We can’t judge, but God can.
I am not sure how many people watched Amy Coney Barrett get sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett’s speech was succinct and educational as she addressed directly the criticisms and fears expressed about her predicted rulings on the Supreme Court.
Part of what she said in her speech overlaps with what I teach as well, so my ears perked up. Our legislative and executive branches are comprised of elected officials, voted in by the people to represent the people. The judicial branch, however, is not comprised of elected officials to represent the people. A judge’s role is not to please the people, the president, or as Amy noted, even their personal preferences. Judges are appointed to serve the people by upholding the Constitution of the United States of America.
Judges apply the law.
At the end of our lives God will be making a decision about our eternity based on how we treated His Son, through whom we have union with God. The idea of God as Judge is sitting less well with our society more than ever. No person has the right to judge because we never know the whole truth and are imperfect, but God knows every detail of every situation and makes no errors, so He judges rightly. He is the Creator and we are the created; He is the only source of life, so all other unions are rightly judged as deserving death and destruction. Oh boy, I know people don’t talk about this anymore, but hang in there.
God is not talking about our behavior, but our nature. We want to live independently from Him but He is our Creator, so to unite with anything else but Him leads to destruction and is rightly judged as such. Think of the unnatural or ungodly unions we have had with things like drugs, sleep, movies, food, sex and unhealthy relationships. Think of our ungodly unions with things like bitterness, unforgiveness, work, independence, gossip, comparison and beauty. Some would say such unions lead nowhere,
but every union leads somewhere – toward life or death.
God wants us to have life which is only found in Him, the giver of life. He wants us to have a relationship with Him so He made a way to give us a new nature through His Son, Jesus Christ. Our union with Christ then allows an eternal relationship with God.
Sin isn’t about lists.
A sinful nature separates us from God, not a list of rules and behaviors, which is what most people think. We Christians are partly to blame. We talk about rules too much, not union with Christ and paths the lead to life. The world is partly to blame as well. A godless perspective has no choice but to focus on behavior because it can’t govern the heart. Last, Satan is partly to blame. He throws us lies that make us see the life-giving path God offers in Jesus as controlling and old-fashioned.
God is holy so He hates sin.
Jackie Hill Perry says in her teaching on Jude, “Anyone who loves, hates.” Even when we imperfect parents love our children, we hate when they are mistreated. If we love purity, we hate impurity. If we love kind words, we hate wicked words. The same applies to God because God is love.
“Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. (Jude 14-16)
Like our judicial branch, God does not live to please the people but to uphold truth. This motivates me to share the love of Christ so as many people as possible can live united with God and be kept for eternity.
Continuing in Jude, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (Jude 20-21)
God is Judge.
Picture Explanation: Rough week for me, folks. People I love were suffering from health issues, I was remembering my brother’s funeral this week 27 years ago, a storm took power for a little while and my internet for a big while (threatening this blog being published), and our country is buckling under the pressure of COVID and a presidential election. In the midst of it all, a neighbor brought me flowers from her backyard (bottom picture). Imagine finding these on your doorstep. God sees. His tender love follows us always because His ways are life.
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