Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Christians are called to love all people. God wants to reach everyone. He loves everyone and wants everyone to trust him. Let us keep this first point in mind. Let us take it up from the bible as a core part of the Christian message. We might be suspicious or think that the whole story is not consistent, that we do not understand it. Yet we can keep a note on this core point that God is said to be love and to be trustworthy and that he wants you and me to trust him, to trust our whole life into his hands.
The Old and New Testament also talk about justice, about God to be a very furious God when it comes to injustice, violence and lies. God's justice is of huge importance in history as well as for the relationship between men or women and God.
The bible talks about the day of judgement, which is necessary and which is to come. Every human will be under judgement of the Lord. The bible even teaches that we are already under judgement as we live here, since we do not live in community with God. We are, with our life on this planet, already outside, we are 'lost'. Only when we trust God with all our heart, we get back into this relationship, which would make us alive. Only trust in God makes us 'found'. By trust we become part of his community.
The bible in both testaments teaches these two modes: the mode of trusting God with all your heart, and the mode of not trusting him with all your heart. And it teaches that the two modes have severe consequences - both for our daily life as well as for eternity. Jesus himself gives a speech about this distinction. In Matthew 25, he talks about the judgement day:
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. […] 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.’ (from Matthew 25)
What are the criteria for the distinction which the “Son of Man” (pointing to Jesus himself in the bible) has for making choices. What is described here is that the choice which Jesus makes is reflecting the choices of humans. You choose, with what you do now, what you believe. And your choices have consequences. Then, at some point, these are taken up by the son of men and he acknowledges your choices. That is called 'justice'.
The choices Jesus talks about is to love him. If you want him, you will get him. If you do not want him, you will not get him. Here, he just clarifies who “he” is. He is himself and all who belong to him, who are part of him. The bible talks about the body of Christ to be all who believe in him. His brothers and sisters are those who believe in God and trust their life into God's hands. It is the community of trust. You can accept Christ into your life by accepting parts of his body into your life. People who trust him.
There are many parts of the New Testament talking about salvation by faith. There are others who talk about your actions, about your life. The picture becomes complete when you understand that trust and action is one. You cannot trust Jesus without becoming part of his community of trust and help and truth and love. And as part of this community your life will change. And you will start to long for his glory, this glorious throne, where trust, truth and love starts to reign completely. What a glorious day! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts