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God’s Word for You

Obadiah 15 your deeds shall return

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Saturday, April 28, 2018

15 The day of the LORD is near for all the nations.

The day of the Lord is the last day, judgment day; the end of the world. It’s approach is taught throughout the Bible, and is even something that can be deduced by the mind of fallen man apart from the evidence of the Scriptures. Without judgment day, no one would fear any consequences of sin. The approach of judgment day is the magnet in man’s moral compass. It is the teeth of the law.

Jesus described judgment day many times. He said, “When the Son of Man comes in glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32).

All people will stand before God in the judgment. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). However, the judgment won’t be the same for believers as it will be for unbelievers. Read what Obadiah says about the Edomites who rejected God and turned against God’s people:

  As you have done, it shall be done to you;
  your deeds shall return upon your own head.

This is what we would expect. Our natural knowledge of God tells us that this much must be the case: Wicked men will be punished for their sins. However, Jesus also says that the wicked will be punished for what they failed to do, too: “For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you have me nothing to drink” (Matthew 25:42). But it won’t just be the flagrant sins and omissions that will be brought out on judgment day. “Men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36).

It will be different, the very opposite, for Christians. Although all men will be judged (“We will stand before God’s judgment seat,” Romans 14:10), believers will be judged only according to Christ: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned” (John 3:18). Jesus assures us: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my words and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

We put our trust in Jesus because he has rescued us from the unspeakable tragedy of damnation and brought us firmly into his paradise. Through Jesus we have forgiveness of all of our sins, a completely clear record with which to stand in the judgment—the judgement in which we are already acquitted and declared to be innocent of any wrong and possessing of God’s holy righteousness. Through Jesus we have everything, and so we stand with Jesus always, confident in all things, and forever blessed.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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