Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Supreme Court

Release Date:

February 3rd, 2006

The Supreme Court

Last year our family had the unique opportunity of attending the final senate judiciary committee meeting for Chief Justice John Roberts. Frankly, it was one of the highlights of our entire week in Washington D.C. this last September. Our family of seven barely fit inside that standing-room-only chamber where the final vote was taken, but it was certainly worth it all! Afterwards, I spoke to our children about the importance of establishing justice in a society of imperfect, sinful people; and that without the standard of law in our land our society would be given over to pure anarchy and mayhem. This also gave me the opportunity to decipher some of the debate that they heard in the hearing, which then led us to the important question concerning the very nature of truth: “does truth change from generation to generation by the whim and judgment of men, or is truth a static entity that is fixed for all time?” During those discussions, I couldn’t help but to think that such a simple question as this is not only the stuff of a children’s lesson, but it is one of the most central questions for all mankind!


By nature we humans often want to believe that truth can change, especially if that change can render a perceived benefit to us. But when we consider the reality of absolute truth, we must first comprehend the simple fact that there is no variation or shifting shadow in the Lord Himself, nor in His truth (James 1:17). You won’t wake up tomorrow and find that murder, theft and lying are acceptable forms of behavior; or that the laws of physics have been overturned. The constancy of the Universe is itself a faint illustration of the immutable nature of God and His eternal Word; thus we must never liken the Lord to the shifting sands of the sea, because He is the solid and immovable Rock upon which the believer stands (Malachi 3:6, Deuteronomy 32:4). Such thoughts ought to be comforting to us, for they yield the assurance that in the days to come our police officers won’t be charged to ignore violent crime, nor will we float out into space due to the absence of gravity. But sadly, this concept of absolute truth is often seen as a troubling nuisance by selfish men and women who will gladly murder, steal or lie in order to fulfill their objectives in life. Conversely, it even gets in the way of people who wish to believe that they deserve the reward of heaven because of the things that they have done in this life – but this too is a gross error: “...a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified” (Galatians 2:16). I am always amazed whenever the Bible repeats itself like this. Three times the Apostle declares that we are not justified by our own works. And why the repetition? Because apparently we need to hear this again, and again, and again. This brings us to an important conflict: not only are God’s laws immutably binding, but we also see that our observance of His laws cannot merit us a place in heaven – so what hope is there in our works?


Answer: None.


That’s right. There is no hope for men to be justified by their own works of the law. All men are criminals in view of their sin (Romans 3:23), and therefore the wrath of God abides on all who have not placed their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ (John3:36). Mankind’s singular hope is to believe in the only One who perfectly fulfilled all of the requirements of God’s unchanging Law - and that One is the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 10:4). How we often hear people citing John 3:16, but without the verses that follow. Yes, God did lovingly send His only begotten Son (v.16), but then Christ also issued this severe warning in verse 18: “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Men and women who have not placed their faith and trust in Christ have been judged already. Thus, all humanity will be adjudicated in God’s Supreme Court by this very standard of whether we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ in this life – or not. And when His judgment is complete, there will be no filibusters; no petitions heard; no protests permitted; and not a single appeal will be entertained. God’s absolute truth regarding the Lord Jesus Christ will not be modified in order to accommodate those who rejected Him in this life. Therefore, knowing that all mankind will make this court appearance one day, you must consider how you will appear before the Chief Justice of all Creation. Are you hoping to be justified by your own works of the law? Are you expecting to have an opportunity to make a final appeal, or offer some excuses for why you refused to believe in Christ and follow Him in this life? Or will you be able to genuinely confess that you truly believed in the Savior, trusting in His finished work on the cross alone? I urge you to consider these important matters because the eternal state of your soul depends upon these very questions. Pilgrim Bible Church, Pastor M. J. Beasley.