Monday, November 30, 2015

Throne of Fire

Devotion VIDEO here

I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge.
His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like purest wool.  He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, and a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence.  Millions of angels ministered to him; many millions stood to attend him.  Then the court began its session, and the books were opened.  Daniel 7:9-10

Daniel’s vision is eschatological, picturing the end of days, and God’s final judgment.  In this vision fire is mentioned ominously; God himself sits upon a throne of fire with wheels blazing, and a river of fire pouring out from the very presence of JHWH.  If you’re contemplating standing before that judge, it’s not a comfy, cozy picture!

Judgment is as much a theme in Scripture as the love, grace and mercy of God; indeed, they are as related as body, soul, and spirit.  Philosophically-speaking, without mercy there cannot be such a thing as love; without grace there could be no mercy.  And without judgment there is no such thing as love, grace, or mercy. 


It’s true.  Mercy is the release from judgment.  And love is what is at back of mercy.  If there is no punishment for crime, then, we wouldn’t even have a word for mercy.  “Grace” is defined as undeserved acceptance and love received from another, especially the characteristic attitude of God in providing salvation for sinners.[2] 

The obvious key word in this instance is “undeserved”.  Salvation is always from destruction of one sort or another, physical, emotional, or spiritual.  To experience any kind of salvation, to be saved, is the opposite of being lost, or destroyed. 

And so, grace, mercy, and love are closely related to judgment.  Unless there is judgment, there cannot be these attributes of God (love, mercy, grace) we so treasure. 

And God is the author of all these.

Back to Daniel’s vision, God’s throne of fire:  in Scripture fire is a purifier, a refiner – an influence of cleansing.  Fire is also the eternal disposition of the devil and his angels who rebelled against God.  All of that comes into play at the throne.

For unbelievers, and those who believe, but defy God with their actions, fire becomes an eternal judgment – separation from mercy and love. 

For those who trust Christ, even though they are imperfect sinners, fire becomes the cleansing force that removes all impurities and the need for judgment. 

The wages of sin are certainly death, (Romans 6:23) but the gift, the grace, the mercy of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Scripture declares that without question:

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:1(NLT)

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God?  Don’t fool yourselves.  Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.  Some of you were once like that.  But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.   1 Corinthians 6:9-12(NLT)

For You Today

If you have truly trusted your body, soul, and spirit, entirely to the promise of Christ’s grace, and you have ever felt fearful about what’s coming in the next life, think about this:  Christians do need not to fear final judgment; God has declared our innocence from condemnation and eternal punishment by his grace, mercy and love.

And His promises are always kept!

Think about that out on the Rocky Road today…and have a great day!

[1] Title image:  I, MarcusObal, via Wikimedia Commons
[2] Holman Bible Dictionary © 1991 Holman Bible Publishers

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