Give Him Glory
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, "Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water."
I don't know about you, but when I think of Judgment Day, I'm not usually looking forward to it. It sounds so scary. All the people who have ever lived, standing before God, with nowhere left to hide and no way of concealing any of the bad things they have said or thought or done ... Yikes!
And yet, that is not what the angel is saying in today's reading. He says, "Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come." Give Him glory—why? Glory is something we usually give on account of good things. For example, you win a race at the Olympics, and we give you glory. You save a city from fire or flooding, and we give you glory. But this?
The angel is right, of course. Because God's Judgment Day is a good thing for those of us who belong to Jesus—for all of us who have been forgiven, washed clean, made fresh and new. When we come to that day, we will not need to be afraid. We have already been acquitted—found "not guilty"—pardoned, set free, rescued from all our evils. Jesus has done that for us, through His suffering and death on the cross. His death and resurrection have taken us out of judgment and brought us into the glorious relief and safety of the children of God. This is for everyone, without exception—everyone who trusts in Jesus.
So what does God's judgment mean for us, then? It means an end to evil—the final uprooting of wickedness—the moment we open our eyes after a long, terrible nightmare. It is like the doctor pronouncing you healthy after a long illness—like the police calling to say they caught the perpetrator who did you harm—like a text or voice message that lets you know your family is safe and well after an earthquake or hurricane. It is the final mopping up of God's war against evil, which Jesus won for us when He died on Calvary, and rose again from the dead three days later.
Now begins the new life, the new heavens and earth. Now begins happiness, peace, and joy—a life that no human being has had since Adam and Eve messed up in the Garden of Eden. This is the life God intended for humanity—a life that is whole, abundant, blessed, joyful. And it is ours from the Day of Judgment forward. Why? Because of Jesus.
Dear Lord, help me to look forward to Judgment Day, trusting and rejoicing because You have already had mercy on me. Amen.
Dr. Kari Vo
1. How do you feel when you're facing an examination?Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
2. Do you feel differently when you know that you've already passed the course? Why or why not?
3. What do you look forward to the most about God's new heaven and earth?
I don't know about you, but when I think of Judgment Day, I'm not usually looking forward to it. It sounds so scary.