Concerning Judgment Calls

Concerning judgment calls, the most heinous sin is a sin of omission…the lack of mercy and by extension, love. Jesus said, “All sins will be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit whether in this age or ……in the age to come.” Putting that quote with the comment about mercy it may be that calling the Holy Spirit the Comforter has more to do with His work in making us godly in terms of extreme mercy than anything else.

Also consider the two great sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist. The former joins us to Christ for the purpose of the latter: To destroy all things that separate us from God and one another and to give visible and TRUE unity to all Christians. The Eucharist is the sacrament of mercy and forgiveness. It is where we have mercy on those who have sinned against us and forgive them rather than calling for justice against them. By extension, this means we are to extend mercy to ALL, believer and unbeliever alike, just as God does or we find ourselves unworthy of the Body and Blood of the Lord.

Judgment calls are unavoidable. We cannot function without them. It does no one any good to ignore the wrong in the world and live as if it does not exist. This is not mercy, it’s ignorance and blindness. To be merciful we must come face to face with the horror of real sin and be willing to forgive it.

So, those who are most in danger of hell are those who cannot or will not forgive or have mercy on another, for whatever reason. Forgive us our trespasses *AS* we forgive those who trespass against us. God forgives all. But the sin which will damn is the one which we most personally, deliberately choose…the sin of refusing to forgive another…of refusing to fellowship with one who has offended us…by casting out those not like us…by choosing to hate and to descend into bitterness and anger…by choosing to cut ourselves off from that unity which is in Jesus Christ.

There is a story I heard once of a man who had a vision of hell. In this vision he was led through hell by a young black woman who had died as a slave. During his “tour” he saw a deep dark pit, at the bottom of which was his deceased father being tormented by demons. He got his father out of the pit and told him that the black lady was going to show them the way out. The father replied, “I’m not following that N****r anywhere.” At which he went back into the pit and was lost. See? He chose his own fate by refusing to love someone who was ‘different’ from him. He turned that difference into an offense and refused communion with her. Even though for him she could have gotten him out of hell and into heaven. He preferred hell.

So it will be on the last day for those who refuse to exercise mercy.


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