There are four judgments talked about in the Bible that are a MUST for you to understand:
1) the Judgment Seat (also called the Bema Seat of Christ) 2) the Judgment during the 7 year Tribulation 3) the Judgment of the Nations before the Millennium begins (after the Tribulation) 4) the final Great White Throne Judgment when unbelievers are dealt with by God.
No, I am not a legalist. Far from it. But your understanding of your impending judgment after you leave this earth is imminent. Don’t be concerned about the other guy, be concerned about it yourself. Get your life in order. In the end, it’s you and your Creator.
But before we talk about the four different kinds of Judgments discussed in the Bible, we need to set a firm foundation as to why all of this happens.
Judgment is all about God’s justice. Comprehend it if you can. It’s absolutely necessary.
Justness is one of God’s supreme attributes. He makes the final decisions about the destiny of individuals and nations, and has for all time. It’s part of His sovereignty. Believe that with all of your heart. He holds to an absolute morality of right and wrong. There is nothing wishy-washy or relative nor is there a hint of political correctness in His judgments of all things and deeds.
Solomon, the wisest man ever created, says this in Ecclesiastes 12:14. “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”
Every person must come to grips with God’s view and judgment of sin in their lives.
In the end, will God judge sin in your life? Absolutely. Unless you are a believer. Sin means “missing the mark” that God has set for you to live by, which is the perfect standard of righteousness. Are you even good? Not even close. There is no one righteous, not one, it says in Ecclesiastes 7:20, repeated in Psalm 53:2-3, Proverbs 20:9, and Romans 3:10! Get real.
Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross shows God’s righteous judgment of sin and that He bears our sin for us. Jesus took on all of our sins forever past, present, and the future by His suffering crucifixion. Believing on this fact alone (and the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6) “justifies” us before God at the time of our death.
The apostle Paul explains this best in his letter to the Romans in Chapter 4&5.
Romans 4:25; 5:18– Justification is God’s act of declaring us “not guilty” for our sins. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life (in the resurrection) for our justification. Romans 5:9 We are saved from God’s wrath by the justification of Jesus’ blood.
Jesus experienced the reality of hell (being absolutely separated from God) in just 3 hours while on the Cross!
The story of Jessica Alba (who built a billion-dollar business empire) sadly expresses what many in our culture have come to feel and think.
The magazine Vanity Fair recently (December 2015) published an article which had the following paragraph on Alba’s faith and views on God: Alba’s childhood was marked by two things: illnesses … that landed her in the hospital often, and a burning desire to leave a mark on the world, which at the age of 12 meant becoming a devout born-again Christian. “I was seeking a purpose,” Alba says of her years as a member of a conservative Christian youth group. “I wanted to exist for a reason.” This lasted until she was 17, when, she says, she was turned off by the boundaries and labels set by fellow churchgoers. That year, she attended an acting workshop in Vermont and “fell crazy in love with a cross-dressing ballet dancer who had a baby and was bisexual. I was like, ‘There’s just no way he’s going to hell!'” Acting opened her to a new world of creative people and a community where she belonged. “I felt like, at the end of the day, God is love and everyone is human.”
How unfortunate for her misguidance, but now how commonplace. There is no hell. There is no judgment. It makes our Almighty God into a wimp. And it sounds like the almighty Jessica is making the judgment call on her friend’s morality. That’s pretty gutsy.
Some world religions like Hinduism eliminate hell and final judgment by conceptual reincarnation. Sects in America like Unitarianism (Universalists) say that all are saved, that man is good, and that there is no hell.
If there is no judgment, then the death of Jesus on Calvary was meaningless. Pastor Joel Lindsey calls this the “Judgmentless Gospel,” one of the common false Gospels propagated in our culture ( see 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).
Of course, our God is a God of love and mercy. But He is also a God of justness. He IS the supreme judge of everything in the universe. And look what He wants of us: Micah 6:8 God wants us to act justly and love mercy- that is a requirement for him.
And justness and judgment go hand and hand.
We certainly don’t have a problem with punishing the unjust in our eyes (those who have committed crimes), so why should God, the author of absolute justness? Where do you want to spend eternity? Separated from God?
Look at these favorite verses of mine in Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 9:23-24 This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.”
Bottom Line: There is judgment for all because God is just. And yes, He will show His wrath.
Hebrews 10:30-31 says that justice belongs to God, and God will repay sinners who reject Christ; “The Lord Himself will handle these cases.” It is a fearful thing to fall in to the hands of the living God.
Take a sobering look at reality. Your days on this earth are numbered.
We will get into the four different judgments next blog.
Join my son Jim and myself this fall at Grace Church as we teach “New Testament Survey.”