Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Judgment: You are here

The Judgment:  You are here
For those who travel by road in the USA, places along the road where you can stop and rest.  These places, appropriately called rest stops, have wash rooms, vending machines, and other amenities.  In many rest stops there is a large map posted of the area you are traveling.  The road that you are traveling on is normally highlighted in this map.  Normally, there is also on the map a dark circle with an arrow with a small caption that reads, “You are here.”  This circle lets you know on the map, where you are in reality.  This system of the circle, arrow, and caption, is also used in large building structures as malls, convention centers, or amusement parks.  You see a directory in a walkway and on this directory there may be a map of the place you are in.  Then on the map, you will see a dark circle, a small arrow, and a caption that reads, “You are here.”  (For most people it is very helpful to find the wash rooms.)
Historic prophecies as the ones found in Daniel 2 and 7 are sort of maps that let us know where we are in the God’s view of history of this world.  These historic prophecies normally start when they are given.  In the case of Daniel 2 and 7, they start with the kingdom of Babylon, since they were revealed to Daniel during the Babylon’s reign in the area.  Subsequent prophecies omit Babylon because they were given after the fall of Babylon.  Any thing that happened before the time when the prophecy is given is omitted.  I guess God assumes the prophet can read the already revealed scripture at the time, to find out what is before the prophets time.  As the prophecy unfolds it reveals to the prophets, and us, what events will follow in the world’s history.  Notice they always culminate with the eradication of earthly kingdoms and the establishment of God’s everlasting Kingdom.  In summary, the Historic prophecies showed Daniel two things:
  1. Where he was in the timetable of God’s plan of salvation – you are here,
  2. And, the unfolding of world history with the glorious culmination the establishment of God’s kingdom – where you are headed. 
However, the prophecy not only tells Daniel where he was historically, it can also tell us where we are.  If we follow the prophecy and it interpretation, we will soon discover that between the fall of papal Rome at the end of the 18th century and Christ’s return there is a Judgment (Daniel 7: 9, 10).  As we already have studied the Judgment vindicates God, His character, His people, and His character in them.  The Judgment also exposes those who profess, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5), from those who truly “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:7).
Common sense then tells us that we are there: in the time of Judgment.  Yes, my friend we are being judged. Our names and those of all who have professed to worship God are being reviewed to see whether Christ’s Righteousness dwells in us.   In fact, that is why Revelation 3 calls us Laodiceans - a judged people.  For those who have received Christ’s Robe of Righteousness and His perfect love – agape –there is nothing to fear.  The Judgment is good news to them.  But, for those who in their spiritual stupor walk around saying, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3: 17), the judgment is bad news.  However, even then, we may overcome our fears of the Judgment, because God encourage us to buy from Him the remedy to our Sin problem and the fear it causes, let is read in Revelation 3: 18 – 21,
Revelation 3: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Revelation 3: 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Revelation 3: 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3: 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
What a beautiful invitation and promise this passage offers.  All God asks of us is to hear His voice and the knocking at the doors of our heart, turn around and let Him in. To those of us who accept this invitation He will wine and dine us, and have us sit on His throne.  Then the Judgment becomes a reminder of that wonderful invitation and promise Jesus has made to us.