The Lord is coming to judge the earth

Psalm 96:13:  before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

When God was establishing the nation of Israel, he gave them a series of dos and don’ts concerning relationship with one another and relationship with themselves. This was aptly summarised when Jesus was asked by one lawyer about the greatest commandment. He said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord God with all our hearts and with all our being, and that the next most important which is similar to the first is to love our neighbour as ourselves (Matthew 22:35-40).

Together with the dos and don’ts that he established for the nation of Israel in matters of relationship with himself and with others, there are punishments for breaking the law. This enables us to know that God is a God of justice not just the God of love. He regulates the universe by the law of cause and effect.

When it comes to judgement of everlasting tenure, the ultimate demarcation line has to do with your relationship with Jesus. Without an adequate relationship with Jesus we are lost. When it comes to condemnation in judgement, it is very clear that the person who does not have a relationship with God as a child through believing in Jesus is judged and declared guilty.

The reason is not far-fetched, right from the time Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they had a death sentence that was the result of their rebellion against God and that judgment of death passed over all that is born on the earth. We all stand condemned, judged as guilty because of our natural and spiritual link with Adam (Romans 5:12-21). There is no level of morality that can cover up the sin and death deficit that has been carried over to us from Adam.

Freedom from bearing that guilt is only from Jesus. Through him we pass from judgement and death into justification and life. However even as Christians we are still going to be judged and actually our judgement is on going (we are to Judge ourselves [1Corinthians 11:31-32]). The bible has said that judgement will start from the house of God (1Peter 4:17). However, judgement is not only negative in nature; there is also judgement that leads to reward.

At the coming of Jesus, our works will be judged of what sort it is. Our works should be built on Christ and built with Christ, the gold standard (1Corinthians 3:10-15).

Our works, the bible says, will be burned by fire, which is the judgement of God, the testing of God for quality. Once your name is found in the book of life, you then face another set of judgement which is to receive the reward of what we had done while on the flesh (2Corinthians 5:8-12). Note that in Christ all missteps before meeting him are swept away (Acts 17:30) and his mercies for us are new every morning (Lamentation 3:22-23).

But for the workers of iniquity it is a different thing. The wrath of God hangs on the unrepentant. Jesus Christ says that the condemnation that the world will receive is because they have not received Him (John 3:18). We need to realise that in Christ we have moved from judgement into life (John 5:24), we are translated from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of Light (Colossians 1:13). Remember that hell, that place of eternal judgement has fire that burns with brimstone (Mark 9:43-48, Revelation 21:8, 2Thessalonians 1:7-10), in a perpetual inferno and torment, sorrow and depravation. It was reserved for the Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41,46), but since anyone who is a slave of sin is a slave of Satan, by that relationship when you are still found in the kingdom of Satan you are automatically going to find yourself in hell fire. Not because God hates you, what he hates is sin, but because he sets out to judge Satan and you have been caught in the cross fire.

That is why we have an opportunity to switch allegiance in this life. Move away from being an antagonist of Christ and you are guaranteed to enjoy the favour of God. Paul said that God does not want anyone to perish but that all come to the knowledge of the truth (1Timothy 2:3-4).

Every word of John 3:16 is true, where it was made clear that all will perish without the intervention of God who gave up his son Jesus for us so that we may not perish but have eternal life. In the alternative, the judgement of God on wayward earth would be eternal damnation.

So we don’t get confused about what that means, Jesus Christ gave the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), who at the end of their lives, went in opposite directions. This could not be more contrasting to their earthly experiences. Lazarus, who experienced all manner of sufferings in this world, went to a place of bliss, called Abraham’s bosom, while the rich man who enjoyed all the privileges and pleasures of life was burning up in the fire of God’s judgement.

To show the seriousness of the matter of eternal, Jesus Christ, told people that if our hand causes us to sin, it’s better to cut it off, to be able to enter the kingdom of God (Mark 9:43-48).

To show that the way to life is not the most acceptable or popular, Jesus Christ explained that the way to life is narrow while the way to destruction is very wide (Matthew 7:13-14).

When a late northern American preacher preached on the topic: Sinners in the hand of an angry God, he was not mincing words. No wonder Paul said that part of his motivation in preaching the gospel was because he knows the terror of God (2Corinthians 5:11).

No one wants to be on the wrong side of the judgement of God. But what people do is give excuses. First they claim there is no God, the bible calls those people fools, (meaning that it is not sensible to not believe in God [Psalm 14:1]). Or they say there are different paths to God, when the Jesus says that He is the way and no one comes to the father except through him (John 14:6). They also tell themselves they are not so bad when the bible says that our righteousness is as filthy drags (Isaiah 64:6) and because of that we need to take on the righteousness of Christ (2Corinthians 5:21) through believing in him.

Or they may postpone making commitment to Christ when the scriptures, forgetting that the scriptures say that today is the day of salvation, and if you hear God’s voice in your conscience nudging you to yield to God, do not put up a resistance, or try to blank your mind to it (Hebrews 3:7-8). How shall we escape the punishment of rejecting the Son making light of his sacrifice on the cross to take our sins, when the God we have to deal with has shown himself clearly to be a God of judgement (Hebrews 2:1-3). In his disclosure of who he is to a people called Israel, he is a God of recompense. There is eternal judgment of condemnation for rejecting the eternal son.


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