Sunday, March 6, 2016

Knowing God - Ch 14

Knowing God
J.I. Packer
IVP 1993 Americanized Version

Ch 14 – God the Judge

"People who do not actually read the Bible confidently assure us that when we move from the Old Testament to the New, the theme of divine judgment fades into the background. But if we examine the New Testament, even in the most cursory way, we find at once that the Old Testament emphasis on God's action as Judge, far from being reduced, is actually intensified. 

The entire New Testament is overshadowed by the certainty of a coming day of universal judgment, and by the problem thence arising: How may we sinners get right with God while there is yet time? The New Testament looks to "the day of judgment," "the day of wrath," "the wrath to come," and proclaims Jesus, the divine Savior, as the divinely appointed Judge. 


Jesus himself says the same. "The Father...has entrusted all judgment to the Son. ...And he has given him authority to judge. ...A time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out - those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned" (NEB has "will rise to hear their doom") (Jn 5:22, 27-29). The Jesus of the New Testament, who is the world's Savior, is its Judge as well." 

I find Packer's clarity on this very refreshing! "People who do not actually read the Bible confidently assure us..." - what a wit. The certain universal judgment of mankind is one of the least popular, and therefore one of the most important, truths being denied by popular culture today. And yet with so many truths being increasingly rejected how can you pick just one? How can the urgency and necessity of a divine Savior be understood if there is no expectation of judgment? It can't. As Christians we should look for opportunities to speak of "sin and righteousness and judgment." (John 16:8)

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