God's Judgement (Isaiah 64:1-12)

Bob Capper, 29th November 2015
Part of the Ad hoc talks series, preached at a Sunday Evening service

At Advent we think of the first coming of the Lord, how he comes to us now. We are, though, looking forward with anticipation to the future coming of the Lord.
The Creeds summarise the essentials of the Christian faith.
Jesus will return in judgement - this is not easy to preach about.
We neglect judgement at our peril. If judgement and hell are real, it is better we recognise it now rather than later.
1. Judgement is Good News - the only way to see an end to evil in the heart of human beings. There is so much evil in the world today.
a. Judgement affirms the character of God - he really is holy and righteous.
b. Judgement affirms the dignity and responsibility of human beings made in the image of God and the choices we make.
c. Something deep within hearts of men and women demands that there should be a judgement.
d. What about you and me? How can we be saved?
2. The New Testament surprise. Jesus seemed to enjoy surrounding himself with outcasts, offering forgiveness and salvation. Jesus came, not as Judge, but as Saviour. There is an opportunity for repentance before the coming judgement.
3. The heart of this rescue operation is the Cross - Jesus taking our punishment on himself.
4. It is unwise to remove judgement from our thinking about the Christian faith. We are all under the judgement of God. Only Christ and the salvation he offers can prepare us for the coming judgement.

Tags: The judgement of God.

About Bob Capper: Vicar and Area Dean
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Isaiah 64 (Listen)

64:1   Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,
    that the mountains might quake at your presence—
  as when fire kindles brushwood
    and the fire causes water to boil—
  to make your name known to your adversaries,
    and that the nations might tremble at your presence!
  When you did awesome things that we did not look for,
    you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
  From of old no one has heard
    or perceived by the ear,
  no eye has seen a God besides you,
    who acts for those who wait for him.
  You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,
    those who remember you in your ways.
  Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;
    in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?
  We have all become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
  We all fade like a leaf,
    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
  There is no one who calls upon your name,
    who rouses himself to take hold of you;
  for you have hidden your face from us,
    and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.
  But now, O LORD, you are our Father;
    we are the clay, and you are our potter;
    we are all the work of your hand.
  Be not so terribly angry, O LORD,
    and remember not iniquity forever.
    Behold, please look, we are all your people.
10   Your holy cities have become a wilderness;
    Zion has become a wilderness,
    Jerusalem a desolation.
11   Our holy and beautiful house,
    where our fathers praised you,
  has been burned by fire,
    and all our pleasant places have become ruins.
12   Will you restrain yourself at these things, O LORD?
    Will you keep silent, and afflict us so terribly?


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