Monday, July 19, 2010

Judgment Day

Today my son and I will drive over four hours one way to appear in the court of a part time town justice about a year old speeding ticket. This matter should have been resolved by now - but evidently the town justice in question has organizational issues. The materials that we sent in a year ago were evidently lost - and never acted on. The calls, e-mails and registered letter we sent over the past two weeks have been unanswered. So, we have no option but to appear in person.

I am surprised how anxious I am about the whole process.

I am not happy about having to spend nine hours on the road today, but whether David is found guilty or not, the crime and the punishment are relatively minor. If we have to pay the fine, we will pay the fine. We would have been happy (sort of) to pay the fine a year ago and have the matter resolved without the drive.

Still I am anxious. Who is this town justice? How "just" is he? Is he vindictive? What power and authority does he have? Might he make this worse than we expect? How bad could it be?

As I think of this, I wonder about all the people who will soon appear before the judgment of God. Most of them have no anxiety about it at all - but they should have.

A human judge is fallible - but God is infallible. A human judge might be inconsistent - but God is perfectly consistent. A human judge cannot claim perfect justice - but God's judgment will be perfect.
(Romans 1:18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

The wages of sin is death and the judge of all the earth will be perfectly just. Human beings know they are guilty. Even their own conscience condemns them for their lies, their impurity, their unfaithfulness and their injustices. How do they suppose that they will escape from the perfect omniscient justice of God?
(Hebrews 2:2–3) For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,

In a human court you might or might not have to appear. In a human court you might or might not get justice. But everyone will certainly appear before God and will receive perfect justice. Those who have responded to God's offer of grace have their justice in the righteousness of Christ and His atonement for their sin. Those who have not accepted God's grace will face the eternal punishment that is the just punishment for the infinite crime of rebellion against an infinitely good God.
(Revelation 20:11–15) ¶ Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

1 comment:

Pastor D said...

Just to let you know - our trip to the Town Justice made for a long day, but was a GOOD long day.

The Town Justice felt bad that we had traveled all that way and settled the ticket for us with mercy and grace.

Meanwhile, David and I had a great trip together in beautiful weather and enjoyed visiting the mountains on New York's southern tier - if only for a day.