GOD'S JUDGMENT IS HEALING
People have been threatened by the judgment of God for so long that they have assumed that it is something to fear rather than to embrace. For most the judgment of God is the event in which we will all stand in the dock while He sits on the bench and declares that we are all guilty and will go to hell unless we have said the magic words that invoke the power of the Cross.
The truth of the matter is, God's judgment is healing. God's judgment is the manifestation of His love in our lives. It does not mean that He doesn't care what we do or do not, it is not indulgence whereby we are excused because of the Cross. It means that we are brought before God, that within us which is to be condemned is crucified with Jesus, and that which Jesus has prepared for us in the wholeness of His Kingdom is put in its place.
That is the imagery in Isaiah when the prophet says, "Come let us reason together. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Is 1:18 He follows that with, "I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy......Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city." Isa 1:25-26
The purpose of the judgment is not punishment and destruction. It is purging and healing. Unless we insist on holding fast to our Sin, we will find judgment to be what Paul writes to the Corinthians. Everyone builds on the foundation, which is Jesus Christ. Each man's work will be tested by fire. Some will suffer loss, but they will be saved on the last day.
For me to be healed as the Lord wills my wholeness, I must give up the parts of me that are related to the world, and receive from Him the essentials of the Kingdom in their place. I must be purged of the Old and made completely New.
WE ARE NOT TO JUDGE
Jesus made it clear that we are not to judge others. The judgment with which we judge, we will be judged. If I elect to judge and condemn you rather than forgive you, I am bound to you in that judgment. I am not able to make the changes that are necessary within you, and I am tied to you in such a way that Jesus cannot make the changes needed in me.
I can tell you that you have done something I perceive to be wrong, and I can recommend that you seek God's grace to change your interior from which it issued. I cannot on the other hand condemn or commend you. I can love you and leave you in His court.
What I think about you amounts to very little in terms of your healing. It has a great deal to do with my life, if I am not willing to forgive you. What God thinks about you is vital to your life and your becoming what you were created to be. A good self image that is grounded in self assurance or my assuring you that you are great, is of no value. A good God image that assures you that you are loved, and that He is in the process of bringing you to wholeness as the person He intends you to be is vital. When we know that He loves us, infinitely and unconditionally, we are set free from judging others or being affected by others judging us.
One reason forgiveness is so important is that it leaves us free from others so that we might receive the forgiveness that God has for us. We can't receive a handful of forgiveness from God if our hands are full of people we have not forgiven.
THE DYNAMICS OF GOD'S JUDGMENT
When we are willing to embrace God's judgment as He has revealed it to us in Jesus, we may well wind up with Paul as He writes to the Romans. "Don't you know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?"
Rm 6:3 If we die with Christ, we die to our sins. We die to sin and are raised up in newness of life.
We might say that the one within us who is guilty of sin receives the wages of sin which is death. If we are crucified with Christ then the one who is bound by Sin and commits the sins which bring us to judgment, is killed with Him. The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.
When we come to the final judgment, the sinner within has been destroyed in God's purging love and the one who stands before him is the new one who is not guilty. The entire process is one that we see effected through the Cross, not to excuse sin, but to crucify it, and remove it from the one whom God is making new and whole as His child.
The remission of cancer is nothing more or less than the judgment of God purging the body of dis ease through death and resurrection. The healing of any mental illness is the judgment of God crucifying the mind that malfunctions and giving to us the mind of Christ.
Ultimately the process of judgment is God's restoring love bringing us to the wholeness He intended when He called us by name. It is the process begun on the Cross, continued in our lives as we embrace the judgment, and fulfilled in the full measure of God's love manifest in our salvation or wholeness as we enter the Kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world.
The process of judgment under the Law would be one in which we were called to the dock, condemned and thrown into hell. We are not under the Law but under grace. The Law is not something we keep in our ego strength so that we might enjoy the Kingdom as a reward. It is the pattern of our lives when we are perfected as we pass through the judgment of God into the Kingdom where we will live with Him.
THE ROLE OF CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION
When we are serious about getting through judgment instead of around it, we will seek two things. We will seek to identify our Sin, that motivation within us that impels us to live contrary to the will of God, and we will take that to God in confession of our inadequacy.
We will list the symptoms that are the deeds that have been done as a result of the internal Sin nature with which we were born, and we will confess those to God. When we come to God in that manner, we are entering into the judgment of God now rather than putting it off until later. We are embracing the cleansing power of His love so that we might enjoy new life before the end of the old one.
When we make our confession, God's answer is always the same. "I am glad that you came to bring me your mess. Let me take it from you and give you this new life that I have for you because I love you very much."
"Let me thresh the chaff from your life and separate it from you that it may be burned in an unquenchable fire, and I might gather you into my Kingdom. If you are willing, I am able. If you insist on holding on to the chaff, then you must stand in the fire until it is consumed, or turn it lose and step out of the fire into the New Creation of my Love."
Thus the judgment of God is not to be shunned, but embraced. He does not come to give us what we deserve, but what He has prepared for those whom He loves. The judgment is nothing more than the receiving of His healing love that is given to any who are willing to receive it.
It is that same love that will allow anyone who desires to walk away, to continue to live in the kingdom of self which is the hell we design for ourselves. Hell is the last bastion of God's love into which we can retreat when we are not willing to receive the Kingdom of God on His terms.
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