Today's Foundations Devotional: To whom much is given, from him much will be required
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness,
but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that
all should come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9)
This same principle of judgement according to light is contained in the words of Jesus to the people of His own day.
Then He began to upbraid the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgement than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgement than for you” (Matt. 11:20-24).
Jesus here shows that the sinful cities of the ancient world – Tyre, Sidon and Sodom – will be judged according to the measure of moral knowledge available to them in their day. On the other hand, the cities of His own day – Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum – will be judged according to the much greater measure of knowledge granted to them through His personal presence and ministry. For this reason, the judgement of these latter cities will be much more severe than the judgement of the former.
Let us bring this principle down to our own day. We who are alive today will be judged by the measure of moral light and knowledge available to our generation. For those of us who live in countries with a long history of Christianity, such as America or Great Britain, there is probably a greater measure of moral knowledge more easily available than there has ever been to any previous generation in earth’s history. For this reason, the standards by which we shall be judged will be the highest of all. The following words of Jesus apply to us in our generation.
For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more (Luke 12:48).
Such, then, are the four main principles of judgement according to the Word of God.
1. According to truth.
2. According to deeds.
3. Without partiality (or respect of persons).
4. According to the light available to those being judged.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the absolute justice with which you
judge. Give me the Your power Lord, to live by Your standard of
justice, to be aware of Your grace but also with the fear of the Lord
in my heart and life, so that everything I do honours Your name. Amen.