by Kim Larsen
I Timothy 5:24-25, “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after; likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they are otherwise cannot be hid.”
There is a misconception of judgment. We see God as an angry revengeful God who will open the books and point a finger and say, look what you have done! The biblical idea of judgment is that all human beings, believers and unbelievers alike are destined for perfect self-awareness in the light of God’s absolute holiness.
It is a process of enlightenment and cleansing.
We generally think of judgment as a negative thing that only happens to the wicked. But the Bible speaks of judgment as a positive thing that occurs in the spiritual experience of believers. For those who follow on to know the Lord there will be washing from moral filth.
The word judgment simply means discernment or perception. A judge is someone who discerns between right and wrong and discloses his perception. He discovers the truth and makes it known. What the Bible calls the day of judgment (Matthew 10:15, 12:36; I John 4:17 is the time when every mind will be brought to perfect awareness in the blazing light of Gods perfect discernment of all things.
Those who are finally saved and those who are finally lost are brought to view in I Timothy 5:24
Both experience judgment. The difference is how and when they deal with their sins. Those who are finally saved choose to have their sins “open” to their awareness “beforehand “. In this life they allow, “the judgment” to transpire in their hearts as an enlightening and cleansing experience. They constantly merge toward the light if God’s love and righteousness and truth. Knowing Him leads to know themselves in contrast. With each step closer to God they say yes to His love and no to their sins. In this way their sins have been judged and cleansed, discarded and given up.
The eternally lost will face their final judgment when they stand in God’s unveiled presence. Paul says the opening of their sins will follow after and cannot be hid. By this statement he means that their sins will be fully opened to their consciousness on the final judgment day, whereas the saved have allowed their sins to be exposed beforehand. On that day of final reckoning, the list will know perfectly the judgment of God and will sink into unavoidable indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish of soul (psyche) Romans 2:3, 8,9.
Once again, it’s a choice that we make. Judgment now or judgment later, but all will see as they are seen and know as they are known. Jesus wants all of me or none at all. As I contemplate the price of total honesty and unreserved commitment I cringe. Should I get that real with God? I know that if I allow complete surrender parts of me will melt away and burn to ashes, will there be any of the me I know left?
But then as I look upon Jesus in his selfless love, whatever parts of me that would consume away are not parts worth retaining anyway. The real me, the true self He meant for me will emerge from the ashes. He means me no harm, but only the blessing of complete restoration to Himself.