“How Will You Be Judged?”
By Pastor Jerry Donovan
I imagine sometime in your life you have imagined something like this. It’s judgment day. You’re in a really long line standing outside the gates of heaven as one step at a time you slowly move forward. You start to sweat and wonder as each step gets you closer. You are filled with self-doubt as you ask yourself “Am I going to get in? Am I going to make it? Is God going to use a giant TV screen to show every stupid and evil thing I’ve ever done? Will every one of my sins be exposed for everyone to see?”
There is good news for you! In the Bible’s Gospel of John 3:18, it says that those who believe in Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection will not be judged. Jesus has promised you that when you get to heaven, Jesus will greet you with open arms, welcoming you home because, as a believer, you belong to the family of God. Jesus’ death and resurrection release you from judgment. Is that good news? Oh, yeah!
Pastor Rick Warren tells the following story, “When my friend Buddy was a child, his Sunday school teacher taught him God was sitting in heaven, writing down every bad thing that he ever did. She made the class sing a song every week that went, ‘My Lord is writing all the time. Writing, writing, writing all the time.’ Buddy said, ‘It scared me. I just thought, I’m never going to make it to heaven. My list is getting longer and longer.’”
That is not the way God treats you when you put your faith in Christ. In fact, God is erasing, erasing, erasing all the time. Forgiving, forgiving, forgiving all the time. He’s sitting in heaven, hitting the delete button.
How do we know this? The Bible says: “God is love” in 1 John 4:8 and love “keeps no record of wrongs” in 1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV.
If you put your trust in Jesus Christ and his love, your sins are wiped away. God’s judgment is reserved for those who do not believe in Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, you’re free from judgment.
Fifty days after the Disciples discovered the empty tomb the small congregation of Christian believers gathered in the “Upper Room” in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. There they all were filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit. On that day, Peter the one who had denied Jesus three times the night before he was crucified, addressed a crowd of Jewish pilgrims and about 3,000 were Baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. This could only of happened with the help of the Holy Spirit
Pentecost Sunday is May 23. The people of our churches are joining in a season of personal prayer and reflection from now until Pentecost as we tune into the Spirit’s voice as we prepare for Pentecost. We invite you to join us in this personal endeavor. A weekly guide of Scriptures, questions to personally contemplate, and prayers for guidance are available free.