AUDIO VERSION: YouTube Podbean
In the Church, we have invented a very untrue and downright offensive picture of what it will be like for Christians when they arrive in Heaven. We describe a courtroom scene, and each Christian has his turn being on trial. Yahweh is the somber faced Judge with gavel in hand, and Satan is there to point out all the ways we violated God’s Law. Things are looking bad for us, and we’re afraid that the grim faced Yahweh is about to condemn us as guilty. But then Jesus rushes in to our defense. He tells Yahweh that He’s paid the penalty for our sins, therefore we should be considered innocent. After listening to what Jesus has to say, Yahweh nods and grants us passage into Heaven. Big sigh of relief.
Notice who the hero is in this courtroom drama: Jesus. Notice how Yahweh is portrayed as an intimidating Judge who almost throws us into Hell based on the testimony of a rat like Satan. Really? How dare we insult Yahweh like this? In John 3:16, when Jesus said “For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son,” the “God” Jesus was referring to was the magnificent Yahweh. Yahweh isn’t some coldhearted Judge who enjoys watching His kids squirm while He pretends not to remember that He granted them eternal salvation. Whose Covenant is it that we’re all living under? Yahweh’s, not Jesus’. Jesus said that His coming to earth was Yahweh’s idea. He said He was volunteering to be crucified not just as a demonstration of His love for us, but primarily to honor Yahweh because the whole cross event was Yahweh’s idea. It isn’t just Jesus who saves us, it’s also Yahweh. It’s because of Yahweh that we’re not still having to fuss around with butchering lambs in some distant Temple. It’s thanks to Yahweh that we don’t have to live our lives wondering what it looks like inside the Holy and Most Holy Places. Yahweh tore the veil in the Temple. Yahweh sent Jesus. Yahweh scrapped His first Covenant and replaced it with one that extends the bounds of His amazing grace even farther. Does this mean we should view Yahweh as a superior God? Certainly not. We have three glorious Creators who are equal to Each Other in every way. But after Yahweh has gone to such lengths to identify Himself as a wellspring of grace, how irreverent is it to make Him out to be some coldhearted Judge? It was Yahweh who said He would establish an eternal Covenant of peace with us. So then we portray Him as having short term memory problems? How does the God who claims that He’ll “remember our sins no more” once He forgives us end up in a place where He is actually feeling persuaded by Satan’s arguments against us until Jesus intervenes?
Here’s a key point to understand about our Creators: They don’t divide over the salvation issue. You won’t see the day that Yahweh wants to condemn you but Jesus changes His mind. It doesn’t work like that. You’re either accepted by Them all, or you’re rejected by Them all. There’s none of this “divide and conquer” baloney that human children play with their human parents. The whole idea of Jesus being the good Guy who rushes in to save us from mean old Yahweh’s wrath is obnoxiously offensive to our Gods.
Who do you think it was who was saving everyone’s hides before the cross even happened? Who was it that was chasing rebellious Israel for centuries and extending snarky spiritual brats a thousand chances to repent and be forgiven? It was Yahweh. Like it or not, Yahweh gets way more coverage in the Bible. Jesus is certainly not “on every page of the Old Testament.” That’s just Christian idiocy talking. Ever since Yahweh changed His Covenant, we like to act like the old ways were some kind of inferior. Well, no, that’s not how Yahweh sees it. He was just fine with His Old Covenant and He was just fine having no Covenant for thousands of years before that. Yahweh doesn’t do inferior work. The cross wasn’t some way of correcting flaws in the previous Covenant. Yahweh has always been our glorious, gracious, amazing God. When Jesus came, He constantly exalted Yahweh, He didn’t minimize Him. Yet today far too many Christians are pushing Yahweh aside and making up derogatory titles and metaphors for Him. We all know that “the God of the Old Testament” isn’t a complimentary term. When people say this, they mean “that Guy who was all wrathful and violent.” Then we try to say that sweet Jesus showed up and turned out to be such a contrast to His mean old Father. This is such irreverent rot. The Old Testament is packed with examples of Yahweh showering down mind blowing grace and love onto the heads of rebellious twerps. No way is He the “mean God” and Jesus is certainly not Mr. Nice Guy. Both Yahweh and Jesus get quite crispy when They’re mad. They both show love and wrath. When we act like these Two are so different in personality, we’re just deluding ourselves.
Here’s another important point to grasp: Satan isn’t a judge. Christians really need to get off this blasphemous trip of trying to make Satan out to be some little god. Satan doesn’t run Hell. He doesn’t rule the world. And he certainly isn’t going to be judging anyone in eternity. Yahweh and Jesus both teach that our Gods will be the Ones doing the judging on the other side. Then fools like the apostle Paul come along and try to say we Christians will be judging unbelievers and angelic beings. No, we really won’t. Created things don’t sit in judgment over other created things. Our Gods are the only eternal Judges–this is what They teach, and this is what we need to align with.
Our Gods work as a united front–Yahweh and Jesus don’t sit around debating about whether They should accept you or not. The whole courtroom metaphor is lousy from start to finish. Anytime Yahweh is being portrayed as being less gracious than Jesus, or as having amnesia about who He’s already saved, or as letting the opinion of some joke of a demon lead His decisions, you know you’re being fed a bunch of rot. You need to think before you just join the party and smile on these offensive metaphors Christians have dreamt up with no concern for honoring their Makers. When we offend Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit side with Him, not us.
Divine Judgment Q&A