The Pilgrims’ Guidebook: The coming judgement

I Peter 4:5-9

When ridiculed for taking sin so seriously, we need to remind ourselves just how serious a matter it is. The judgement of God awaits every single individual on this planet; and death is no escape. And we too would have had to face God’s judgement, if it were not for the Gospel. Believers still have to go through physical death, but spiritually we will live on in the presence of God. Even those who die as martyrs will be fully and finally vindicated (Revelation 20:4).

Because Christ could return at any moment, we cannot afford to be complacent, self-centred or lazy (Luke 21:34). An unhealthy preoccupation with dates and signs is a distraction from the task at hand, whereas an awareness of its imminence should concentrate our minds. Our world is heading for disaster: it urgently needs our prayers. And we also need to pray for ourselves, that we shall stand firm (Mark 14:38), for persecution will become more intense as the End approaches.

We must also strengthen our relationships with one another. Some people are not easy to love! Love does not mean ‘sweeping things under the carpet’ by pretending that they have never happened. It means a willingness to forgive and a desire for reconciliation. Such love ‘pours oil on troubled waters’ instead of stirring them up; it promotes the healing of deep wounds that would otherwise fester (Proverbs 10:12). Love manifests itself in practical ways, such as offering hospitality. It is easy to resent the demands of inconvenient or unexpected visitors; but we should be generous in making our resources (our homes, our food and our time) available to those who need them.

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