Wednesday in the Last Week of Ordinary Time

The Nicene Creed

And He Shall Come to Judge

And he shall come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end

Our world was not meant to last forever; it is of a definite duration.  And the One who has defined those limits is the Father Himself.  In short, history is not cyclical (though nature is) but linear: It had a beginning in Eden, a middle in Bethlehem, and it will have an end when our Lord returns upon clouds of glory.  I shall not argue particulars of eschatology: the number of resurrections and judgments, millennial theories, and so on.  These are the matters we leave to opinion; a Creed is supposed to define the parameters of the Faith within which one may live with assurance.  The Nicene Creed does this well.  It tells us that Christ shall one day return and bring the world as we know it to an end so that he may gather us into a better one.

But before the beginning of that new world (“Kingdom” was our Lord’s word), there must be a judgment—a coming to terms with every person who has ever lived about his deeds while in the body.  And this is the task of the Son.  Jesus said, “The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son…And [the Father] has given [the Son] authority to execute judgment because he is the Son of Man” (John 5:22, 27).  This is the right the Son has earned from the Father as that Person of the Triune God who became man, suffered, died, was buried, and rose again—who conquered sin and death.  The Son has the right to judge those who have gladly received him—and the right to judge those who have insolently rejected him.  The former he will acquit and receive into his everlasting Kingdom; the latter he shall condemn to eternal punishment in the company of the devil and his minions.  The Father won’t do it; the Holy Spirit won’t do it; only the Son will do it as the one who was condemned by those who knew him not and now know him not.  This is the ultimate expression of the Son’s preeminence.

And when he comes, it shall be “with glory” and “every eye will see him,” a rounded globe notwithstanding (Revelation 1:7).  And his Kingdom will have no end.  What a beautiful promise.  Do you ever long for home?  I know I do.  Life here is so unnatural.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way, you know.  Pain, suffering, disease, and all caused by sin—it was a hideous thing we wrought when we sinned so long ago.  But one day, matters shall be set right.  No more sorrow or crying or pain anymore, “for the former things [will] have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Sleep well.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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