From the Pastor’s heart The Judgements of God
2Pe 2:4For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 2Pe 2:5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 2Pe 2:6And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 2Pe 2:7And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 2Pe 2:8(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 2Pe 2:9The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
From the time of the creation of man there have been the judgements of God on mankind. God’s judgements are an aspect of our relationship with God that we need to understand in these last days because He is both Judge and Jury. God decides who is punished or condemned and who is not. This may seem a very harsh thing to consider and maybe even be fearful at times but we need to understand why judgements are necessary. God has laws and His laws are righteous laws that do not respect persons. God gives out His judgements equitably (justifiably) unlike humans. As human beings, we have judgements based on man made law. Some societies believe in an eye for an eye and others believe in short term to long term punishment in prison for crimes committed. Others, have different methods of handing out judgement with and without mercy. It all depends on who is handing out the judgements.
Time and again in the Bible we see the judgements of God on both the wicked and God’s children. The judgements on the wicked in the past have been harsh to the point of death and destruction of whole families and even cities. Nations too have been judged and as a result they do not even exist today even though they once existed. How can whole nations and societies disappear without a trace? Archeologist have been digging for centuries to find links to our history and have discovered these nations, their culture and artefacts. They are trying to piece together a way of life that these people once had. Some of it can be found in museums. This just goes to show that when God judges, He does a complete job.
When it came to judging His people Israel in the Old Testament and even today, we see that they were judged to the extent of death. Other forms of judgement involved curses, causing many to fall into deep despair. Life in general was made very difficult. Israel became a hated nation because they turned their back on God. Even though there were righteous people in the nation, God judged the whole nation. The righteous were carried away as captives along with the wicked but were preserved by God because they stayed focussed on their God and did not judge God for His decisions on their lives. They understood their God and the need for judging their nation. Many of them were actually used as Prophets to tell the people and warn them about the judgements of God that would fall on them if they did not follow His ways. Israel usually did not listen and so were judged. Internal rebellion against leadership was also dealt with harshly by God and many lost their lives along the way for this reason.
All this may seem rather scary and should be enough to invoke the fear of the Lord. However, many still continue on in their merry little way not realising that the judgements of God are still in place even with Christ Jesus in the picture. Many have lost sight of what comes after Christ and why Christ came. They forget all too soon that Jesus is the end of God’s determinations for mankind and that anyone who does not believe in what God did through Jesus for them is doomed to an eternal judgement. This may seem very harsh to some but when we as human beings can take lives, destroy lives in so many different ways through rape, incest, mind games, power struggles and the like; who is going to give us justice for these things? Someone has to pay for these crimes? God determined that Jesus would pay for them and then give us the opportunity to believe what He did, receive forgiveness and then live lives that are pleasing to Him so that, He does not have to bring anymore judgements on us. However, mankind has failed to understand the wrath of a holy and righteous God and have sought to bring upon themselves these judgements.
God judges in different ways:
1. A judgement that determines the end of one’s life for eternity in hell and the lake of fire
2. Temporary judgement as in a holding pattern that God brought upon the angels who left their heavenly abode in rebellion against God. He will bring His final judgement on them when He is ready to close the ages of mankind
3. Judgements upon the earth and mankind in curses for disobedience. It is now determined that man should die once when in the flesh. The earth is judged along with man for man’s disobedience and is subject to the curse. The reason for this is so that man should not enjoy a perfect earth while he himself is sinning
4. Judgements that are automatic when a soul or nation sins. The consequences of sin is death along with open doors for the devil to steal, kill and destroy come upon all such souls.
5. Judgements between brothers and sisters in the Lord. When Miriam and Aaron sinned against God by opposing His chosen leader in Moses, they were judged. Likewise, when Annanais and Sapphira sinned against God by keeping back a portion of their money that they had determined to give God were judged immediately and died.
6. Nations and people were warned and judged when they openly defied God’s instructions and commandments.
7. Finally, we who are saved will be judged by God in a righteous judgement that determines our reward rather than our demise or suffering Rev 20:12And 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.
The ways of the Lord are past finding out but yet God has graciously provided us with a way out through the revelation of His Son Jesus. All who understand this will seek to hide themselves in this love of God so that the wrath of God can be escaped. Luk_21:36Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand – before the Son of man. Many are unwilling to accept Christ as the Saviour even today and still live wayward lives that does not please God. So, Apostle Paul speaks to all who are sinners and who are believers to watch out for hypocrisy in their lives and not to act as judges over others but rather humble themselves under the might hand of God. Rom 2:1Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. Rom 2:2But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. Rom 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
We are expected to live holy and acceptable lives before God because of His holiness and righteousness. Furthermore, God expects us to love one another even as He has loved us. He wants us to have the impartation of His love and develop the love character side of His being and not the wrath side of His being. It is to this end we must be grateful that in the midst of all that is determined upon us that we should be loved by God. Not only because of His wrath against all ungodliness but also because God loves us when others don’t and who make life extremely hard for us to come to know this love of God.
Knowing the judgements of God we must nurture the fear of the Lord and not be deceived into believing false teaching about extreme grace which promotes a ‘once saved always saved’ doctrine. This kind of teaching promotes no fear of the Lord and people do what they want thinking that they are fine irrespective of their sin. Furthermore, they end up pulling innocent people away with their doctrine. Having the fear of the Lord is very healthy and productive. It actually cause one to move in great power over sin and death. It helps us to bring many others to the salvation knowledge of God by preaching the good news and causing many who receive it to escape eternal judgement. The good news is about what God has done for us so that we can be with Him in eternity, in a place where no judgement is because no sin is there. Sin and death has been destroyed through Jesus and all who believe in Him receive eternal life. That life brings no judgement but reward for following the commandments of God which are not grievous.
Lots of love