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8.3 The Judgment Has Come
The Inevitable Judgment: Prepared through Christ
Compare Daniel 7:9–10 with Revelation 14:6–7. What similarity exists between these two passages?
Daniel 7:9-10 and Revelation 14:6-7 share some remarkable similarities, especially in their depiction of judgment scenes and the emphasis on God’s holiness and the importance of worship. Here are the two passages:
Daniel 7:9-10: “9 As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. 10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.”
Revelation 14:6-7: “6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.'”
Similarities:
  1. Judgment Scene:
    • Both texts describe a scene of judgment. In Daniel 7, the court is opened, and the books are opened, indicating a judicial investigation. In Revelation 14, the angel proclaims that the hour of judgment has come.
  2. Divine Authority:
    • Daniel 7 emphasizes the authority and holiness of the “Ancient of Days” (a portrayal of God), who sits on a fiery throne to judge. In Revelation 14, God is worshipped as the Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and the springs of water, emphasizing His authority by calling people to fear Him and give Him glory.
  3. Worship and Reverence:
    • Both passages highlight the worship of God. In Daniel 7, thousands serve before God’s throne, indicating an attitude of worship and service. Revelation 14 calls people to worship God, especially in the context of His impending judgment.
  4. Worldwide Context:
    • Both texts include a worldwide dimension. Daniel 7 describes a vast assembly before God, including “thousands upon thousands” and “ten thousand times ten thousand.” Revelation 14 speaks of the eternal gospel being proclaimed to all nations, tribes, languages, and peoples.
These parallels show that both passages offer an eschatological perspective on God’s judgment and the importance of worship and reverence before God. They emphasize God’s sovereign authority and His righteous rule over all creation, while urging believers to live in the knowledge of His holiness and power.
Read Revelation 22:10–12. What is the fate of all humanity when Jesus returns? What clear statement was made to John?
Revelation 22:10–12: “10 Then he told me, ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.’ 12 ‘Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.'”
The fate of all humanity at Jesus’ return: These verses from Revelation emphasize that at Jesus’ return, the fate of all people will be finalized and irreversible. There are four essential statements in these verses that illustrate the fate of humanity at Jesus’ return:
  1. The time is near:
    • The angel tells John not to seal the words of prophecy because the time is near. This means that the events described in Revelation are imminent, and people must be prepared.
  2. State of humanity:
    • It is said that people will remain in the state they are in: Those who do wrong will continue to do wrong, those who are vile will continue to be vile, but also: those who do right will continue to do right, and those who are holy will continue to be holy. This means that at the time of Jesus’ return, people’s decisions about their moral and spiritual lives will be final.
  3. Reward by Christ:
    • Jesus says that He is coming soon and that He brings His reward with Him to repay each person according to their deeds. This implies that there must be a preceding judgment to decide who receives what reward or punishment.
  4. No second chance:
    • The clear statement is that at Jesus’ return, there will be no second chance for repentance or change of fate. Everyone has had enough time and information to make a final decision for or against Christ.
Clear statement to John: The statement to John is clear and unequivocal: The words of the prophecy should not be sealed because the fulfillment is near. It is emphasized that people will remain in their respective states, whether it be unrighteousness or righteousness, and Jesus will come to reward each person according to their deeds. These passages underscore the urgency and finality of the decisions people make in their lives, highlighting the importance of living a righteous life in anticipation of Jesus’ return.
Read Matthew 25:1–13. Why does Jesus behave so differently towards these two groups of believers?
In this parable, two groups of virgins (the wise and the foolish) are treated differently based on their preparation and expectation regarding the arrival of the bridegroom. This illustrates important spiritual lessons about vigilance, preparation, and the kingdom of God.
  1. Preparation and Vigilance:
    • The wise virgins are prepared and vigilant. They not only bring their lamps but also extra oil to be prepared for a possible delay of the bridegroom. This symbolizes spiritual readiness and constant vigilance in faith.
    • The foolish virgins, on the other hand, are unprepared. They bring their lamps but no extra oil. Their lamps run out, and they are unable to meet the bridegroom when he finally arrives. This symbolizes a superficial or inadequate preparation in faith.
  2. The Significance of Oil:
    • Oil symbolically represents the Holy Spirit, spiritual sustenance, and the inner readiness a Christian needs to remain steadfast and prepared for the return of Christ. The wise virgins have made an effort to maintain their relationship with God and uphold the necessary spiritual sustenance.
    • The foolish virgins, however, have neglected this preparation. They attempt to get oil at the last minute, revealing their inability to recognize the importance of continuous spiritual preparation.
  3. The Closed Door:
    • The closed door symbolizes the end of the grace period. Once the bridegroom (Jesus) arrives, there is no further opportunity for repentance or preparation. Those who are ready enter, while the others remain outside. This final separation emphasizes the urgency of being prepared in faith now, rather than waiting until the last minute.
  4. Recognition and Relationship:
    • Jesus’ statement “I don’t know you!” to the foolish virgins underscores that a superficial or unprepared attitude in faith is insufficient. It’s about having a genuine, deep relationship with Christ. The wise virgins are recognized and accepted because they have nurtured this relationship.
Summary: The parable teaches that genuine believers are characterized by continuous vigilance and preparation. They nurture their relationship with God and live in constant anticipation of His return. This requires spiritual discipline and a conscious decision to grow in faith and prepare for Jesus’ arrival. The differential treatment of the two groups of virgins demonstrates that only those who are truly prepared will participate in the wedding (the kingdom of God).

The Inevitable Judgment and Preparation by Christ are central themes with profound implications for our daily lives and faith. The scriptures and the parable of the ten virgins teach us important lessons about vigilance, preparation, and our behavior as believers.
  1. Vigilance and Spiritual Preparation:
    • Daniel 7:9-10 and Revelation 14:6-7: These passages remind us that God is the sovereign Judge and that a judgment is impending. Therefore, our daily lives should be characterized by an awareness of this divine reality. We are called to live in constant anticipation and preparation by nurturing our relationship with God and continuously feeding ourselves spiritually.
    • Matthew 25:1-13: The wise virgins, prepared and vigilant, serve as examples of living in constant readiness. This means not relying solely on outward religious practices but building and maintaining a deep, personal relationship with God.
  2. Responsibility and Faithfulness:
    • The parable of the ten virgins illustrates that our daily faithfulness and responsible actions are crucial. We should not be negligent or unprepared but strive to live consistently aligned with God’s will and strengthen ourselves spiritually through prayer, study of the Bible, and fellowship with other believers.
  3. Finality of Decisions:
    • Revelation 22:10-12: These verses emphasize the urgency and finality of our decisions in life. When Christ returns, our fate will be sealed based on the decisions we have made. This means we should view each day as an opportunity to align our lives with God’s will and choose a righteous and holy life.
  4. Faith Assurance and Trust:
    • We need not fear the judgment because through Christ, we have forgiveness, freedom from guilt, and the power to live a life pleasing to God. This confidence in Christ’s atoning sacrifice and ongoing intercession gives us the assurance that we can stand in the judgment. This certainty should encourage and strengthen us in our daily lives to live in holiness and righteousness.
  5. Witness and Evangelism:
    • Revelation 14:6-7: The angel proclaiming the eternal gospel reminds us that as believers, we have the responsibility to share the message of God’s judgment and His grace with the world. Therefore, our daily lives should also be characterized by amissionary zeal, preparing others for the imminent return of Christ.
In summary, the connection between the Inevitable Judgment and our everyday life and faith lies in constant readiness, vigilance, and faithfulness in our relationship with God. By nurturing our connection with God, living responsibly and faithfully, recognizing the finality of our decisions, finding assurance in Christ, and actively sharing the gospel, we can lead lives that align with God’s will and prepare ourselves and others for Christ’s return.

Our daily lives should be marked by vigilance and constant preparation for God’s impending judgment, sustained by the assurance that Christ enables us to stand in righteousness and faithfulness.

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