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It was a bit of a soul-shaking experience, when, last week as I put the blog article together, I was struck cold-dead center with God’s truth. I am not happy with myself. I was guilty—again—of reading over a text without thinking; without applying it to me. I should title this article Reading Over Scriptures and Assuming They Apply to Everyone Else but Me.

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After all these years, I may have finally discovered some of what was going on in Pilate’s heart and head when he asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Not that that was ever some kind of goal for me. Not at all. After all, Pilate gave the final charge to crucify Jesus. Who cares what he was thinking? But part of the understanding of Pilate’s question is that he was waist-deep in the politics of his day. And I can’t help but wonder if his response to Jesus’ statement about truth was in some way related to the political maelstrom that was always present in the Roman governmental hierarchy.

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A long-time friend and faithful reader of this blog contacted me recently about a series written here for which she was very thankful, entitled The Man of Lawlessness: He Is Coming. I thanked her for reminding me about this soon-to-come-to-pass truth that had fallen off my radar a bit because of, well, the everyday things of life. So, by way of reminder, please allow me to re-visit a related topic. The judgment of everyone in the world is coming, just as surely as the sun rises every morning. Or, to be more scientific, just as surely as the earth rotates.

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We had a great Bible study at our little Christian gathering last Sunday. We were looking at the interesting way the apostle Paul talked to the unbelieving Gentile governor, Felix. Paul had been arrested and brought before this man, who had a “rather accurate knowledge of the Way” (Acts 24:22). Paul had given the defense of his innocence a few days earlier and summed it up, saying, “‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day’” (Acts 24:21b). 1

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flower on thistle

Who wants to be judged? Very few people desire to be told, “You’re wrong. What you’ve been doing is dreadfully wrong, even though you think it’s right.”

These days, someone saying that might just provoke a string of profanities aimed in his or her direction. At the very least, one might hear, “I don’t care what you think.”

However, there is one who will judge you—will judge all of us—and you will undeniably care what He thinks. You will be speechless, with nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. All your arguments will die in your mouth.

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To me, Ezekiel is one of the strangest books in the Bible. The only one stranger is Revelation. When I use the word “strange,” I do not mean that in a negative way at all. It’s just that when I read these two books, my response is, “Wow. What? Really!?”

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Early in his Christian life, William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, had a vision of the judgment seat. He saw that every day of his life, every thought, and every deed had been recorded to be evaluated, examined and judged. When Jesus approached him, he was overwhelmed by the wonder of His presence and the saints and martyrs who were gathered around. When Jesus looked at him, it was not a look of approval. Jesus said, “Thou wilt feel thyself little in harmony with these, once the companions of My tribulations and now of My glory, who counted not their lives dear unto themselves in order that they might bring honor to Me and salvation to men.” Jesus then gave a look of admiration at the apostles and martyrs and warriors gathered around Him. William Booth said that he would have died one-hundred times, that he would have been willing to be torn apart by wild animals, simply to receive that look of approval that He gave to the apostles and martyrs.

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