Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Judgment! Something to Fear?

The phrases, "God is love" [1st John 4:16] and "The Judgement" might not seem to fit together; but they do. The Prophet Daniel and the Beloved Apostle John both speak of judgment; and who writes of God and His love more than John.  To put things in context, Daniel is wondering about the fourth beast which was "...exceedingly dreadful..." and he was particularly curious about impudent Little Horn [Daniel 7:19, 20]. In vision, Daniel sees things unfolding and says, "I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom." [Daniel 7:22] (The added words, in favor are deleted in this discussion).
Is there a Bible writer who writes more, or more eloquently of God's love than John? I know of none. John also writes of the Judgment in chapter four of his first letter; a letter of love to the saints that lifts up God and His love. Love and Judgment meet head-to-head in verse 17. Picking up the conversation in verse 15 we read; "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he/she who fears has not been made perfect in love." [1st John 4:15-18].
Clearly, Daniel and John, whose writings are separated by centuries, have the same view of God and Judgment; it is a good thing, something to be anticipated rather than feared. According to John [v.17] love has been perfected among us for a reason; and the reason is so that we can enter God's judgment with boldness. And he adds, that if we are afraid it is because we do not love.
Suddenly, the First Angel's Message becomes one of added reassurance: "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come..." [Revelation 14:7a]
Loving saints should pray, without fear, to be judged of God.
Blessings, and Peace. e.c.

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