photo credit: Me2 (Me Too) via photopin cc The picture above captures what comes to most minds when they think of the Adventist doctrine...

The Urgent Implications of the Pre-Advent Judgment

photo credit: Me2 (Me Too) via photopin cc
The picture above captures what comes to most minds when they think of the Adventist doctrine of an investigative judgment. For many years I had a false understanding of the investigative judgment (pre-advent judgment) that bred this same fear instead of hope. My wife was also taught growing up that her name could come up at any moment in the courtroom of heaven and if she wasn't perfect when it did she would be lost forever. The result of distorting this biblical teaching is a sense of fear and anxiety that has led many to flat out reject the validity of this doctrine. Of those who have not rejected it, many still suffer under this misconception and live in fear of their name coming up in the judgment. However, after studying the topic for myself I realized that the opposite is true and that the investigative judgment is really good news. It is the message that God is at work right now to save as many people as possible - not damn them. This flies in the face of the popular concept that God is out to get us. It is a counter cultural reality - God is on our side. He is not against us.

While the good news of the investigative judgment was an eye opening experience for me I wondered for a time what it was that made the message so urgent. I mean, I was glad to see that it was good news but failed to see what made it so important. Yes, I knew that the investigative judgment is Gods final work on behalf of humanity which means when its over its over, but I still felt that a sense of true urgency was missing. 

In recent days I have come to realize what that missing element was. The Bible teaches that the end-time judgment has two arch-phases.  The first is the investigative judgment (before the second coming) which is a judgment for all who have ever proclaimed the name of Jesus. The second is the Great White Throne judgment (1000 years after the second coming) which is for the wicked. In the investigative judgment it is the disciples of Jesus (and the pseudo-disciples) who are judged not the wicked. In other words, everyone who has ever claimed the name of Jesus is judged. The sincere believers have nothing to fear in this judgment. For them it is a time of vindication not of fear. When it is over, the true disciples (those who are believers in Jesus) are given the kingdom. The next judgment that takes place, the Great White Throne judgment, only considers the cases of the lost not the saved.

Do you realize the implication of this? Anyone not judged in the investigative judgment is automatically lost. This means that you want your name to come up in the investigative judgment because if it doesn't then it will come up in the Great White Throne judgment. Everyone is going to be judged and I don't know about you, but I want my name to come up in the investigative judgment because if it does I know I am saved. So what is the urgency? The Bible is inviting the whole world to choose what judgment they want to fall under. We should be inviting people to the joy of knowing that those who are in Christ will be judged and vindicated in the pre-advent judgment and thus not be judged and condemned before the Great White Throne. The judgment is taking place right now. Its time we started inviting. 





Further Reading: The Investigative Judgment

0 comments:

Please feel free to share your thoughts! Just remember to keep your comments friendly and relevant. Comments that are not risk being incinerated in cyber space. Happy typing! :D