Tuesday, May 10, 2005just something I've noticed...
After the death of a loved one, it isn't uncommon to hear a Christian say:
"Oh! we will see him/her in Heaven."
"He/She is finally at peace, in the presence of God."
But you never (or at the very least rarely) hear a Christian say:
"He/She rejected Christ his/her whole life, and now he/she is suffering for it."
"It's a sad thing, another soul condemned to the Lake of Fire."
This has always bothered me because, when we consider Matthew 7:13-14...
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
...one would think the reverse would be more likely. But no, instead, when the rare Christian comes along and says something like:
"No! no, Mother Teresa isn't in Heaven, she lived her life dedicated to the Romanist idea of salvation through works; she has been in Hades now for a number of years and will have her part of the Lake of Fire after the great and terrible judgement of the Lord."
Almost immediately, his brothers and sisters in Christ assault him with the following charges:
"Who are you to judge, doesn't the Bible say: Judge not lest ye be judged?" (I still stand by the view that Matthew 7:1 is the most misinterpreted verse in the Bible)
"How do you know that Mother Teresa didn't repent of her errors just before dying!"
Again the interesting observation is this: the reverse is never said, nor is it even considered. For example, when was the last time you heard a conversation like this:
Person A: "He/She was such a good godly person, may his/her soul rest in the Lord forever..."
Person B: "But wait a minute, what if he/she rejected everything about the Gospel just before dying? How can we know what was really in his/her heart?"
I would argue that you have NEVER heard this conversation, and will, most likely NEVER hear it.
My point: We are told, in Matthew 7 (same chapter as "judge not lest ye be judged"), to JUDGE (yes, JUDGE) men according to their fruit. Corrupt lives mean a corrupt man/woman. Righteous, holy lives mean a righteous, holy man/woman. The wicked have their part in Hell, the righteous will receive rest in the kingdom of Heaven.
Will our fruit inspection be foolproof? Will we always be perfect in our judgements? Most likely not. But our inability to attain unto perfection in this matter is NOT a license to do away with sound judgement (ask yourselves this, do you attain unto perfect holiness? No? So would it be proper to do away with holy living?).
We need the Holy Spirit to control us to judge righteously, and not to misjudge; which is the point of Matthew 7:1.
There is no doubt in my mind that this lack of sound judgement and the tendency to, by default, give justification to those who haven't been justified is a fruit of New Evangelicalism. If you do not know what New Evangelicalism is, take time to read the following articles: the first one is HERE, second one HERE, and third one, HERE.
Good reading and may God's grace reveal His Truth to you with great power my dear readers,