Judgement. It’s seems such an ugly word. It carries all this fire and brimstone baggage. It’s a favorite topic of people who call themselves Christians but don’t act very Christ like.
All this has bullied some of us into shying away from the topic out of fear that we be identified as one of them.
But it’s huge. And it’s important. And it’s amazing and awesome.
We are doing all this stuff, here in this life, on this Earth. Some of this stuff is outside of us. Even the outside stuff, though, really, the important stuff is how it shapes us on the inside. When I give sacrificially, for example, the important part isn’t what I am giving. God could’ve summoned up something a million times bigger than what ever I have to offer. The important part of sacrificial giving is how it changes me.
Unfortunately, bad stuff will shape me, too. When I act in anger, eventually the outward results of my anger will fade away. But the things I do to myself, these having a lasting impact. (One of the ways that the Harry Potter series was so deeply Christian was J.K. Rowlings profound grasp of this point.)
If the next life is to be a place beyond tears, if it is a place where we are returned to some Eden like state, if it is to be a paradise… then a judgement must come.
There must be a tearing down, a burning away of all the things I have built up that are not good for me. The good things I have built, these will shine in a new kind of glory, but only if the destructive things are torn away.
Damnation, is, perhaps, the state of having so much judged unworthy that there is little or nothing left of us. But freedom in the next life needs judgement, it is a terrifying thing… but also will be our salvation and liberation.