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Foundations For Our Future #41

Foundations for Our Future (41)

by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler

 

We have seen in the last two days that our Lord Jesus makes absolutely clear that we are to live in the community of his people in such a way that we are truly one. We are not to be divided by all the hostilities that divide the world. We are to be a people reconciled to God and to one another. Today let us go one verse further, and see the seriousness with which the Lord continues to teach us. (Matthew 5:25)

On the surface it may seem that there is a shift in the focus, from our relationships in the church to our life in the world. But in fact the Lord is showing us the bigger context by giving an illustration that everyone can understand. If you have wronged another, and the facts are irrefutable, you do not want to be taken in to court if you can settle the dispute beforehand. Otherwise you will be judged in the wrong and sent to prison.

This stark example shows, again, the utter seriousness of Jesus’ teaching. To live with unreconciled disputes in the household of God is to put our very freedom in jeopardy. We will be judged severely on that great day.

That all who profess to be followers of Jesus will one day be judged is an absolutely clear teaching of the entire New Testament. There will be no avoiding it. God who is holy, will exact justice. We will stand before the Creator and Judge of all mankind.