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1. Introduction

As we consider God’s judgment and Judgment Day, we find that Hebrews 6 includes judgment as one of the new believers’ foundational truths.

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

Hebrews 6:1

In teaching new believers this truth, we need to sift all of our teachings on the judgement through God’s original intention to have sons and daughters who are blameless through Jesus Christ.
The teaching, the Fellowship of the Mystery of His Will, is central to the reformation we see sweep the earth.

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will

Ephesians 1:4-5

How would a good Father judge His children?
Does a heavenly Father make judgements in favour of His children?

In Biblical Evangelism of Gentiles, we found that a correct understanding of judgement is necessary as it is part of our evangelism. So, let us first define judgment. Then, we will see why God’s loving nature requires it.

2. What is Judgement of God and Wrath?

A. Judgement:

κρίσις krisis; decision (subjectively or objectively, for or against); by extension,
a tribunal; by implication, justice (especially divine law): —
condemnation, damnation, judgment.

You may realise that we get the root word for crisis. Crisis produces fear and worry, and finality can create terror. But as we go through this study, we will find that the children of God do not need to fear the judgment of God.

However, we have a one-sided view of the judgement in most of the teachings available on this subject.
Judgment is not necessarily a hostile action against a person or persons- it can also be in favour of us. Favourable judgement happens in the spiritual world just as it happens in the natural.

B. The wrath of God:

ὀργή orgē; the desire
violent passion
by implication punishment:
Anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.

The wrath of God is where we get the word orgy from, so we conclude that it is an action that expresses passion.

Passion teaches us that God’s wrath expresses His emotions. The parable of the Prodigal son is an example of His feelings. The Father desires the return of the lost son.

3. Why does God express His wrath?

A. The character of God requires it:

God IS love:

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16

Therefore, any expression of wrath is an expression of love.
We see the passion of God and His desire for us to be in the right relationship with Him throughout the word of God.
Let us look at His dealings with His creation in Genesis. We see God’s judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah or His judgment at Noah’s flood as expressions of His love for His creation. He could see that the consequences of sin would be too destructive to His creation, so He brought judgment.

God saved humankind by displaying His wrath and destroying the world by bringing a flood that covered the world’s entire surface.

B. The Old Covenant with man required it.

i. To understand this teaching completely, I suggest reading The Old Covenant and The Law No Longer Applies.

The consequences of disobeying the law resulted in condemnation.

ii. Law brought judgment and condemnation.

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

Romans 5:18

iii. We need to identify who the author is referring to when the Bible talks about wrath and what covenant it is under. For example, here it is referring to those under the law:

So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”

Hebrews 3:11

iv. There were curses under the Old Covenant.

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Galatians 3:13

These curses died with Jesus.

The Old Covenant no longer lives, so the law and the associated curses do not apply to believers in Jesus Christ.

In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 8:13

With a new covenant, we are under the dispensation of grace. Therefore, God delays His wrath until the time of the judgement.’ found in Revelation 20.

4. Who Judges Mankind?

A. Jesus

When Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father, the Father handed all judgment over to Him.

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:

2 Timothy 4:1

B. Jesus overcame sin.

Because Jesus overcame sin and learnt obedience, the Father has committed all judgment to Him.

For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,

John 5:22

For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.

John 5:26

Therefore this means that no one can say – “God does not know what it is like to be human.”
Because Jesus does know what it is like to be human, His day of judgment will be fair.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:15

5. Who Does Jesus Judge?

A. The sons of disobedience:

Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,

Colossians 3:6

The sons of disobedience are the children of wrath:

in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

Ephesians 2:2-3

The children of the devil are the religious spirits controlling the Jewish religious leaders at that time, who then persecuted the believers:

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

John 8:44

B. Jew and Gentile alike:

For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law

Romans 2:12

Whether Jew or Gentile, judgement will be fair and just.

C. God’s wrath is against sin. His desire is for the sinner.

Speaking of those who are not part of the family of God, Romans teaches us that God’s wrath (desire) is against sin rather than the sinner:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

Romans 1:18

6. Believers in Jesus Are Not Judged.

A. Those who do not Believe in Jesus are Dead

The passage in Ephesians teaches us that before we become believers, we are dead.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

Ephesians 2:1

B. New birth brings eternal life

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

John 5:24

When we become sons and daughters of the Father, we enter eternal life by the Spirit of adoption.
We do not experience eternal life, then death, followed by eternal life”.
The believer’s eternal life starts at the new birth.

 If we go back to the original word for judgment, we remember krisis. Therefore, believers will not fear or experience crisis.

C. As believers, we still Receive Discipline

Because He does not judge us does not mean Abba Father will not discipline us if we stray from walking according to the truth of God’s word:

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

Hebrews 12:7

7. When Does Judgement of God Occur?

  • At the time of Jesus’ Death- to those In Hades
  • The judgement of the Jews ended with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. This is found under The Comings of Jesus.
  • At the end of the age, we are in now – When we stand before the Great White Throne on Judgement Day.

8. Jesus’ Judgment After His Death

A. Everybody before Christ needed the opportunity to hear the gospel.

B. Peter Says that Jesus preached to those who were dead:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,

1 Peter 3:18-19

C. Jesus referred to this:

Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice

John 5:25-28

Note that Jesus uses the term hour because it will happen shortly.

D. Jesus explained the position of those whom He preached to

This passage is not a parable or story, and it is current at the time of Jesus’ teaching it. I.e. this refers to dead people before the start of the new age. Some were in ‘Abraham’s bosom’, while others were in Hades.

So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Like 16:22-23

E. Daniel Explained what would happen.

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Daniel 12:2

In this passage, the word contempt refers to those who are dead. Contempt refers to how others see them, not how they feel. Shame is similar. Others know the outcome of their lives as a life of shame.

9. The Judgement of God will happen at The Great White Throne of Judgment

 The Great White Throne of Judgment is sometimes called Judgement Day.

A. Jesus is on the Throne.

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.

Revelation 20:11

B. There are books.

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

Revelation 20:12

C. There is the book of life.

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

Revelation 20:12

D. The dead are Judged According to the Books.

I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

Revelation 20:12

On Judgement Day, God will judge the dead, not the living.

10. On Judgement Day, the Dead Will be Cast Into the Lake of Fire.

The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:13-15

11. On Judgement Day, The dead will have no excuse at the Great White Throne because they have judged others:

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

Romans 2:1

12. On Judgement Day, The Dead Will Then Die Spiritually.

But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21:8

The second death is eternal separation from God.

13. Wisdom Required in our Presentation of Judgement.

When it comes to preaching about the judgement of God, we need to focus on sin rather than the sinner. As it says in Jude:

And on some have compassion, making a distinction;
but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

Jude 1:22

We are to love the sinner and hate the sin, just like God does, mostly leaving people’s judgment to God. Judgement Day is nothing to fear for the believer in Jesus Christ unless they have sinned against the Holy Spirit.

© Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries/ Dr Neville van Eerten D. Miss. 2024

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