Friday, November 11, 2011

Judgment Day: Reality or Scare Tactic?

It's a beautiful Hawaiian afternoon with the trade winds blowing gently in your face. The work day is over and you are walking to your car ready to enjoy a quiet evening at home. Suddenly you hear the sickening sound of metal crunching and glass shattering. What you see ruins any prospect of an enjoyable evening. A teenage Steve McGarrett wannabe has simulated a Hawaii Five-O chase scene in the parking lot of your workplace. But instead of booking the bad guy he has banged into your car.

When the police officer asks for his insurance card, the young man responds, "What's that?" It becomes clear the only way you will get reimbursed for the repair bill is if you take the offender to court. Six months later after four court appearances the judge finally gives his judgment: he rules that the young man does not need to pay you anything. You are stuck with all the repair costs!

What are the first words out of your mouth? Probably something like, "THAT'S NOT FAIR!" The judge did not do his job and justice was not served. You are upset (That's an understatement)!

If someone were to ask you why you were so angry about not getting justice, you might feel a little frustrated at trying to explain something that seems so obvious. Your car was correctly parked when the boy hit it. The damage done to your vehicle was entirely his fault. Therefore, justice demands that he pays for the repairs. But why do we all have that sense of justice? No one teaches it to us, we all just have it. And when we meet people throughout the world, we find they have the same sense of justice.

You are probably thinking that the story above has got to have something to do with God, Jesus, the devil or the Bible, and you are right. We are in the season of the Church year when we study the end times: Judgment Day, heaven and hell. Hell is a very offensive concept to many people. The stock question about it is, "How can a loving God send people to hell?" That question, however, misses the point of God's justice. The fact that God effectively serves justice on every form of evil that exists is the basis for our human justice. If God is not just, we cannot positively know what is just in human life nor can we even begin to talk about life after death. Without God's justice, human existence has no meaning.

Join us this Sunday (November 13) at 10:00 am as we work to understand how God's justice is as important as his love.

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.