that it is truly and properly sin in those born again, but in the sense that it is from sin and inclines to sin” (Council of Trent, Decree on Original Sin).

    It is a nuance that can help bring either peace or anxiety to a soul. Baptism certainly brings peace to a soul but these darn "sinful desires" remain.

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