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Judgment

28th December 2008, mgh

 

6) Judgment in the New Testament.

To those who claim to be worshippers of God there will also be a judgment to determine whether indeed they have been obedient to God's laws and worshipped him in truth and righteousness.

Quoting from Isaiah 42, Matthew affirms that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and the judge appointed by God to bring judgment to the Gentiles, that is the nations. This is a confirmation of Isaiah's prophecy and identifies the Judge.

Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Nations. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break,.. till he send forth judgment unto victory.(Matthew 12: 18-20)

Sodom and Gomorrha were completely destroyed for their wickedness and the nations will face a similar fate in the “day of judgment”.

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (Mark 6:11)

Jesus identifies his purpose in the future as being related to judgment.

And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. (John 9: 39)

And also, everyone who hears the gospel will be judged personally,

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day (John 12: 46-48)

Peter speaking to Cornelius states that Jesus would be the Judge of the living and the dead.

Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of the living and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10: 40-43)

In Athens Paul explains who the true God is and that he will judge the world in righteousness at an appointed time.

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent: Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance unto all men , in that he has raised him from the dead. (Acts 17: 30-31)

The Apostle Paul frequently reminds his readers that Jesus Christ will judge the “quick and the dead”, who are those that are alive and those who have been resurrected.

In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. (Romans 2: 16)
Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5: 9-10)
I chargethee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.... Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2Timothy 4: 1-2, 8)

The following quotation reveals the severity of the judgment at that time.

But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that has said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10: 27-31)

The closing verses of Hebrews 12 emphasise the power of God.

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12: 28-29)

Peter states that judgment begins at the “house of God”. In AD70, judgment came upon the nation of Israel for their disobedience and failure to recognise their Messiah. Judgment will yet come upon the so-called Christian world.

As a sign that this judgment is near the nation of Israel has been revived. They are the witnesses, or evidence of God's promises, and their revival is a sign of the impending judgment to come on the nations.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1 Peter 4: 17-18)

When Paul appeared before Felix one of the issues he raised was that of judgment. Felix was so greatly disturbed, and troubled, that he confesses to trembling at Paul's words.

And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. (Acts 24: 24-25)

The prophecy given by Yahweh to his son Jesus and subsequently given to John and recorded in the book of Revelation is the prophecy for all ages since AD 96. This prophecy speaks of future judgment, of reward for the faithful and judgment of men according to their works.

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou should give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth. (Revelation 11: 15-18)
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. (Revelation 20: 12-13)

The ancient nation of Israel were given the following warning. They had a choice, either to wholly serve Yahweh, or, to not serve Him. This is no less applicable today.

Thou shall fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shall swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 6: 13-15)

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