May 10, 2009


Revelation 20:11-15

The Father … has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son …
John 5:22-23


Kosuke Koyama was a Japanese Christian sent as a missionary to Thailand, where Buddhism has been part of the culture for more than 2,000 years. A central teaching of Buddhism is that the passions of people draw them into selfish pleasures and fill the world with suffering. So people are to resist passions through meditation and acts of self-denial—but there is no teaching about sin or judgment for sin.

For years, Koyama evangelized in Thailand. He also became a keen observer of the Christian church there. He concluded that the Thai church lacked spiritual power because it was ashamed of the Bible’s teaching that “the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all … godlessness and wickedness” (Romans 1:18). Thai Christians soft-pedaled the message of God’s judgment because they knew their fellow citizens would be offended by the idea of a wrathful God.

If we think about the message we communicate to people around us, we may find that we too have avoided talking about God’s judgment of our sin. But we can’t forget that human sin has caused all the world’s suffering, and that the God who loves us sent his Son to pay the death penalty for our sin. This is the good news of salvation! Though the penalty for sin is death, Jesus paid that price for us so that we can live!

Lord, we know that you rightly judge sin. But you have also shown your love for us by sending your Son to save us from the curse of sin. Give us faith in him, we pray. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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