Thursday, November 21, 2013

Judgment is coming - don't be caught off guard!

2013 New Testament Challenge – Day 7 (Matthew 25-28)
Every year I participate in a special effort called the New Testament Challenge sponsored by a priest of the Orthodox Church in America. He encourages Christians to spend the Christmas Fast, also known as Advent) reading the entire New Testament as a preparation for Christmas. Each year I have done this, it has been blessing to me and I pray this year will be no different. As part of the New Testament Challenge, I endeavor to blog a bit about the reading for that particular day. I may miss a few, but I pray for those who follow this blog (NOW ALSO ON FACEBOOK) it will be a blessing.

Today’s readings speak a great deal about the final Judgment. While yesterday Jesus commented on how eternal life will “feel”, today we hear how He will judge. At first glance, it seems a harsh and vengeful act of God, but it deserves a closer look. YESTERDAY’s readings (Matthew 18-24) featured the anguish in the hearts of those condemned. Today’s readings feature not only the regret of those condemned, but the finality of God’s judgment.

“Kingdom of heaven shall be…” is the series in which we see God quickly, and without notice, putting an end to creation. For those who were prepared and spent their life in harmony with God, the quick judgment is a blessing. “For the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24.22) It is the swift and final reality that their hearts are cold that seems so tormented.

"Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' – Matthew 25.11

And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 'So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. – Matthew 25.25-27

Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You? – Matthew 25.44

Don’t find yourself being caught off guard. Don’t find yourself shut out of the wedding feast. Don’t find yourself full of regret. Life a new life in Christ TODAY!

Until tomorrow….remember “The “Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

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