Judgement Day

The below item is part of my "Conversations" series.

Two young Christians after a youth-ministry sermon.

Timothy: Well, that was a downer.

Victoria: What do you mean a downer? That was one of her best sermons ever!

Timothy: I’m not saying it was bad; I’m saying it bummed me out.

Victoria: The end times is nasty, but it’s ultimately about salvation and justice. There’s nothing to be bummed about.

Timothy: Doesn’t judgment day make Jesus sound like kind of a jerk, though? Sometimes, when I hear about Jesus not acting well, it makes it hard for me to remember that this is reality and not just stories. Why wouldn’t Jesus act, well, Jesusy?

Victoria: What the heck are you talking about?

Timothy: Judgment day! On Judgment day, Jesus sits on the throne of judgment and sorts the saved from those who will be eternally punished. It’s a big deal, and that would have to be very stressful for everyone, right?

Victoria: I guess.

Timothy: The only way to be saved from Hell is to accept Jesus, right?

Victoria: Yes.

Timothy: Can you accept him on judgment day?

Victoria: No. It’s too late then. Everyone had their choice.

Timothy: Right! Christians are saved; non-Christians aren’t. It’s cut and dried. So what’s the point of judgment day? It feels to me like Jesus is calling people out of Hell just to give them false hope for a little while, put on a big show, and send them back to burn.

Victoria: You’re totally wrong. The point of judgment day is justice. How would you like to commit a crime and have to go to jail without a chance to hear the charges against you and plead your case before a judge?

Timothy: It’s not the same thing. Do sinners get to plead their case to Jesus on judgment day?

Victoria: Of course!

Timothy: And does Jesus listen to their case and decide if they are worthy of salvation?

Victoria: Yes. That’s the point.

Timothy: Then what kind of argument would convince Jesus that someone deserves salvation instead of Hell?

Victoria: That during their life they accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior.

Timothy: Right! But that’s a cut-and-dried thing. Either you’ve done that or you haven’t. There’s no arguing about extenuating circumstances or promising you’ll accept Jesus if He will just let you off with a slap on the wrist. It’s like you’re going to court and pleading to a judge who has already decided whether or not you are guilty, so he isn’t even listening to what you are saying. Doesn’t that sound humiliating?

Victoria: No. It’s just the way that justice works. Realistically, Jesus doesn’t even have to hear people’s cases because God already knows everyone’s sins. It’s a matter of following proper procedure.

Timothy: Does salvation depend on what your sins were?

Victoria: No. All that matters is whether or not you’ve accepted Jesus.

Timothy: Then why did you even bring up that God knows your sins if they don’t matter?

Victoria: Because it’s only fair that people be told why they deserve punishment.

Timothy: Everyone deserves punishment, though! In fact, everyone deserves the same punishment! That’s why we have to be rescued by Jesus. If everyone deserves punishment then reading out sins is like my pointing out that your knees bend before I offer you a chair.

Victoria: That made no sense at all.

Timothy: I know, but this is getting me really worked up. If after judgment everyone who was in Heaven goes back to Heaven and everyone who was in Hell goes back to Hell, then Jesus giving judgment is just — I don’t know — a power trip or something.

Victoria: I think God has the right to the occasional power trip.

Timothy: Maybe, but it still sounds kind of jerky to me.

 


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Posted on August 23, 2013 at 9:15 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Conversations

One Response

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  1. Written by Joakim Rosqvist
    on August 25, 2013 at 4:29 am
    Reply · Permalink

    In ordinary life it may make sense to know why one “deserves punishment” – so one can use that information to make better decisions in the future.
    But if you’re staying in heaven/hell forever and no decision you make there is going to change that, then the info is not useful.

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