31
Oct
09

JUDGMENT DAY

     A couple of my favorite Bible passages are Psalm 103: 12 (“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”) and Micah 5: 19 (“thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”)  I am so comforted by the fact that when God forgives sin, he forgets them.   (And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 10:18)

     We see this also in Jesus’ picture of the Judgment as it is recorded in Matthew 25.  He doesn’t mention one sin on the part of the sheep whereas all he mentions about the goats is their sins.  When God forgives, he forgets.

     How much different is the message of Mormonism!  More than one Mormon have told me that they were taught that, on Judgment Day, they would be sitting in a large room where everything they thought, said, and did was flashed on a giant screen for all to see.  They all shared that with a sense of dread and not anticipation.  I don’t know if that is how it is always taught but this is what Gospel Principles says:  “Stored in our body and mind is a complete history of everything we have done.  President John Taylor taught this truth:  ‘[The individual] himself tells the story himself, and bears witness against himself. . .That record that is written by the man himself in the tablets of his own mind, that record that cannot lie will in that day be unfolded before God and angels, and those who sit as judges.”  (p. 271)

     Because of what Jesus has done, because he paid for all my sins, and drowned them in the depths of the sea, I can’t wait for Judgment Day.  It will be the best day of my life.  For then I will hear Jesus himself saying, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)   To Jesus be the glory

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14 Responses to “JUDGMENT DAY”


  1. November 2, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Mark,

    I never thought about about “judgement day” in that way before, but you are right on the money. When I was LDS, I believed judgement day was just as you related. ( and yes, it gave me a bit of a feeling of concern, knowing I had most definately fallen short and sinned many times!) Now, as a Born again believer, I know and have the confidence the bloood of Jesus willl cover all my sins! Oh what JOY and confidence this gives me!

    I love the passage you cited in Micah. Such a beautiful illustration of God’s faitfulness in forgiving the sins of His people & truly remembering them no more.

    God bless,

    Gloria

  2. 2 faithoffathers
    November 2, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Mark,

    Ironically, the folks at Mormon Coffee love talking about the Mormon idea that God can forget about our sins (they claim it is a “mormon idea”). Aaron over there insists that God cannot forget about anything, including our sins- he just doesn’t mention them.

    I hope you are sincere in your desire to understand the LDS view on this matter. I can tell you that we firmly believe that if we repent of our sins God remembers them no more. Period. It is that simple.

    “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” D&C 58:42

    If we do not repent, it is a different matter. And the quotations from LDS authorities you cited likely were in the context of that scenerio. Two totally different situations.

    The Judgement Day will be a wonderful, beautiful experience for those who repent. Not so for those who do not repent.

    fof

  3. 3 markcares
    November 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    FoF:
    A page before the quote I cited in Gospel Principles it states this: “Faith in Jesus Christ helps us be preprared for the Final Judgment. Through faithful discipleship to Him and repentance of all our sins, we can be forgiven for our sins and become pure and holy so that we can dwell in the presence of God. As we repent of our sins, giving up every impure thought and act, the Holy Ghost will change our hearts so we no longer have even the desire to sin (see Mosiah 5:2). Then when we are judged, we will be found ready to enter into God’s presence.”
    I’m especially interested in the last part of that quote. Do we believe that through repentnace you can give up every impure thought and act?

  4. 4 faithoffathers
    November 3, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Mark,

    Am I perfect? Certainly not. But hopefully I am better today than I was 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. I hope I am not as quick to judge or to anger now as I was years ago. And these impulses will have less and less effect on me if I repent throughout my life and apply the atonement.

    Perfection is a very long process, with the atonement of Christ playing the central role and making it all possible. I absolutely believe that if I continue trying, year after year, repenting and humbling myself, I can indeed overcome the tendancies that may vex me now. I can completely overcome the desire to steal, to lift myself above my neighbor, to find fault with my wife, etc. etc. I can overcome the impure thoughts that seem to come naturally to man. For me, these are big tasks. But I have had enough experience with it so far to see that success is possible and within reach through the atonement.

    Over a lifetime, a person can truly become godly. I know a great number of people in their mature years whom I would say are true saints and I believe have little desire to sin. But it has taken commitment, effort, desire, and continually redirecting one’s priorities again and again through life. And what has been the driving force, the motivation for all those years of effort- faith in Jesus Christ and trusting in His gospel.

    This is the ultimate application and demonstration of the law of the harvest. As a man soweth, so shall he reap.

    So, to answer your question- do I think it is possible? Yes I do- only through the miracle of Christ’s sacrifice.

    fof

  5. 5 RLO
    November 3, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Hello FoF

    Much of what you describe in this post is what EV’s understand as the doctrine of “sanctification” (the process of being made holy). It’s a process which can only begin once an unbeliever has been justified or made alive by God, not because of anything they have done, but purely by his grace, or his undeserved favor (Ephesians 2:4-5). While EV’s have no involvement whatsoever in their justfication, they do have a part, albeit minuscule, in their sanctification. How do these EV doctrines of justification and sanctification compare with the beliefs of the mormon faith?

  6. 6 RLO
    November 3, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Additionally, from an EV’s perspective, justification is an instantaneous event, while sanctification is also a long process, which begins at justification and ends at death. In other words, God justifies, God begins our sanctification, he participates every step along the way in our sanctification, and ultimately completes our sanctification. Again, how would this belief compare with the the beliefs of the mormon faith?

  7. 7 faithoffathers
    November 4, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    RLO,

    In our theology, justification is the fulfilling of the law for us as individuals by the atonement of Jesus Christ. We all fail to meet up to eternal law. And that is where Christ comes in. Justification has to do with our debt to eternal law. I would say that ultimate justification occurs on judgement day. But before that day, it is possible to be justified if one is repenting and having the atoning blood of Christ applied to their lives.

    I agree that sanctification is the process by which we are made holy. It occurs through the Holy Ghost which purifies us and makes us clean. One must be justified in order to be sanctified.

    Where we disagree is our role in justification. Yes, ultimately it is achieved by Christ. But we must do our part in obeying Him, repenting, and qualifying for His grace. I know you will not like that word “qualify.” But we maintain that we do have a choice and agency- we must choose to accept Christ’s atonement and have faith in Him. To us, having faith is not merely believing- it is not just a mental act. It is trust, which is impossible if one does not follow Him (an action).

    fof

  8. 8 RLO
    November 5, 2009 at 12:35 am

    FoF,

    Thank you for your respectful response. I think your answer is helpful in illustrating some of the fundamental differences between each of our respective faiths. For example, you stated that it is possible to be justified if one is repentant. I say, it is possible to be repentant if one is justified.

    Your last paragraph touching on justification reveals that you believe we have choice and agency (in spiritual matters) prior to justification, whereas I believe that prior to justification we do not have a free will in spiritual matters.

    I believe that obeying, repenting, and good works are things naturally following from justification by grace. You believe that obeying, repenting, and works are things you must do prior to, and in order to merit God’s grace.

    I would be interesting in hearing what your take is on any number of passages that address works, faith, and grace. For example:

    And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:6

    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesian 2:8-9

    Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. Romans 4:4-5

    Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. Romans 3:20

    For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Romans 3:28

    “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. Galatians 2:15-16

    All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.”
    Galatians 3:10

    You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. Galatians 5:4

  9. 9 markcares
    November 5, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    FoF:
    You say that perfection is a process. How do you explain the past tense “he hath perfected” in Hebrews 10:14?

  10. 10 faithoffathers
    November 5, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    RLO,

    Please understand that I do not believe our works save us. They are required of us, but they are NOT what saves us. With this in mind, none of the passages you cite create a problem for our doctrine. Can you see that?

    Mark,

    “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

    Using your logic, Isaiah got it wrong when he spoke Messianically in the 8th century BC:

    “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.” Isaiah 53:5-6

    It was common to speak of things in the past tense that were actually future events. It is something we are not accustomed to today, but was common especially in OT times. By the way, this is a literary element found in several (about 5-6) places in the BOM- interesting.

    Do you mean to suggest that perfection is not a process, but a one time event?

    fof

  11. 11 RLO
    November 5, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    But since your works are required of you prior to qualifying for God’s grace, there certainly appears to be a distinct synergistic element in your view of salvation (“…But we must do our part in obeying Him, repenting, and qualifying for His grace…”).

    In my view of salvation, it is God who justifies by grace alone, apart from anything we could do (indeed we were incapable of doing anything for ourselves prior to our justification), which means we can’t “qualify” for it.

    Your works appear to spring from an attitude of trying to qualify for God’s grace.
    My works spring from an attitude of gratitude for having already received God’s grace.

    For you, your works must precede God’s grace.
    For me, God’s grace must precede my works.

  12. 12 faithoffathers
    November 6, 2009 at 2:33 am

    RLO,

    Thanks for the response.

    So, to whom does God bestow grace? What are the criteria?

    If we have no choice in the matter, then God is a respector of persons- He saves people based on something we have no control over.

    And if we have no choice in the matter, God is then responsible for the evil and sin committed by mankind. He created us from nothing. And we are born sinners, right? And we have no choice or influence on whether we are bestowed grace and saved.

    This is the logical conclusion of what you are espousing? How am I wrong?

    fof

  13. 13 RLO
    November 6, 2009 at 7:07 am

    fof: “So, to whom does God bestow grace? What are the criteria?”

    God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Romans 9:18-19

    fof: “If we have no choice in the matter, then God is a respector of persons”

    This “if…then” statement makes no sense to me.

    fof: “And if we have no choice in the matter, God is then responsible for the evil and sin committed by mankind.”

    Neither does this “if…then” statement make any sense to me.

    fof: ” And we have no choice or influence on whether we are bestowed grace and saved.”

    Again Romans 9:18-19

    fof: “This is the logical conclusion of what you are espousing?”

    I will leave “logical conclusions” up to you. What I believe, I believe by faith. And as such, there are aspects of my beliefs that fall short of satisfying my human reason and logical mind. Do I try to hold God responsible for satisfying my human reason? Of course not. Rather, I recognize there comes a time when human reason simply needs to shut up, sit down, and listen with the God-given gift of faith. Human reason is not a tool to which God needs to bow down.

  14. 14 markcares
    November 6, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Fof:
    I am well aware of the prophetic perfects. Are you saying Hebrews 10:14 is a prophetic perfect? If so, on what basis do you say that?
    Hopefully the following will help you understand what I believe about perfection.
    In my status before God, because of what Christ has done, I am innocent, not guilty (justified) and perfect (a saint in the true sense of the word). This was not a process, this happened instantanously when the Holy Ghost changed my paradigm so that I quit trusting in my goodness and trusted in Jesus’ goodness for me. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)
    The status God has given me in Christ is by far the most important thing. in my present state, I still sin. But my standing before God – how God judges me – is dependent not on my state, but my status.
    What is so dangerous is when we try to bring in our state – our works, life, etc. into the discussion of status. If any of my status before God depends on what I do, then I am doomed because that introduces an element of imperfection into my status and God does not tolerate even the slightest bit of imperfection.


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