Now and not yet

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Full Justice

As society we constantly demand justice, we don’t want anyone to get away with anything which we particularly deem unforgiveable.  There is something within us that cries out against the injustices we see in the world.  But, there seems to be a divide between our expectation of others and God’s expectation of us.  Somehow, we don’t want justice aimed towards ourselves only towards the real evil in the world.

The reason many of us find this area difficult to consider is that we haven’t accepted certain aspects of God’s character.  For God is both Judge and Redeemer at all times.  His character doesn’t change depending on the circumstances or people involved.  He is fully Judge and fully Redeemer.

In our humanity we find this an unlikely possibility.  From a young age we learn a lot about opposites from hot/cold to black/white.  Why are we so obsessed about opposites?  Is it just a learning tool or does it go much deeper? There is a possibility that it could impact on our world view and how we relate to one another.  It certainly does impact on our view of God and our willingness to relate to Him.

God works in absolutes because He is also Truth.  All truth begins with Him and comes from Him. This is why he can be all things at all times, he doesn’t switch off one aspect of his character to enable another aspect to be effective. That is how and why God is both Judge and Redeemer, He makes the charges against sin and provides the payment for his humanity.

Through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus we see the judgement of the Judge and the payment of the Redeemer. God is ‘Just’ that justice is part of who he is and he cannot and will not be separated from his character of justice, just as he can’t and will not be separated from his character of goodness and love.

It is because of God’s love for mankind that he insists that justice will be declared against all evil in mankind’s hearts and the world around us, so that evil and its consequences can be destroyed.

Father God does not want us to be held captive by sin because it always leads us further and further into darkness and further and further away from Him. God’s very best for his creation is Himself.

Even though Jesus died on the cross and destroyed sin we do not today see God’s complete judgement merited out. Why?  Because he’s waiting.

Not yet

Why would a God of love ‘wait’ can’t he see the need of the poor and needy, doesn’t he want to stop all suffering for all the innocent people in the world?  Does he not see what evil people are doing?

Of course he does, of course he cares and of course he loves the people he has created.

God is waiting for all the people who are going to put their faith and trust in him.  He is waiting for the one who refuses to come into the kingdom because they are worried that they are not acceptable to him, He is waiting for the one who is anxious that they have made too many mistakes to be able to be loved by him, he is waiting for the one to realise that the world doesn’t have anything to offer beyond who he is, he is waiting for the sceptics who say science and faith don’t go together…..He is waiting for you.

Now

God’s kingdom is nothing like we expect, God’s kingdom is completely different to everything we know and have grown up to know. We make demands for the now when in fact God, through Jesus is changing us for the not yet.

Amazingly when we do see that God is for us and that he loves us so much that he provided his Son as the sacrifice for our sins, then we are fully accepted into his kingdom now.  There is nothing else that we can bring or do that makes us more acceptable to God the Father apart from putting our trust in His Son.

However, we do not get all the benefits of that kingdom yet.  We gain much including the gift of the Holy Spirit (which I will expand on later blogs) but there is so much more to come.

I often think that this side of heaven is like a pregnancy, a place of change, a place of growth and a place of learning.  Just as a baby in the womb learns of its surroundings and of its own identity there is something beyond it.  It can hear something humming in the background, something that sounds like a voice, but the baby isn’t quite sure.  There is a connection with something other than itself.

This is a little like those of us who haven’t heard about Jesus.  We get a sense there is something beyond ourselves but we’re not quite sure what it is.  Or those of us who refuse to believe that there is more beyond humanity, even though the world screams to us of a creation of design.

For those of us who have come to put their trust in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour and Friend our greatest desire is that all those who don’t know Jesus will get to know Him and learn to live in the now by living in the not yet.

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