Friday: Further Study: The Pre-Advent Judgment

Further Study: “He who dwells in the heavenly sanctuary judges righteously. His pleasure is more in His people, struggling with temptation in a world of sin, than in the host of angels that surround His throne.”–Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 176.studymore

“Satan has an accurate knowledge of the sins that he has tempted God’s people to commit, and he urges his accusations against them, declaring that by their sins they have forfeited divine protection, and claiming that he has the right to destroy them. He pronounces them just as deserving as himself of exclusion from the favor of God. . . . But while the followers of Christ have sinned, they have not given themselves up to be controlled by the satanic agencies. They have repented of their sins and have sought the Lord in humility and contrition, and the divine Advocate pleads in their behalf. He who has been most abused by their ingratitude, who knows their sin and also their penitence, declares: ‘The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan. I gave My life for these souls. They are graven upon the palms of My hands. They may have imperfections of character; they may have failed in their endeavors; but they have repented, and I have forgiven and accepted them.’”—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pp. 588, 589.

Discussion Questions:

  • Where did questions about God’s justice, law, and fairness first arise, on earth or in heaven? What are the implications of your answer, especially in the context of helping us to understand why there is a heavenly judgment of any kind?
  • The Seventh-day Adventist Church has proclaimed the message of the judgment for many years now. Still Christ has not returned. How are we to respond to what seems to be a very long time? Why is it so important to remember that, as humans, we have a very limited understanding of time itself? Think about some of the very long, time prophecies in the Bible and how someone living in those times could easily have been discouraged about what, from their perspective, seemed to be taking forever.
  • Many Christians believe in the biblical concept of judgment. (How could they not? It’s all throughout the Bible.) How, though, does linking the judgment to the sanctuary help to reveal crucial truths about the nature of judgment and the assurance that it offers us?


Friday: Further Study: The Pre-Advent Judgment — 5 Comments

  1. To the faithful the judgment is good news and fear is removed. Consider though what might be our response had the guarantee (to the extent we have it) not been quite assured, that there was a little uncertainty about getting into heaven, or eternal life was taken off the table (perhaps replaced by something else and less). Would we still serve Christ wholeheartedly? Would we still give up the things which we have already? Would we taste more of the pleasures of the world? Would there still be joy in the Lord?

    There is a better reason not to fear than getting through the judgment unscathed and getting to Heaven. All fear is eliminated through love, which is perfected in Christ (1 John 4:18). Rewards may encourage love, but love does not depend on same. When we come to a place where we want to please Jesus without much regard for what we may or may not get or lose the investigative judgment becomes more about the vindication of God's character before the unfallen worlds than our own fate.

  2. I often remember Jesus' parable in Matthew 25 about the Ten Virgins. He says there that while the bridegroom tarried, all of the waiting women slept. The coming of Jesus seems delayed, and all God's people are sleeping. I always pray that I am not asleep, but I know that the story says all and that includes me. I can trust that the Lord can still help me remain in a waiting position looking up to Him. I can still trust the good news of the judgment if I have repented, turned from my sins and rested in the forgiveness, cleansing and sanctifying of the Holy Spirit. I can remain waiting in hope, joy and love even if I am waiting what seems to me a long time for Jesus to return. If I live into my 90s, a lifetime here will seem so short in the days of eternity. Jesus and His love can grow in my heart so that my only true Home is with Him.

  3. I'm so thankful that there's a remedy for all the accusations that are thrown out in the judgment...Jesus. I'm so thankful to know that even though I've not lived a perfect life, He accepts my requests for forgiveness. He knows my heart desires above anything to do His will.

    The time has been what seems long to me, but I'm willing to trade the long days and short years in for eternity. Lord help me trust You and believe You no matter what I feel or see, help me do what You want me to and make Your desire in my life a priority more than anything else.

  4. That quote from COL p176 says a lot to me. The fact that the Lord is more concerned with me when i struggle and suffer in the temptation of sin qualifies my Jesus to be my personal Advocate. He shares with me my daily sorrows and joys and understands me and that is the reason why at the instance of the devil desiring so much to exclude me from the joy of salvation, He would show the devil my name in His graven palms and thus proclaim that i forgave him on the cross. What a mighty Saviour! Wonderful Saviour help me to repent daily and forsake away sins. Amen.

  5. To me the most important question in this lesson is the first one. Indeed, "What are the implications of your answer" and how does answering this question put things in proper perspective concerning the investigative judgment?


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