DOMINION CHAPEL

                                           

JUDGMENTS

Do you accept the fact that God is the author of the Bible (Scripture)?  If you do not, then you will not be able to accept the following statements of fact concerning the judgments of God. On the other hand, if you do believe God is the author of the Bible the following facts will encourage you greatly!

  • Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20,21).
  • All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16)

There is a common misunderstanding about the Judgments of God.  There is a misconception that teaches there will be one final judgment when all mankind stands before the throne of God.  And at this judgment, our good deeds will weighed against our bad deeds to decide whether we are worthy of eternal life with God.  According to this vain of teaching, if we are not worthy, then we are either cast into a temporary place of torment called purgatory for some length of time, or we are cast directly into hell.

That is not even close to what the Bible teaches. Actually, the Bible reveals a number of judgments that occur at different times in history.  Following is a list of judgments in the order they occur.

THE CROSS, GOD’S JUDGMENT AGAINST THE SINS OF THE WORLD

The first and most important judgment took place at the cross of Jesus Christ.  It was at the cross that God’s justice was satisfied and He removed the barrier of sin between Himself and mankind. This is why God, the second person, stepped into our world as a true man in the person of Jesus Christ.  He came to be the sacrificial Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).

Jesus Christ was born of a human mother, but God Himself was the Father of this child.  Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God.

An angel came to Mary, the mother of Jesus, before she was with child. She was a virgin. The angel told Mary she would have a son, and she asked, “How can this be, since I am a virgin” (Luke 1:34).

The angel explained this to Mary: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason THE HOLY OFFSPRING shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

Note this carefully: The holy offspring is called the Son of God, not the eternal second person of the Godhead.   Jesus Christ was born as a human being with a human nature, but he was not born with a sinful nature, that is why He had to be born of a woman. 

Jesus Christ came to undo what Adam, the first man did.  Adam was created with a sinless nature, but he chose to sin. As a result, that sinful nature is inherited by every human born to man. There never was any other virgin birth besides Jesus Christ, nor will there ever be another virgin birth. 

All of us inherited a sinful nature passed down to us by Adam, the first man.  “The first man was born of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47).  Scripture tells us: “it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived fell into transgression” (1 Timothy 2:14).  “So then as through one transgression [Adam] there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness [Jesus’ willing sacrifice for our sins on the cross] there resulted justification of life to all men” (Romans 17.18).

In other words, woman was deceived, but Adam chose to sin, and since that one act of disobedience, sin has lived in every human born.  And that is why Jesus Christ had to come in the form of a man, so that he, being in the nature of man could face the temptation of the devil and prevail.  The second person of the Godhead, as God, could not be tempted as we are, but Jesus the Son of man, born of a virgin, could.  

Facing temptation without sinning qualified the Son of God, who was born as a man, to be the blameless Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world (Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 2:2).

By His death in our place, Jesus Christ, removed the barrier of sin: “He forgave all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).  “Jesus Christ, the Righteous One; He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

Therefore, since judgment for sins has already taken place, all who believe in Jesus Christ will never stand at a judgment of condemnation, because the believer has already been judged and pardoned at the Cross of Jesus Christ, the Once and for all Sacrifice. 

· He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12).

·  After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Hebrews 1:3).

·  Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:25).

THE JUDGMENT OF THE BELIEVERS TO DETERMINE REWARDS

Only those who have accepted the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ will stand at this judgment.  This takes place after the Rapture and resurrection of all believers from the Church Age – the day of Pentecost unto the moment of the Rapture. This is called the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The Bible explains this great event: “Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.  If any man’s work remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).

All who stand at this judgment are saved, no one is lost or condemned.  Everyone will simply learn whether or not the works they did as a Christian were done with the right motive through faith.

Remember the burning bush that God used to speak to Moses.  The fire did not burn up the bush.   The way I see this event at the Judgment seat of Christ will be like that. Each person will pass through a wall of fire, there be no fear of the fire. As the person passes through the fire, whatever is not worthy of reward is burned up.

Some people will come out on the other side of the fire wall and his/her works will be intact. But others will pass through the fire wall and come out on the other side, you might say “naked.” They will not have anything to be rewarded for.  But they will be welcome in heaven.  They will shed tears, but the Lord promises to wipe away all of our tears.

That picture shows us why it is best to search the Bible now, while we still have time, and find out what we will receive rewards for and find out what the right attitudes towards those works needs to be.

One thing I’ve noticed about the works of the Lord, they don’t require great and sacrificial deeds to earn rewards.  Look at 2 Timothy 4:8 for example.  The crown of righteousness waits for those who long for the appearing of Jesus Christ. 

Are you longing for the return of Jesus Christ?  I know I am and that longing stirs me to invite others to accept God’s invitation to accept His free gift of eternal life provided by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

THE JUDGMENT OF THE SURVIVORS OF THE TRIBULATION

This takes place immediately at the second coming of Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Both believers and non-believers are gathered together before the Lord Jesus, and He separates the believers from the unbelievers.  It is like a shepherd separating sheep from goats.  The believers are sent into the Messianic Kingdom as mortals to repopulate the earth.  They will serve under Jesus; He will rule the world from the throne of David.  The non-believers are cast into the holding tank – Hades, to await the last Judgment.

JUDMENT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT & TRIBULATION BELIEVERS

This takes place at the time of the second coming also. The prophet Daniel predicted this: “And at that time your people, everyone written in the book, will be rescued. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life” (Daniel 12:1-2).  Revelation 20:4-5 also speaks of the resurrection of the martyrs of the Tribulation period.

THE LAST JUDGMENT OF THE GREAT WHITE THRONE

This is a judgment of unbelievers of all time. The second resurrection is also called the resurrection of condemnation.  This judgment brings unbelievers, body and soul, from death and Hades.

GOD HAS A RESCUE PLAN

The horror of this is that everyone who is raised from the dead for the second resurrection are already condemned to never ending torment in the lake of burning sulfur.  Those who go before the white throne of judgment have all refused to believe the truth of Jesus Christ and rejected God’s gift of pardon.

This is what will take place at that time: “And 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.  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 that were in it, and death and Hades delivered up the dead that were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. And those from death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire.  This is the second death. And whoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

WHY IS A FINAL JUDGMENT NECESSARY?

There is only one sin that condemns a person to an eternity in the Lake of Fire, and the one sin is the REJECTION OF JESUS CHRIST.  He was the sacrificial Lamb of God who carried away the sins of the whole world.  Those who reject the pardon for their sins will be cast into the Lake of Fire, and never ending torment.

The Bible warns us: “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). So the person who rejects Jesus Christ does not have to wait for the Day of Judgment to know where he/she will end up. That is settled before the Day of Judgment.

GOD HAS A RESCUE PLAN

So why is a final judgment necessary if the unsaved are already judged? What’s the purpose of the White Throne Judgment? 

The purpose is to reveal to each unbeliever why he/she is condemned to an eternity of torment.  God will take the best works the unbeliever has done and hold them up and compare them with His righteousness.  The unbeliever will see that his/her works were no better than filthy rags when compared to God’s righteousness. The unbeliever will finally confess that no one is good, and will realize that he/she rightly deserves eternal punishment. 

Every unbeliever will know for certain that he/she made the gravest mistake by refusing to accept Jesus Christ when they had the opportunity offered to them numerous times.  It’s too late. The one sin that is sending the unbeliever into the Lake of Fire is his/her rejection of the gift of pardon Jesus Christ died to provide for the whole world.  

Over and over, they said, “No” to Jesus Christ, the free gift that would have kept them out of the Lake of Fire.  Now they will experience NEVER ENDING TORMENT IN THE LAKE OF FIRE. Each one of them had the chance to accept NEVER ENDING JOY IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD, but they rejected Him.  The unbeliever has no one to blame but himself/herself.

THE MYSTERY OF THE BOOKS

Revelation 20:12 tells us that the books were opened, including the BOOK OF LIFE.  All unbelievers are judged from these books. 

The first book will be the Book of God’s Law.  Throughout Scripture, God’s written word is referred to as the “Book of the Law.”  Anyone who had exposure to God’s Word is responsible to live accordingly.  If not, he/she is condemned on the basis of the Law.

This is interesting: No doubt there will be many standing before God who can honestly plead that their ears had never heard one word from God’s Law in their lifetime.  But, God inspired the Apostle Paul to write to the early church telling them that those who had not heard the Law had it written instinctively in their consciences by God Himself.   As a result, their conscience will be the standard by which they will be condemned because they did not always live up to the good their consciences showed them (Romans 2:12-16).

THE BOOK OF WORKS

The second book that will be opened is the “Book of Works.”   Evidently every person has an assigned angel who is writing down all of his/her works (Malachi 3:16).

Every time the person has an opportunity to receive Christ as Savior and turns it down, that refusal is recorded in the person’s book.  Every bad deed along with every good deed that is done with a wrong motive is also written down.  Not one thing will be missed; everything will be recorded in every person’s Book of Works.

If you’ve said “Yes” to Jesus Christ and received the forgiveness for your sins, God has already judged all the wrong you’ve done or WILL DO; Jesus has already taken God’s wrath against those sins on your behalf. God nailed all of our evil deeds to the cross. Thank you Jesus!  (Colossians 2:13-14). 

A divine exchange has taken place: all of the evil due the sinner came on Jesus, so that all of the good that is due Jesus is now available to everyone who accepts the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for his/her sins
(2 Corinthians 5:21).
 

This is interesting: Even though God has recorded all the works a person considers bad, they will not be the basis for the person’s condemnation.  It’s the things the person thought were good and should earn acceptance with God that will be bought up. God will prove to every person who stands at the last judgment that his/her good works are all as filthy rags in comparison to God’s Righteousness (Isaiah 64:6).

Only by being included in Christ is a person righteous in God’s sight:

·  And you were also included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:13,14)

·  It is because of Him that you are in Christ, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our RIGHTEOUSNESS, our HOLINESS, our REDEMPTION  (1 Corinthians 1:30).

·   Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him (John 3:36).

THE BOOK OF LIFE
The last witness to testify against those waiting before the White Throne to be sentenced is the Book of Life.

Before the foundation of the world, this book contained the names of every person who would ever be born.

When a person either makes a decision that God knows has hardened his/her heart to Jesus forever, or dies without receiving Jesus Christ, then that person’s name is erased out of the Book of Life.  At the end of time, this Book of Life will only contain the names of those who love the truth of Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). So if the person’s name is not found in the Book of Life it was erased, and the person is condemned.

THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE:

God has a double entry bookkeeping system: The Lamb's Book of Life and The Book of Life.

  • When a person accepts the truth of Jesus Christ his/her name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and his/her name remains written in The Book of Life.
  • But, when a person refuses to love the truth of Jesus Christ, his/her name is removed (erased) from The Book of Life.  The person' name will not be in either book.
  • Revelation 13:8 "All inhabitants of the earth will worhship the beast -- ALL WHOSE NAMES HAVE NOT BEEN WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE BELONGING TO THE LAMB that was slain from the creation of the world."

THE PURPOSE OF THE WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
I’ve often thought about this scene.
  A person is called before the White Throne of Judgment.   The Lord knows the person’s name is not in the Book of Life or else the person would not be in front to that judgment throne. (If you've accepted Jesus Christ, you will not go before the White Throne of Judgement.) So why does God ask the angel if the person's name is in the Book of Life?  My conclusion is: To satisfy Justice.

GOD HAS A RESCUE PLAN

Romans 3:23-26 explains this: “There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and ARE JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE THROUGH THE REDEMPTION THAT CAME BY JESUS CHRIST.
  God presented Him AS THE SACRIFICE OF ATONEMENT THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD.  He did this TO DEMONSTRATE HIS JUSTICE, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – HE DID IT TO DEMONSTRATE HIS JUSTICE at the present time, SO AS TO BE JUST AND THE ONE WHO JUSTIFIES THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH IN JESUS.”

In other words, the person didn’t like God’s demonstration of Justice, so he/she refused to accept God’s free gift of eternal life. Some people foolishly think they can earn their way to heaven, but they are actually sealing their doom to never ending torment in the Lake of Fire.  Jesus Christ is God’s sacrifice of atonement for the sins of mankind, there is no other way to be right with God.

And please keep in mind, if you’re not right with God when you go before the White Throne, and you will if you reject Jesus, you will hear the most terrorizing declaration, “Away from  me you worker of iniquity, into the Lake of Fire.” That is the way it is all going to end people. 

It’s clear, you need to decide now: accept God’s free gift of eternal life by asking Jesus Christ to cleanse you of your sins, and ask Him to come into your life forever, and ask Jesus to show you how real He is.  You don’t want to end up before the White Throne of Judgment!

THE GREATEST TRAGEDY

1 John 2:2 tells us that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.  No one has to tumble through the portals of hell and into eternal torment because the atoning sacrifice has been paid. 

The greatest tragedy is that every minute of every day many people are dying and falling through the gateway to hell.  The price for the forgiveness of their sins was paid but they rejected it.  And they will end up before the White Throne of Judgment and finally in the Lake of Fire, the place of never ending torment. That is a bone chilling realization.

Don’t let this be your tragic story.  Accept the truth of Jesus Christ. Ask Him into your life now.  If you do, according to God’s solemn promise, you are forgiven. All of your sins are forgiven: past, present, and future.

You will be born again into the family of God, and God will lavish His love on you and call you one of His children. All of the provisions of God’s New Covenant become yours; all of His promises will be “Yes” to you.  

Why would you want to pass up all of God’s wonderful blessings, and end up in the Lake of Fire, the place of never ending torment?  Choose life; Choose Jesus Christ now; He and the angels in heaven will rejoice because of your decision to be born again. 

Don’t wait, because you don’t know when your time is up, you really don’t know, so choose Jesus Christ now. He’s waiting to be invited into your heart.  He loves you with a deep, deep, unfailing love.   He died for you to show you how much He loves you. Do you know anyone else who would willingly die for you?  Jesus did!

GOD'S A RESCUE PLAN

An invitation: If you haven’t accepted God’s free gift yet, but you would like to simply pray this prayer:

“Jesus Christ, I believe you are the Son of God and the only way to God.  I admit that I’m a sinner, please forgive my sins and come into my life; I want to be born again.  Please show me how real you are, also baptize me with your Holy Spirit.  Thank you for accepting me.”

If you’re a skeptic: “God, if this is true, please help me understand so that I can accept the gift of New Birth you purchased for me.”

 


 

 
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