Posted by: biblestudyseattle | June 5, 2021

Life then Judgment

“And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” Hebrews 9:27-28

Does this mean an infant that died at one week old faces judgment for their eternal condition? What about Lazarus? He was revived after being dead four days. Was he then judged for eternity? No. He had to die a second time! And how does Jesus’ singular sacrifice relate to our lives? The most common immediate assumption is that we live and then are judged for an eternal condition of heaven or death. Paul does not say what happens after judgment. Jesus mentions second death four times in Revelation. Second death implies second life. And what does judgment mean? Most think of a sentencing or a verdict in a court case. But doesn’t judgment include a trial before the verdict? Perhaps the judgment includes a trial life? How do we explain “For the youth will die at the age of a hundred, And the one who does not reach the age of a hundred Will be thought accursed.”? Isaiah 65:20

Someone who dies at a hundred today is mostly certainly not considered a youth. “For as the lifetime of a treeso will be the days of My people,” Isaiah 65:22

What if the judgment lasts 700 years? Is that possible? Why did those before Noah live so long? Even in our day, Giant Sequoias live forever unless they are cut off from their roots. Why are the trees of life returned in the time Ezekiel talks about? “And by the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.” Ezekiel 47:12

We tend to think of things happening suddenly, “in the twinkling of an eye.” We tend to think of the second coming, the judgment, and the resurrection happening this way. While some things do happen instantaneously, as the healing of the official’s son: “Therefore He came again to Cana of Galilee, where He had made the water into wine. And there was a royal official whose son was sick at Capernaum.  When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and began asking Him to come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of death.  Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.”  The royal official *said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”  Jesus *said to him, “Go; your son is alive.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went home.  And as he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was alive.  So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. Then they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.”  So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son is alive”; and he himself believed, and his entire household.  This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come from Judea into Galilee.”, John 4:46-54

Other things take time, often a lot of time. “I am coming quickly; hold firmly to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” Revelation 3:11 This was spoken almost 2,000 years ago; Jesus concept of ‘soon’ must be long!

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