There is an ongoing tension in being a follower of Jesus. The first is that Jesus came to save the world so that no one would perish.
On the other hand, without a doubt, there is some sort of division of those who have died into those who will be ushered into the throne room, and those that will not.
For Christians, we have an understanding that knowing Jesus as our savior is a great thing. Some hard things go along with it. Some of them are hard because our fallen human nature wants to do them.
Often, though, the harder part is what the world wants us to do.
The first thing is that the world does not wish to be judged. Even Jesus says that he is not the judge. Yet later in the Scriptures, he is. How do we discern that?
Jesus was not the judge while he walked the earth as the Messiah. Jesus was to bring the good news and the light. People would choose the light or the dark.
It is after it is all over that Jesus, as God, becomes judge. Even that isn’t so much condemnation, but the discernment of the heart of the person standing there. We may be “waiting” for judgment, yet Jesus is really looking at our hearts and peeling away the layers that we hide even from ourselves.
It is their own hearts when confronted at the end by God’s words, that will judge them. There might be a silver lining in that though.
We are often our harshest critics. Like those who asked, “when did we serve you,” there will be those who will be wondering exactly that.
Of course, there will be those that say, “we did serve you,” and will be condemned by their own hearts that they served for themselves not out of love.
This is hard. We want the easy way. We want to know that our friends and family who don’t know Jesus will be with us.
This also how we know that God loves us. He gave a way to come to him. He left the way open for us the leave him (no matter how much it breaks his heart).
Lord, help us to not give up on those we love that don’t know you. Amen.
1) How does one improve one’s Christian walk without judgment?
2) How does work in comparison with discernment?
3) How do you evaluate your Christian walk?