Having Your Mind Read

An icon of Judgment Day

St. Paul says that  God will one day judge everyone’s secret thoughts (Rom. 2:16). That seems kind of scary doesn’t it? The idea of having your mind read and judged seems unsettling to say the least.

But there’s one important aspect of this judgment: St. Paul also says that God will carry out this judging of our secret thoughts “through Jesus Christ.” And that little phrase – “through Jesus Christ” – is all the sliver of daylight that I need to escape the darkness of my own fearful imaginings about the Day of Judgment.

Jesus is the one who loves me with a passion so great that he gave his life for me (Rom 5:8) and he is the one who loves us all so much that he made all of humanity righteous in his life (Rom 5:18). If God is going to read our minds and judge our secret thoughts through Jesus Christ then we are safe. Nothing bad will come of this – only goodness, healing, and joy (even if we must, like a cancer patient, endure some pain on our way to this healing).

Indeed, as the saying goes, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” In the context of Romans 2:12-24, St. Paul mentions this concept of judgment “through Jesus Christ” within his larger theme: anyone who thinks his own good works will make God love him more has got his head screwed on backwards. To be afraid of being judged through Jesus Christ, and to therefore ask God to judge you based on what a good person you think you are, is to court disaster. The only thing that can mess with our understanding of God’s love is to be afraid of Christ – to doubt his goodness and disbelieve the truth that he is fully, completely on our side.

The perfect love of God the Father, revealed in Jesus Christ, and poured out on us through the Holy Spirit, is casting out all of our fear – even our fear of Judgment Day.

~ Jonathan Stepp

1 comment so far

  1. Jerome Ellard on

    Amen, Pastor Jonathan! Judged through Christ, the one who has pledged himself for me and everyone and united me and everyone to God in his very own incarnate self, forever! Thank you, Jesus!

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