September 12, 2018
The Final Victory of Jesus’ Righteous Judgement
1. Center Down
Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “Jesus is…” As you exhale whisper, “the righteous judge…”
2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures: (Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, thank, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)
[The final Judgement of those who did not follow The Lamb] “Then [John says] I saw a great white throne and Him [Jesus] who was seated on it. From His presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-14)
For further reading: Matthew 25
3. Concepts to Consider:
The final judgement that we see pictured in Chapter 20 of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is for many a chilling and frightening scene. And it is that for those who have ultimately rejected Jesus. Throughout the Book of Revelation we see how many ways God’s grace is made available to humanity. Over and over again, we see God truly moving heaven and earth to demonstrate His love toward humanity, but like a person who still continues to smoke even after they’ve watched a loved one die of smoking-related lung cancer, God will not force Himself on unrepentant people. At some point, they must face the consequences of their rejection. But let us be clear; Jesus’ judgement is not like ours. It is purely just and righteous and without vindictive malice.
We often imagine the wrath of God is like our wrath, full of anger and vitriol. This is not the wrath of God depicted in the Scripture. Rather, what we see is that it is much like the law of gravity. We can choose to obey the law of gravity or not, but if we don’t, grave consequences will follow. If I choose to walk off a cliff, it will certainly feel like “the wrath of gravity” when I hit the ground below! When humans, therefore, walk headlong over the cliff of God’s best design for us, then the results will certainly feel “wrathful.” We are the recipients of the results of our and other people’s sinful actions. God didn’t change or move, humanity did.
In Revelation 20, we see the final reckoning for those who are not on The Kingdom citizenship roll (aka “The Book of Life”). In the end, as Jesus teaches in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’” It’s all about nurturing a real (not a half-hearted or merit-based) relationship with God through Jesus Christ, empowered by His Spirit.
4. Reflection Questions: (You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries. To share your musings in a public forum where others can dialog and process with you, please go to http://tiny.cc/victoryn30 ).
1. God is rich in love and mercy and desires that none should perish. Take some time to assess your
relationship with Jesus. What is going well? Where are some areas of improvement that are needed?
5. Prayer for Today:
Eternal Lord, we thank You for being the One who alone can judge rightly. Thank You for hearing us when we call to You for help. Thank You for moving on the hearts of Your people to establish peace, justice, and righteousness in the earth. We will sing of Your unfailing love forever. Young and old will hear of Your faithfulness. Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.
Immortal Father, we decree that justice shall run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream in our hearts, our families, our social circles, our city, our state, our nation, and our world! Your Word says You will judge the world with justice and the nations with Your truth. So we trust You today to reign in justice and truth! And because Your Spirit dwells within us, the Body of Christ, we confess that we will walk in righteousness and integrity. We will not discriminate against anyone because of their race, their sex, or their age. We will not pay back evil with more evil but, by Your grace, we will always seek to do things in such a way that everyone can see that we are honorable and that we are Your children.
Holy Spirit, please help us to desire and commit to daily walk in Your justice and righteousness without prejudice or partiality. Deal with the hearts of those Christians who practice this ungodliness. Remind them to walk in Your Spirit and not in their flesh.
Abba Father, forgive us for any acts of injustice. Forgive us for judging others by what seems right in our own eyes for You alone are the Righteous Judge. Forgive us for loving rules and traditions more than people, who are all made in Your image. Father, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). Holy Spirit, remind us all of those we need to forgive and help us to be quick to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals them, say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, help us all not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
Righteous Judge, You are greater than any other god. You are seated in majesty. Your Name, Lord, endures forever, Yourfame is known to every generation. Yours, Lord, is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:
If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7). Turn off or put down all distractions. Close your eyes. Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture passages you read today. Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord. If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image. You may want to set a timer.
© Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. ©2017 Caldwell Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved — No reproduction of the material is permitted without the expressed permission of CMI.