SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:6-8
2 Timothy 4:6-8 says, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” Isn’t it interesting that in verse 8 Paul says, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day…” The Apostle Paul knew the Savior, but he also knew the righteous Judge. Take note that at this important culmination of Paul’s life and ministry, he does not refer to Jesus as the Lord, the compassionate Savior but as the Lord, the righteous Judge! And it was fear of the righteous Judge that dictated not only how Paul lived his life but influenced his carefully chosen words when his earthly end was approaching. When we preach only grace and mercy, we rob the church of the fear of the Lord and rob the church of knowing the righteous Judge. Knowing only part of Who Christ is means representing only part of Who Christ is. Our growth as believers has been stunted, yet in many church circles today believers will hang tenaciously onto Christ’s grace-only nature. But until those preachers know the righteous Judge, their congregants will continue to have a stunted relationship with Christ. If we see only part of Who Christ is, our actions and choices change. If we believe there is no more judgment, then we have little motivation not to sin. But I suspect we will begin to see God’s Judicial Hand move, and the fear of the Lord will be restored to the church. Look for judgment on preachers!