It’s About God’s Judgment
God is love… this is the perception that most people have when they think of God. He is always about love. This is a warm and fuzzy… but utterly wrong… conception of God. Arguably, it is wrong because it is one-faceted. God is love, yes, but He is so much more than just love. Elsewhere in this blog, I have written a little more extensively on the attributions of God, and I won’t simply “parrot” them in this post, but suffice to say on a thumbnail that God is every attribution known and unknown, and all of those in absolute perfection: orders of magnitude beyond what we understand perfection to be.
God is good, and what most people don’t understand is what that seemingly simplistic declaration really means: God is the only one who is good. No less than the One who knows God inside and out could illustrate this with such forceful impact. While clothed in human flesh, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, had the following exchange with a rich ruler:
A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone. (Luke 18:18-19)
Please understand that Jesus Christ, although one with the Father and the Holy Ghost in the three persons of the Trinity, even in His human and divine nature (and not prey to sin), declared God to be the only one who was good. We know that the above statement of Jesus Christ is valid, because in His entire earthly existence He never sinned. The testimony of Jesus Christ being valid, it follows necessarily from His statement that God, being good, cannot and will not tolerate the opposite of what good is: evil.
We may rest assured of this: all evil will be judged and punished.
People will say ‘If God is good and cannot/will not tolerate evil, why hasn’t He punished it?’ Understand that the day will come when He will punish evil, and eradicate it. As to why He has not done that as yet, considering all the evil that has plagued the world since the Fall of man from God’s grace, the reason why is that God is patient with us, not wanting anyone to be condemned to the fires of hell for all eternity. He is waiting for us to confess our sins to Him, to seek His forgiveness, and to be justified before Him through being covered with the blood of His Son our Lord Jesus Christ in the free pardon of sin.
Forget “Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday” and any other sales you thought represented the best bargain you have ever had… being covered with the blood of Jesus Christ and being spared from the wrath of God in the Day of Judgment is the real bargain.
The Apostle Peter spoke of God’s impending judgment (italic emphasis mine):
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the LORD a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The LORD is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the LORD will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (2 Peter 3:3-13)
Ah, yes… judgment. Such a nasty and uncomfortable word, isn’t it? Indeed: and so much so that the vast majority of Christian churches in America do not even mention the word… or anything to do with God’s justice. The focus is no longer on people being sinners in need of confession, repentance and sanctification, and no longer on the saving blood of Jesus Christ as the only way to God the Father Almighty. Instead, the focus is on making people feel good about themselves, making worship “entertaining”, growing church membership and hardly opening the Holy Bible to see what it really says.
As a nation, we need to have the book thrown at us… and by “the book”, I mean the Holy Bible!
If you do not realize that judgment is an integral part of what God is, and also of what God will do in the Day of the Lord, then you know neither the Holy Bible nor God. Throughout the Holy Scriptures, it can be readily seen that judgment is a common thread. Since it is critically important to understand this, I present the following passages from both the Old Testament and the New Testament to support this:
“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. (Exodus 6:6)
The Israelites set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover. They marched out boldly in full view of all the Egyptians, who were burying all their firstborn, whom the LORD had struck down among them; for the LORD had brought judgment on their gods. (Numbers 33:3-4)
I lift my hand to heaven and declare: As surely as I live forever, when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me. (Deuteronomy 32:40-41)
Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard and said: “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’ (2 Chronicles 20:5-9)
“His eyes are on the ways of men; he sees their every step. There is no dark place, no deep shadow, where evildoers can hide. God has no need to examine men further, that they should come before him for judgment. (Job 34:21-23)
But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked; judgment and justice have taken hold of you. (Job 36:17)
The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. (Psalms 9:7-8)
Arise, O LORD, let not man triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. (Psalms 9:19)
You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet – when you, O God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land. (Psalms 76:7-9)
God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the “gods”: (Psalms 82:1)
Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it. (Psalms 94:15)
Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you. (Psalms 143:2)
Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power. (Proverbs 8:14)
I thought in my heart, “God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed.” (Ecclesiastes 3:17)
Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. (Ecclesiates 11:9)
For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14)
The Lord takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: (Isaiah 3:13-14)
The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. (Isaiah 4:4)
See, the LORD is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword the LORD will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the LORD. (Isaiah 66:15-16)
On your clothes men find the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all this you say, ‘I am innocent; he is not angry with me.’ But I will pass judgment on you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ (Jeremiah 2:34-35)
Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them. They are worthless, the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish. (Jeremiah 10:14-15)
The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth, for the Lord will bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all mankind and put the wicked to the sword,’ ” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 25:31)
Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon me, and he told me to say: “This is what the LORD says: That is what you are saying, O house of Israel, but I know what is going through your mind. You have killed many people in this city and filled its streets with the dead. Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: The bodies you have thrown there are the meat and this city is the pot, but I will drive you out of it. You fear the sword, and the sword is what I will bring against you, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will drive you out of the city and hand you over to foreigners and inflict punishment on you. You will fall by the sword, and I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 11:5-10)
” ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: As surely as I live, I will bring down on his head my oath that he despised and my covenant that he broke. I will spread my net for him, and he will be caught in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment upon him there because he was unfaithful to me. All his fleeing troops will fall by the sword, and the survivors will be scattered to the winds. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken. (Ezekiel 17:19-21)
I will bring you into the desert of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will take note of you as you pass under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 20:35-38)
” ‘I the Lord have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ “ (Ezekiel 24:14)
I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.’ (Ezekiel 38:21-23)
“Hear this, you priests! Pay attention, you Israelites! Listen, O royal house! This judgment is against you: You have been a snare at Mizpah, a net spread out on Tabor. (Hosea 5:1)
Ephraim is oppressed, trampled in judgment, intent on pursuing idols. (Hosea 5:11)
I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. (Joel 3:2)
This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: The Sovereign LORD was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. (Amos 7:4)
O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O Lord, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish. Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? (Habakkuk 1:12-13)
“So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 3:5)
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:22)
I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. (Matthew 10:15)
“Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” (Matthew 11:21-24)
But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. (Jonn 5:22-23)
Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (Jonn 12:30-32)
But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. (John 16:7-11)
So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? (Romans 2:3)
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (Romans 2:5-8)
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. (Romans 14:10)
When we are judged by the LORD, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:32)
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our LORD Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the LORD and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10)
The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. 25 In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden. (1 Timothy 5:24-25)
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1-2)
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28)
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. (Hebrews 10:26-27)
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! (James 2:12-13)
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1)
You too, be patient and stand firm, because the LORD’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! (James 5:8-9)
But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (1 Peter 4:5-6)
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17)
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) – if this is so, then the LORD knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. (2 Peter 2:4-10)
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the LORD a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The LORD is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:5-9)
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. (1 John 4:16-17)
And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home – these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 6-7)
The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great – and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18)
He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:7)
Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, LORD God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.” (Revelation 16:5-7)
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” (Revelation 19:1-2)
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
As can be observed from the above passages, there is a preponderance of Scriptural support spanning the entire Holy Bible that God is just: He will judge. He is a moral God, that perfect attribution drives Him to judge, and we can have comfort in knowing that His judgment is just… no one will be able to stand before God on the Day of the Lord and declare to Him that he has been judged unjustly; God can no more judge unjustly than He can act immorally.
So what conclusion does this lead us to?
The words of the book of Galatians are clear… frighteningly so:
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)
If you find yourself on the wrong side of Almighty God… which is to say that you are living your life pretty much for yourself, violating God’s commandments, tearing people down, indulging in sensual pleasures and immoral behaviors, thinking that there is no one quite like yourself, and you couldn’t care less what God thinks about what you are doing and how you are doing it… you might want to take the time to reassess your approach. Believe me when I say to you that you will stand before God to be judged when your time on earth is finished… you will do this either at the Bema Seat of Jesus Christ (the believer’s judgment) or at the Great White Throne (the unbeliever’s judgment). For the unrepentant sinner, there will be no hood-winking God, there will be no making bargains with Him, and there will be no argument that can be marshaled against Him that will succeed.
Again, Holy Scripture declares urgently:
As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:1-2)
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7)
If you are wondering where to begin, this is truly the best advice:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:7)
If you are an unrepentant sinner headed for the flames of an eternal hell, and you feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit on your heart after reading this post, do not waste one more second… because you do not know if you will have the next second. Get on your knees and confess to Almighty God that you are a worthless, wretched, rotten-to-the-core sinner that deserves the flames of an eternal hell as your punishment, ask Almighty God to forgive you by covering you with the blood of His Son our Lord Jesus Christ who died in your place to pay the penalty of death for your sins, and be justified before Almighty God in the free pardon of sin that comes only through belief in Jesus Christ as the one, and as the only, way to Almighty God.
When you have received the pardon of Almighty God through your confession of your sins and your belief in the One that He has sent for the redemption of all humankind, you will be sealed with the Holy Spirit against the Day of Judgment (Almighty God will live within you; you will be ‘born again’ of the Holy Spirit) and you will live forever in the presence of Almighty God. Read the Holy Scriptures, obey God’s commandments, and seek out the company of other born-again Christians for worship and companionship.
God bless you… thanks for reading this post.