Something I have come to appreciate about the Word of God over the years is that it contains multiple layers of revelation, all of which work together for our instruction. These layers are one reason a person can spend a lifetime studying God’s Word and never quite comprehend it all.
The first thing in the morning I usually do after I get up is to look into the mirror and see what I need to deal with for the day to prepare my outward appearance in a way that I will be able to present myself to the Lord for His service and to others who have to spend any time with me.
After I became saved, I began to learn that it was the Holy Spirit Who illuminated the Word to me. Used as an adjective, the word illuminating means to “help to clarify or explain (a subject or matter): a most illuminating discussion” (New Oxford American Dictionary). The Scripture revealed to me that I had no righteousness of my own. Upon believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the righteousness needed for salvation was imputed to me by the Holy Spirit.
From the beginning of creation, Jesus has always declared His Father (or explained, or made Him known) – He is the declaration of God’s will. As God’s Son, Jesus makes known the thoughts, desires, and intentions of His Father.
Before Jesus left this earth to go to the Father, He comforted His disciples by promising them He would return again to receive them unto Himself: “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3, NASB).
Many times, Christians who believe in the full redemption of Christ through His finished work, as consummated in the Rapture of the Church (catching up to be with Him forever, John 14:3, 1 Thess. 4:13-17, 1 Cor. 15:49-54), are said to just be “escapists” and somehow want to avoid the sufferings of Christ.
While the world does not like the Gospel, it can tolerate parts of it, particularly the first half—Jesus from His birth to His death on the cross. As such, Jesus is just a tradition of the past to them and He has no relevance or power over their lives today.
Paul and the other apostles truly hoped and longed for the return of Jesus Christ. They wrote of it often in their letters in the New Testament. They reminded the early Christians of Christ’s coming as a means of encouragement. But sadly today, many Christians are no longer looking for the “Blessed Hope.”
Many Believers live in fear of God’s judgment. But God’s Word tells us that we should not fear if we are in Christ.
Behind any apprehension we have with God’s judgment is the truth that we actually have apprehension with God Himself. At the core of the issue, we don’t trust His nature and we don’t have faith in His character. If we did, we would have faith in His judgment because we know it is part of His character, a character that He spelled out for us in His Word, a character that is loving, kind, holy, and pure.