Judging the Earth and Angels
Preface: The millennium begins when Christ returns to take His people home. It marks the beginning of paradise restored for God’s people. During this 1,000 years, the redeemed will examine God’s ways and judgment regarding sin. At the end of these years, Satan and those people who followed him will be destroyed and the earth will be made new.
When it comes to heaven and who will be there, I hope that all my relatives will be present. Who will be in heaven from my childhood Christmases, my Thanksgivings, my memories of going to church as a young boy? I remember my grandfather smiling at me in the church aisle when I was four years old. He didn’t come to church anymore after my grandmother passed away from cancer. He refused the periodic pastoral visits made by my church elders. In the fifteen years following my grandmother’s death, he rarely showed tenderness toward Adventist beliefs, the church, and Christ. Yet, my grandfather was one of the biggest influences in my life, and if he isn’t in heaven when Jesus returns to take us home, I will have questions. Many questions. Did You give him enough chances? I’ll ask. Did You try to reach him enough times? Did he know You, or did he not want to know You?
I believe these difficult questions will be answered someday in heaven, and this situation is what Paul is writing about in 1 Corinthians 6:2: “Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world” (NIV)? God knows best what is in a person’s heart, but He will still open Himself up to the questions of His people. Paul tells us that we will be able to see why a person is not in heaven with us, and we will be able to ask God why He judged the way He did. As a person living in this sinful world, I am only able to imagine the great hole I’d feel in my life if people in my family aren’t in heaven with me. Paul tells us that we will someday come to an understanding, an acceptance, of God’s judgment. He writes, “Do you not know that we will judge angels” (verse 3)? Not only will I be able to judge the people of the earth, but also the angels, God’s messengers, who worked to reach the people of this sinful world. Paul is writing about a complete understanding: we will someday have a whole comprehension of God’s working to reach His people in this world today. Whether my grandfather is in heaven or not, or anyone in my family, or even myself, is a matter of personal connection with the Creator. I must ask myself, What is God doing to try to reach me today? He wants a connection with me. He sent his Son. He then sent the Holy Spirit. His angels are working on this earth even now to reach you, me, anyone who will listen. Someday we will be able to find out how He has tried to touch each one of us, and this knowledge will create in us a greater understanding of His love.
In what ways does God try to reach the hearts of His people?
Jeremy Vetter, Moscow, Idaho, U.S.A.