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The Happy Judgment to Come

Their conscience bears witness as well, and their thoughts will run this way and that, sometimes accusing them and sometimes excusing, on the day when (according to the Gospel I proclaim) God judges all secrets through King Jesus.

Romans 2:15-16 NTE

There is no such thing as too much love, grace, truth, or justice. All truth works in harmony. The coming day of truth and justice is also a day of love and grace because it is true that God is loving, merciful, and just.

As the Apostle Paul spoke to Felix, the Roman Governor, the book of Acts says he talked about “justice, self-control, and the judgment to come,” and “Felix became afraid” (Acts 24:25). The judgment to come gives reasons for fear if we are not cooperating with the Holy Spirit. But it is wrong to think of the judgment to come as the condemnation to come. Judgment and condemnation are not the same thing.

If you are brought before an honest judge, and you are an honest person, you long for the judge’s verdict because it will set the world in order. The Psalmist pined for the day when God’s just reign would come, saying,

“He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness.”

Psalm 9:8 NIV

Many of us learned to think of justice only in the negative, but the widow who is oppressed and seeking deliverance from

those overpowering her rejoices at the arrival of the honest judge.

The coming day of judgment for the world will include both punishment and mercy, fire and grace. The Apostle Paul said that the conscience will both accuse and excuse on that coming day when God reveals the secrets of our hearts. Thank God for His mercy for sins committed in ignorance, for there are many of us Christians who are woefully ignorant of the extravagant grace and kindness of our God. One of the secrets He will expose in our hearts is that God is much more in love with us than we ever gave Him credit. We have committed many sins because of our lack of faith in His love and our conscience will both accuse and excuse on the day this truth is fully revealed. We will weep and say, “God, I am so sorry. I didn't know.” And we will also weep with gratitude.

There are many good reasons to “hasten the coming of the Lord.” (2 Peter 3:12). The day of judgment will be a day of rejoicing, not grief, for the children of God. But there will also be sweet brokenness.

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