A Coming Day

Christians live toward the coming King and His Kingdom.

Letter against the Soldiers of Coroticus (9)

Where then will Coroticus and his most criminal crew – rebels against Christ – where will they see themselves, they who have distributed young Christian girls as prizes, for the sake of a wretched worldly kingdom which will pass away anyway in an instant? Like mere mist or smoke which is dispersed by the wind, deceitful sinners will perish in the face of the Lord; the just on the other hand will feast in perfect harmony with Christ; they will judge the nations and rule over wicked kings for ever and ever. Amen.

Translation Liam De Paor, St. Patrick’s World

Patrick was not at all convinced that Coroticus and his wicked crew would be brought to justice in this life. He had pronounced excommunication on them, warning all believers in the path of their retreat not to have any dealings with them, except to read this bold letter in their presence whenever possible. Patrick regarded them as “rebels against Christ”, apparently because they professed some kind of faith in Him. Yet the example of their lives – plundering, murdering, man-stealing – bore witness to the reality of their hearts. They were more devoted to the ways of the world – power, sensuality, violence – than the ways of the Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Coroticus and his men should “see themselves” not as Christians bound for eternal glory, but as sinners who, having never truly come to repentance or submission to the one true King, should expect condemnation in the day of wrath.

Patrick understood the importance of the unseen world, here in particular, of the world to come. He pointed his readers beyond the trials and sorrows of this temporal realm to the new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells. While here they are deprived and oppressed, there they will feast and rule over all things. Here the wicked may seem to gain ground; there they will be blown away into eternal oblivion. All must one day stand before the face of King Jesus, to give an account of the works they have done in the flesh. Toward that day true Christians may look with hope and yearning. Unbelievers and those whose lives do not match their profession must be reminded that a day of judgment is coming. They must either amend their ways now, while they can, or suffer the eternal wrath of the King of Glory.

The Good News of the Kingdom is more clearly seen against the backdrop of the failing kingdoms of this world and coming King Who will judge all men according to their works.

Want to learn more about Patrick and the impact of his ministry? Order T. M.’s book, The Legacy of Patrick, from our online store.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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