Daily Thought for: 18th August

JUDGE

Acts 17. 22-34

The recognition of God as judge pervades the Bible. Enoch prophesied of judgement and Abraham designates God as ‘Judge of all the earth’, Jude 14-15; Gen. 18. 25. Further, the truth that man is a responsible being accountable to his creator is an essential element of the gospel, Acts 10. 42; Rom. 2.16.

In the evangelistic addresses of Acts, the apostles demonstrate keen sensitivity to the background and intelligence of their audience. Paul connects with the cultured Athenian philosophers, using his address to explain the nature of the confessedly ‘unknown God’. The apostle masterfully identifies Him as the Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of all. The climax of his message is reached when he asserts that God ‘commandeth all men every where to repent’, Acts 17. 30. Notice has been served to the world by the resurrection of Christ, that God will one day judge the earth through the man of His appointment.

There is, however, a broader context to the judgement of God. Several important Old Testament scriptures speak of God ‘judging the world in righteousness’, Pss. 9. 8; 58.11; 67.4; 96.13; 98. 9. The thought is not limited to the condemnation of the wicked, but includes the long awaited universal administration of justice and divine government.

Today, as in ancient times, men scoff at the possibility of divine intervention in the affairs of the world, 2 Pet. 3. 3,4. The Christian knows better, and can confidently look forward to the time when God in Christ will assert His kingly rule in the earth, in keeping with His eternal purpose to head up all things in His Son, Rev. 11.17; Eph. 1.10. For the longsuffering and often persecuted people of God of every age, this will mean final vindication and sharing Christ’s reign: no wonder all heaven’s chorus is ‘Alleluia’, Rev. 19. 1! Even now, the thoughtful believer will be concerned to fully reflect the principles of God’s rule in every aspect of life, Matt. 6. 10. With regard to the lost, let us faithfully warn them that the glorious gospel of the love of God also carries an ultimatum from God the judge; the resurrection means that men must repent or face eternal consequences.

 

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