I recently heard an old expression for the first time in years. After a long day, a staff member sighed, ‘No rest for the wicked”, as she thought about the work she still had to do. At that moment, the tedious, repetitive and endless nature of her work seemed more like a punishment. She just wanted to be home, where a nice meal and a soft bed awaited her.
It may surprise you to know that this old expression actually refers to something the Bible calls the Last Judgment – a time when everyone will stand before God and give an account for every deed they’ve done, and the wicked will go to hell where there is no rest.
But, who are the wicked?
Some people think the wicked are only people like Hitler or Ted Bundy (serial killer) – but no one knew what they were like until they got power or got caught. Others believe that the wicked are the ones whose bad deeds outnumber their good deeds – but we don’t acquit criminals just because they served in Rotary for 20 years? Still others think that a loving God will simply acquit everyone – but that means Hitler gets into Heaven? We all want justice to be done and seen to be done, yet we can quickly change our tune or make excuses when we are the one being accused.
The Bible says that we are all under God’s condemnation because we have broken His standards and rebelled against Him, and yet, His desire is to save us because He loves us. But how does a JUST and GOOD God uphold His standards and still be merciful.
God’s dilemma can be likened to a judge who enters the courtroom only to find his own son standing before him as a convicted murderer awaiting sentencing. He loves his son, and the son may be counting on that; yet, the father has an obligation to administer justice – and to be seen to do so. The father can declare a conflict of interest and let another judge do the sentencing, but God has no such luxury.
The idea of hell has never been popular, but the good news is that God’s love found a way for us to escape the condemnation we deserve. When Jesus (God’s Son) willingly went to the cross, He was taking upon Himself the condemnation for all our wickedness, so that when we believe in Him and follow Him, we can receive the undeserved favour of God.
Love motivated Jesus to take your place and give you a way of escape; His resurrection proves that this life is not the end. It is His desire that you enter the eternal rest called Heaven, but you must choose Him. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, so that whosoever believes in. Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Turn from your sin and follow Jesus today! Mark Trodd[email protected]www.writersforjesus.com