Luther greatly helped the church understand why judgment is a hopeful and not a fearful event.  For him, the awareness of justification implies that believers know that a judgment has been rendered already, and they have been found innocent.  However, in a loving response to a word of salvation from God, believers willingly open their lives to God’s scrutiny so that they may become the people God created them to be.  This is the process of sanctification.  In other words, Christians willingly undergo judgment now, within the context of faith that God the Judge is also God the Redeemer.  There is no fear of later judgment.  Believers have avoided the rush of the Last Days, whenever they occur.  To the degree that the old life of sin continues in them, judgment is voluntarily undergone now.  To the degree that they participate in the new life in Christ, they live already on the other side of the Day of Judgment (Gonzalez, Catherine Gunsalas “Advent and Eschatology,” Journal for Preachers, Vol. XXVIX, No. 1, p. 4)

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