Judgment – the Inevitable Future

     One of the more unpopular subjects that nations and individuals would like to avoid is the future judgment awaiting the earth and its inhabitants.
     The future judgment is required by a Holy God; is universal, and absolute.  This judgment will be based on how nations and men have obeyed God’s immutable standard of righteousness.
     The final judgment is explained in detail immediately preceding the last two chapters in the Bible.
    “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it…The sea gave up the dead… and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.  Then death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire…And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”  Revelation 20:1a, 13-15
     However, the words immediately following the final judgment introduce the renewed heaven and earth.
     “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…there shall be no more death…”  Revelation 21:1, 4b
     Before proceeding, it needs to be stated that those ‘found written in the Book of Life’ referenced above have already been judged by way of the vicarious death of Jesus Christ.  They are, therefore, exempt from the great white throne judgment.  We’ll address that issue later when the Bema Seat of Christ is discussed.
     Universal judgment is spoken of throughout the Bible and is not a mystery kept hidden until the final pages of God’s word.  Universal resurrection and judgment is required by the Creator of all things; however, universal bliss is heresy.
     There are basically two categories of judgment found in the New Testament as illustrated below.
     “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”  Hebrews 9:27
     The Greek word for ‘judgment’ in this verse is krisis with many synonyms including ‘sentence, condemnation, and final.’
     The concept of universalism is noted.  All mankind are appointed to death, while universal judgment is noted by ‘the.’
     But the use of the word ‘judgment’ in another verse in the book of Hebrews carries a different meaning. 
     “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection (maturity), not laying again the foundation of repentance…the doctrine of baptism…and of eternal judgment…”  Hebrews 6:2
     The word for ‘judgment’ in this verse is from the Greek dikaiosune meaning righteousness in regard to God and His word.  It is righteous judgment provided by Christ fulfilling the law on the behalf of God’s chosen.
     So then, one major definition of ‘judgment’ applies to those without Christ, while the other major definition means justification provided by Christ.  The context needs to be studied in order to understand what the writer is saying.
     The writer of Hebrews explains that the doctrine of eternal judgment is an elementary principle and believers need to grow in wisdom of the oracles of God.
     “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age (mature)…”  Hebrews 5:13-14a
     In the book of Acts Luke describes Paul’s witness to the Roman governor Felix who was involved in unscrupulous activities with his third wife Drusilla.
     Felix felt that he couldn’t live up to Paul’s gospel message concerning faith in Christ.
     “Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.’”  Acts 24:25
     Felix wasn’t willing to repent from his lifestyle to receive the righteousness of Christ which would have resulted in his justification.
     Solomon, the writer of 3,000 proverbs and over 1,000 poems (hymns), summarized the issue succinctly.
     “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: ‘Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.  For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.’”  Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
     The Hebrew word for ‘judgment’ in this passage has several meanings including verdict (either favorable or unfavorable), due, sentence, or retribution.
     Judgment of all things is inevitable and imminent. 
     Share your thoughts walt.thrun@gmail.com

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