When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 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. Matthew 25:31-32
Do you know who you are?
Maybe not. To the government you are a Social Security number. In your family you play different roles, to your boss and business you're an asset or a liability.
Most of us wear many hats.
That was certainly the situation around the year 1910. According to the story given me, a man was waiting for the New York subway when he was bumped and found himself falling onto the rails. His death was prevented only by the quick grasp of another passenger.
The calendar advances four years. It's now 1914 and the passenger who was saved has been rightly arrested and convicted for a capital offense. Even so, his demeanor throughout the trial could be described as being nothing less than blasé.
His cavalier attitude was the result of him having recognized the judge. It was the same man who had saved him at the subway. All of the lawbreaker's bravado evaporated when the convicted heard the judge give him the maximum sentence.
"But judge", the man said, "don't you remember me? I'm the man you saved at the subway."
With some sadness, the judge replied, "I do remember you, and I remember how I saved you that day. But what have I saved you for? So you could go on sinning, stealing and murdering? Yes, I remember and I'm sorry the action was wasted. At any rate," the judge continued, "that day I was your savior; today I am your judge."
Recently I have encountered a whole group of people who maintain a loving Lord would never, ever send someone to hell.
Now it is true God doesn't want anyone to go to hell, and He has provided a way to make sure everyone can avoid that nasty place, even so that doesn't mean we can ignore the fact that salvation is completely dependent upon our believing on God's Son as our Savior.
And that means believing while He is our Savior and not our Judge.
Now, of course, you know that, but maybe you know somebody who could afford to hear that Bible-based truth once again. If so, why not forward this devo to them.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for my salvation won upon Calvary's cross, I am indebted to You. May I embrace and ever hold fast to my Savior. But I also pray for the many who think they can rewrite the plan of salvation. May they remember that Jesus the Savior is also Jesus the Judge. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries