Summary: This message looks at three iffy Judgment Day plans and then how to be confident in what God has revealed.
WHAT ARE OUR JUDGMENT DAY PLANS?
- Hebrews 9:27 tells us that everyone will be judged by God.
- This is something that we all intrinsically know: there needs to accountability for what we’ve done in this life.
- So many things are left undone by this life in terms of justice that there has to be a higher and ultimate justice.
1. “I WILL BE JUDGED BY MY OWN STANDARDS.”
- We believe that our own standards of right and wrong will be what God judges us by. Did I feel that something was right? Did I feel that something was wrong?
- Two examples:
a. The guy who date-rapes a woman and feels no remorse because “she deserved it for getting wasted.”
- Do you want that guy judged by His own standards? Do you want that guy judged by His own words?
- Of course not. His lack of remorse in no way diminishes the evil of his action.
b. The #bringbackourgirls guy who said, “Allah said, ‘Sell.’”
- On April 14th, 230 School girls were kidnapped from the Chibok Government Secondary School by Boko Haram Terrorists in Nigeria.
- One of the most disturbing parts of the event was that one of the Boko Haram leaders said that he had prayed about it and that “Allah said, ‘Sell.’” In other words, not only was he doing this blatantly evil act, but he was justifying it as being sanctioned and approved by God (Allah).
- I’m going to presume here (because I think it’s the most likely reason) that he genuinely believes that. (It could be true that he knows that he’s lying, but that’s a different type of evil.) If he genuinely believes that his actions are God-approved, it’s almost certain that he’ll die someday confident in what he did. He will feel no remorse.
- Do we want him judged by his own standards?
- There is the idea of absolute truth that comes in play here.
- Here we’re talking directly about the idea of absolute truth. Is there truth that is always true, whether you believe it or not?
- George Barna (Virtual American, 1994) found that 71% of Americans agree with the statement: “There are no absolute standards that apply to everybody in all situations.”
- Further, he found that this type of thinking has become entrenched in the church. 53% of those who claim that there is no such thing as absolute truth identify themselves as born-again Christians. 42% of those who identify themselves as evangelical Christians agree with the statement: “There is no such thing as absolute truth; two people could define truth in totally conflicting ways but both still be correct.”
- Harry Blamires, in his book The Christian Mind, writes, “Ours is an age in which ‘conclusions’ are arrived by distributing questionnaires to a cross-section of the population or by holding a microphone before the lips of casually selected passers-by in the street. . .. In the sphere of religious and moral thinking we are rapidly heading for a state of intellectual anarchy in which the difference between truth and falsehood will no longer be recognized. Indeed, it would seem possible that the words true and false will eventually (and logically) be replaced by the words likable and dislikable.”
- To put the question directly: is religious truth more like ice cream flavors or arithmetic?
- Your favorite ice cream flavor is a matter of your taste. You can say you like strawberry, but I’ll always say that I’m a chocolate guy. And we can both be right because it’s just a question of our personal preferences.
- Conversely, if you say 2+2=4 and I say 2+2=5, one of us has to be wrong - both of those answers cannot simultaneously be right.
- As Blamires alludes to, most people today think that religious truth is like ice cream flavors: you can have your favorite and I can have my favorite and we can both be right. In fact, though, religious truth is like arithmetic. There is a right answer and there are wrong answers.
- There is a story told about Lloyd Douglas, who was the author of The Robe. It has to do with a tradition from the boarding house where he stayed while he was in college: “On the first floor resided a retired music teacher, infirm and unable to leave his apartment. Every morning they had a ritual: Douglas would come down the steps, open the old man’s door and ask, ‘Well, what’s the good news?’ The other would pick up his tuning fork, tap it on the side of his wheelchair, and say, ‘That’s middle C! It was middle C yesterday; it will be middle C tomorrow; it will be middle C a thousand years from now. The tenor upstairs sings flat, the piano across the hall is out of tune, but, my friend, that is middle C!”