However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. (Acts 24:14-16)
After we physically die, we’ll rise like a defendant waiting for judgment in a courtroom. John 5:25,29 records Jesus saying that “a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live…those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”
Paul strove to keep his conscience clear. He repented, believed in Jesus, prayed, and lived in God’s will. His conscience was clear before God. But Paul knows as he stands before a human judge that people condemn others who believe and act differently, so he makes a powerful statement that they all have the same hope in God.
This morning I feel condemned by another because I didn’t meet their expectations. We’ve all been in that situation. Isn’t it wonderful that we have hope in God to give us words, to change us, and to convict our challengers to fix negative situations?
Maybe today your hope in God has dwindled because you have a loved one you fear will rise to be condemned. Yes, that will be painful, but if we don’t feel condemnation, there is no need for a savior. Later John records Jesus talking about people who have not lived life in his sheep pen. “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
There is always hope in Jesus.
Father, I praise You for giving me hope. I will live eternally with you and shed no more tears. I have a tough day ahead. Give me Your strength and Your words and help me live in Your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.