Thinking About Judgment

This morning I preached on the topic of judgment from Habakkuk 2:2-20. I stated that the passage stands as a word of comfort (God will judge His enemies), a word of warning (if you persist in living like Babylonians, you will soon be judged), and a word of promise (Jesus Christ is the one who has drunk the cup of the Lord’s wrath and never lived one day like a Babylonian, so that those who put their faith in Him might be saved from God’s judgment). The tension, both homiletically and existentially, is this: how do you hear Habakkuk 2:2-20 as all three of those things at the same time? If I am the Lord’s, and have been given the gift of faith to trust in Jesus Christ, then I need to see the fact that judgment is coming as a great comfort (cf. II Thessalonians 1:4ff.), I need to take seriously the warning of judgment (cf. the book of Hebrews), and I need to come back constantly to the promise of the death and righteousness of Jesus Christ for my salvation from the judgment of God (I Thessalonians 1:10). I would imagine that most of us find it hard to experience comfort and heed warning at the same time; heeding warnings and believing promises more naturally go together. Experiencing comfort in the judgment of another human being is a harder emotion to accept for us moderns, but it is thoroughly biblical.

SDG

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