Jesus speaks to his disciples often about an imminent day of judgment, and describes what it will be like when the Son of man will come in clouds with power and glory (see Matt. 24:30). There is an apocalyptic message in the Gospels that involves God's judgment, and yet Mary Baker Eddy stated that "no final judgment awaits mortals ..." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 291) since the judgment is ongoing. Why did Jesus speak of this final judgment in such a dramatic manner? Was he simply reassuring his disciples that their work and sacrifice would be rewarded so they didn't get discouraged?
—A READER IN MASSACHUSETTS
A1 In the Gospel of John, Jesus does not predict an imminent day of judgment. Instead judgment is portrayed as happening at the very moment one comes into the presence of the Christ. This presence or essence is described as the light that "shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it" (John 1:5, New Revised Standard Version). Jesus makes plain that anyone who willingly comes to the light will be redeemed; whereas anyone who hides from the light because their deeds are evil will be judged (see John 3:17-21). In other words, we bring judgment on ourselves by our lack of response to the Christ.
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