Category: Last Things, Word: FINAL JUDGMENT
April 22, 2016 | by: Kendell Easley, prepared by Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments
Posted in: 52 Words
51. FINAL JUDGMENT
Let them say among the nations, “The Lord is King!” Let the sea and everything in it resound; let the fields and all that is in them exult. Then the trees of the forest will shout for joy before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth. (1 Chronicles 16:31-33)
DEFINITION: God through Christ will bring about the final verdict on all human beings, resulting in one of two eternal destinies: eternal joy in the presence of God (heaven) or eternal misery cast away from all hope of God and good (hell).
God’s right to judge the whole world was firmly attested in the Old Testament. Worshipers of heathen gods thought of them as territorial and in control of only limited persons and places. But the Lord God of Israel, Maker of heaven and earth, was different. He created all persons and places; therefore all were accountable to Him. God’s judgment is well developed in the Psalms (7:8; 96:10, 13; 98:9). Ezekiel promised that God would judge Israel like a shepherd separating sheep and goats (Ezek. 34). When Jesus lived on earth, He taught that the Father had entrusted to Him the responsibility of final judgment. ”He [the Father] has granted Him [the Son] the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man” (John 5:27). “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:31-32).
When Christ comes again, all persons of all times will be raised and be judged by Him as King and Judge. He “will repay each one according to his works: eternal life” to some but “wrath and indignation” to others (Rom. 2:6-8). Those who have been regenerated will receive eternal life with God, and will have shown it by their righteous works (Matt. 16:27; Rev. 22:12).
Yet Paul described the good works of some believers as like “gold, silver, [or] costly stones” but that of others as “wood, hay, or straw” (1 Cor. 3:12). Their works will be burned up, but they “will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire” (1 Cor. 3:15).
Those who were never regenerated will be condemned. “The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). The severity of their sentence will depend on the extent to which they knew God’s righteous requirements (Matt. 11:20-24; Rom. 2:12).
Some Bible scholars have distinguished between several biblical descriptions of judgment and think there are different kinds and times of final judgment:
- The judgment of the nations—Matthew 25:31-46
- The judgment seat of Christ (or God)—Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10
- The great white throne judgment—Revelation 20:11-15
Others believe that these are simply different accounts of one final general judgment at the end of all earthly life as we know it. In either case, God’s people are to understand that we too will be judged and should therefore live in preparation for standing before God.
REFLECTION: One of the Devil’s greatest triumphs is to stop people from thinking about their coming judgment. How much do you agree with this claim? How intentional are you about living in light of your coming judgment by Christ? How are you preparing to meet the Judge?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I humbly submit to you as Lord and Judge. By faith in You, I know I will not be condemned. Help me to live in light of my coming judgment before Your throne. Amen.
Dave Maniquis is a Teaching Elder at Restoration Church. He holds a BA in History from Rutgers University and an MA in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. He enjoyed a 23-year career in the U.S. Government, working and traveling extensively in Western and Eastern Europe. He has been a Christian for most of his adult life and has been involved in church planting, overseas as well as here in Port Orange, teaching the Bible and speaking into others’ lives with the Gospel. He is married to Maureen and they have two wonderful sons, Dylan and Evan.