September 19, 2022
“Then I saw a great white throne and the One seated on it. Earth and Heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. I also saw the dead, the great and the small...”
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“Then I saw a great white throne and the One seated on it. Earth and Heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15
I have heard it said, by some “new age” and liberal religious types, that all roads lead to God. The foundation of their statement is heresy, which assumes that all religions will eventually lead to some kind of eternal salvation. To them, it doesn’t matter which road you choose because they will all arrive at the same destination.
According to today’s passage, though, there is some truth to their assumption. All roads eventually DO lead to God. That is to say, all roads lead to the judgement of God. We will all, great & small, stand before the Lord’s judgment. The real question should be, “Which road gets me past God’s Judgment?” There is only ONE true way, and if the “narrow path” had a street sign at its entrance, it would read: “MESSIAH JESUS”…or perhaps, “THE Way.”
Some skeptics would argue that such an exclusive assumption is a New Testament fable, an idea that Judaism doesn’t teach. While there are many Old Testament references to the “Day of the Lord,” the “Last Day,” “The Judgment,” etc., consider this one from the prophet Zephaniah:
“Therefore wait for Me – the Lord’s declaration – until the day I rise up for plunder. For My decision is to gather nations to assemble kingdoms, in order to pour out My indignation on them, all My burning anger; the whole earth will be consumed with the fire of My jealousy.” Zephaniah 3:8
The Bible gives a symmetrical picture of salvation history. In its first two chapters, at the beginning of history, a sinless World is described. At the beginning of the third chapter (Genesis 3:1-7), Satan entices Eve and Adam into sin, resulting in damage to humanity and the World. From the very beginning, God’s plan was to remedy this damage through the death and resurrection of the Messiah. The remaining 1256 chapters of the Bible deal with the outworking of this plan.
At the end of history, in the third-to-last chapter, Satan is judged, with the wicked condemned to the lake of fire. Then, the final two chapters of Revelation present a newly created earth and humanity restored to Eden-like sinlessness. But there is one asymmetry: Satan and the first man, Adam, cause sin at the beginning, while God the Father and the second man (aka 2nd Adam), Jesus, cause sinlessness at the end. (1 Corinthians 15:45-49, Romans 5:12-21)