2000-04-20 - The Judgments
The Judgments Series: Introduction
I have been asked a few questions lately surrounding the judgments that will come to pass in the future. While these events are not popular topics, they do offer insight into the justice of God. A review of these final courts can also spur us on to live for Christ and reach the lost. The end times insights that are provided in the scriptures are often brief and lack all of the details our curious hearts would like. At the same time, specific questions are answered - things from the very heart of God to us as warnings, admonitions and images of grace and mercy. There are flashes of things that are both terrible and glorious given to us. There are ideas and images that leave us guessing about the details, but certain that God's authority will be final.
There are many who will say, "How can a loving God send someone to Hell?" God is indeed loving. Twice in the forth chapter of the book of 1 John we are told, "God is love". The Father sent the Son to save us and the Son left His throne in glory for a manger and life amongst us in order to save us from Hell - eternal separation from God. But He is also just. He gave us the Ten Commandments which is a complete moral code. They do not show us that we can be good, but they show us that even when the rules are spelled out for us we will rebel and insist on our own way. Jesus corrected the idea that we could follow the law when He corrected our view of obeying the law:
Matt 5:21-22 "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not commit murder' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' 22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. (NAS)
The Law demands complete control of our thoughts and our emotions at all times. It demands nothing short of perfection. Adam and Eve, who were created in perfect innocence in the Garden of Eden, were unable to maintain the one rule God gave them even when they walked in fellowship with the Lord in the cool of the day. The Law becomes and impossible obstacle. Still, we look back before the law and see that Abraham's faith was counted by God as righteousness (Rom 4:9). Similar instances are reported of King David, even after his deliberate, calculated sin with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah. David was a man after God's own heart - by faith - believing that he was forgiven and restored.
Gal 3:23-25 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. (NAS)
The King James translates the word tutor as schoolmaster. The law taught us that we could not maintain the perfection that God requires (Rom 3:23). There was one Man who lived a perfect life and that was Jesus. Jesus was born as the second Adam, without sin unlike you and me. And once He had satisfied the law with His life, He became the sacrificial Lamb of God to pay for the sins of all mankind. The judgment of God was poured out on His Son. The requirements of the Law had been satisfied and the price of sin has been paid. Those who will follow Jesus accepting His sacrificial payment and His perfect life by faith are set free from the Law. While the Law points out what sin is, the Law can only condemn. Jesus satisfied the Law and stands willing to pardon and forgive. God's just law must be satisfied. And yet it must grieve the heart of this loving God to watch as we refuse the saving gift of His Son - as we demand to do things our way.
Heb 10:26-28 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. (NAS)
There are five judgments and two resurrections that are spelled out in the scriptures. The outline used will be used was compiled by Dr. Charles C. Ryrie of Dallas Theological Seminary as presented in The Ryrie Study Bible, The Doctrine of Future Things, sections 5 and 6. Be admonished by God's instructions and comforted in His grace and mercy as we move into this study.
Grace & Peace,