I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;*
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty.
from thence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.
And there it is. The final insult (pun intended? who knows?) Yes, the idea of sin is an offense; the need of a savior is an offense; the inability to do something to merit God’s grace is offensive. Christianity has so many strikes against it, what with being so offensive to the sensibilities of mankind. But this! This is the last straw! The idea that God actually judges sin is just inconceivable! After all, God is the Father of all, and loves everyone (well, everyone that we approve of, that is, but that’s a whole ‘nuther post.)
Sorry, World. As much as you want to makeover God in your own image, the Bible still says that God is committing the judgment of all things into the hands of His Son. And, as Abraham said, “Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right?”
Yes, He will. And that scares the crap out of them. Well, and us, for that matter. For we all want mercy and not justice. We cry out, “No justice! No peace!” But we don’t really mean it. We don’t want God the Son to exercise judgment; heck, we don’t even want God the Father to judge us, either. What we want is God the Santa Claus to spoil us and say, “Well, I guess they’re all pretty good, when you get right down to it.”
As much as the suggestion that God will actually conduct any kind of ‘judicial review’ is troubling, it is downright alarming to consider that Jesus not only had no problem with proclaiming God’s judgment, but warning His listeners that such talk was as serious as a heart attack. After all, it wasn’t just some misguided religious zealot who said,
“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.’ (Matt. 7:21-23)