Friday, January 8, 2010

The World's Last Night (7)

Some day (and “What if this present were the world’s last night?”) an absolutely correct verdict—if you like, a perfect critique—will be passed on what each of us is.CS Lewis writing
     We have all encountered judgments or verdicts on ourselves in this life. Every now and then we discover what our fellow creatures really think of us. I don’t of course mean what they tell us to our faces: that we usually have to discount. I am thinking of what we sometimes overhear by accident or of the opinions about us which our neighbours or employees or subordinates unknowingly reveal in their actions: and of the terrible, or lovely, judgments artlessly betrayed by children or even animals. Such discoveries can be the bitterest or sweetest experiences we have. But of course both the bitter and the sweet are limited by our doubt as to the wisdom of those who judge. We always hope that those who so clearly think us cowards or bullies are ignorant and malicious; we always fear that those who trust us or admire us are misled by partiality. I suppose the experience of the Final Judgment (which may break in upon us at any moment) will be like these little experiences, but magnified to the Nth.
     For it will be infallible judgment. If it is favourable we shall have no fear, if unfavourable, no hope, that it is wrong. We shall not only believe, we shall know, know beyond doubt in every fibre of our appalled or delighted being, that as the Judge has said, so we are: neither more nor less nor other. We shall perhaps even realise that in some dim fashion we could have known it all along. We shall know and all creation will know too: our ancestors, our parents, our wives or husbands, our children. The unanswerable and (by then) self-evident truth about each will be known to all.
C.S. Lewis, "The World's Last Night" (1960)


  1. Very few experience "the peace that passes all understanding and the perfect love that casts out all fear" that the apostle talks about. Therefore how can one rest in the assurance that ones salvation is secure and not concern themselves of the impending judgment which no one can escape from?

  2. The Apostle Paul says we can know that we are children of God through faith in Christ.

    Romans 8:15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, [i] Father." 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

    Sorry I'm late in responding to your comment, but I think the answer involves this experience of the Spirit of God within us. He enables us to pray as Jesus prayed, "Abba, Father..." And the Spirit assures us that we are loved and accepted and that we are sons and daughters with Jesus our Lord.

  3. Thank you for that thorough answer.