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Archive for December 17th, 2013

Lesson 12: “The Cosmic Conflict Over God’s Character”

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When a prominent leader we trust is arraigned in court, the case attracts front-page or prime-time TV coverage. Can you think of a case that would attract more attention than the trial of the century? What kind of publicity would there be if God Himself were on trial?

Prophecy calls for a message to rivet the attention of the billions who “dwell on the earth.” The phrase implies that while mundane matters absorb people’s attention, an announcement will startle them and command their attention: “Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come” (Rev. 14:6).

Whose Judgment? Ours, or His? We have long thought it was only ours, and have seen the message as bad news, a stern warning of being taken to court unless we shape up. We tremble with terror at the idea.

But the original language of the first angel’s message allows a different understanding. The “hour of His judgment” can also mean the hour when God Himself is to be judged. Rather than being the Accuser, He has become the Accused in the dock. And He needs a defense. Read the rest of this entry »