Judgment Day is Coming
Judgment is a word that evokes many reactions. For some…fear, for others…anger, still others uncertainty and doubt. I believe references to judgment go hand and hand with a hard expectation of justice.
These days there are those who say “Don’t judge others”. Now this attitude has a certain appearance of being noble, especially when it is connected to Matthew 7:1-6; now this teaching of Jesus is often used by people to try and silence opposition or stop constructive criticism. They don’t want to offend certain people or ideologies yet they are comfortable labeling people that are just trying to say it like it is as “harsh”.
Jesus does clearly say not to judge. But think about it…what was the context? For Jesus also clearly commands us to discern right from wrong and to communicate the truth of His Gospel to others. John 7:24 is where Jesus says “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
While chanting mantras of “Do Not Judge”, with the same breath these people express superficial, untrue, unforgiving and self-righteous sentiments. They are hypocrites, like the Pharisees of old, because they pass judgment on people all the time but fail to recognize it. People who claim to be so loving and tolerant would not hesitate to shout “ignorant” or “racist” against someone that stands up to and speaks out against their viewpoint. There are those that judge a person mutilating an animal as “evil” but do not apply the same standard to the mutilation of a human body in the womb. Somehow they excuse abortion as a reproductive right.
How about the ever present mask nazis that try to shame their unmasked neighbors or those that are pushing “vaccines” which are really experimental medications? And what about the individuals that hurl accusations humans are responsible for harming the environment simply by existing? Don’t even get me started on the virtue signaling of the cancel culture elites and ridiculous “woke” corporations!
I could go on and on with examples. My point is simply that EVERYONE makes value judgments all day, every day. To have a functioning society, which doesn’t seem like it’s happening right now, there has to be a communal sense of right and wrong. It is not wrong to oppose sin and to clearly communicate the standards that define righteous living. After all, these standards come directly from God Himself. The basis for Western Civilization has been the Judeo Christian ethos or philosophy found in the Holy Bible.
A place where many Christians can get confused with this topic is the attitude underlying judgment. If the words of correction are shared from a place of humility, the “let me help you with your speck” would not be an issue. The problem is with the person that is unaware of the “log in their own eye” as he or she has not done the proper self-examination of conscience, and therefore not truly able to help out a brother or sister in need.
Judgment is defined as decision making from evaluating evidence. It implies objectivity and authority. A judge is an official presider over proceedings, generally thought of in a court of law; however people are also judges at fairground events, food or poetry competitions and beauty contests.
Jethro told his son-in-law Moses the process of judging the constant disputes between the children of Israel would wear him out and that he should appoint godly men to assist in the difficult, tedious work. There is an Old Testament book called Judges which recounts the stories of Deborah the fiery woman that was the only recorded female Prophet and Judge, Gideon the Reluctant Warrior and Samson the Strong. These individuals and others were called to stand for and proclaim God’s holy ways to the people. Wise King Solomon passed unconventional judgment when he said to cut the baby in two when there were two women that claimed to be the mother of the same boy child. He did so to determine the truth of the matter.
The Gospels and other New Testament Scriptures share words of wisdom related to judgment. Most prophets were persecuted by those in power for declaring God’s judgment on the people, on Jerusalem and Israel as a whole. Both the religious and political leaders were united in this hateful response to God’s demand for repentance. Jesus refers to in His parables and also directly. Matthew 21:33-46 is the parable of the wicked workers in the vineyard. The story is also found in the Gospel of Mark 12:1-12. Basically a vineyard owner prepares his land which he then leases to tenant farmers with the understanding that they will take care of the property and yield the fruit to the owner in due season. When the owner sends his representatives to collect the produce of his land, they are mistreated and some killed. Jesus addresses this terrible behavior directly in Matthew 23:35 about the prophet Zechariah.
John the Baptist, was declared in Matthew 11:11 to be the greatest man that was ever born of woman, by Jesus Himself. John’s ministry was as forerunner of the Messiah (Luke 1:17), an Elijah figure which Jesus comments on in Matthew 11:14, Mark 1:2-6, John 1:19-23 as a voice crying in the wilderness to make straight the path of the Lord from Isaiah 40:3. John’s bold and direct “altar call” of repentance led to multitudes assessing their sin, recognizing their need for forgiveness and accepting baptism in the Jordan River. To be faithful in turning away from sin and toward the life of freedom found by following God’s rule. Without John’s cry for repentance and an interior self judgement of understanding hey what you are doing, the way you are living is WRONG. You are NOT following God’s way may have seemed harsh to some. But it was the catalyst necessary for them to realize how far they had drifted away from God and that they needed to return.
I recently learned that Jesus did not fully quote Isaiah when He declared to the synagogue in Nazareth, Today in your hearing the Scripture is fulfilled. Luke 4:16-19 in the New King James Version states “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Isaiah 61:1-2 the passage continues with “And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn.” Why would our Lord omit this important phrase of the Scripture “And the day of vengeance of our God”? The people that heard His words knew what came next and certainly they would want to remember that part about God’s “judgment”, especially related to the tight Roman control of Israel. That is why all eyes were fixed upon Him, waiting for Him to finish and wondered what He had to say.
The likely reason Jesus left out the Judgment section is that He came to take that judgment upon Himself as the Passover Sacrificial Lamb. No discussion of judgment would be complete without looking at WHY Jesus had to come as the Paschal Lamb. If there was no such thing as sin, we would not be in need of a Redeemer to free us from the wages of sin. In the Passover Seder, four cups of wine are dedicated to different aspects of the Salvation Story. We as Christians, incorporate many traditions from the Jewish people. After all our Messiah is their Messiah too!
The first cup is Sanctification or Being Set Apart. This is the cup Jesus shared as a covenant which I will go into deeper in/with the next podcast. The second Passover cup is Judgment. This is the cup which Jesus asked His “Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from Me, yet not My Will but Thine be done!” The third cup signifies Redemption with which Jesus likely declared in the Upper Room, “take and drink for this is My Blood.” The cup of Blessing is the fourth Passover cup of which Jesus said He will not drink of it until He shares new wine with us in His Father’s Kingdom. Found in Matthew 26:29, Luke 22:18 and Mark 14:25.
Both Old and New Testaments warn of the coming wrath of God. There is a Judgment Day for all, both small and great. Those that accept Jesus Christ as Savior and King receive the Bema Judgment and will be rewarded for work in His service in this life after the Rapture of the Church. The remainder of human beings will endure the Tribulation, the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. Lastly, there is a Great White Throne Judgment after the one thousand year millennial reign of King Jesus on the earth and the final rebellion led by Satan. For further study I encourage you to read the Book of Revelation written by good old “Grandpa John”. You can also find many videos that go into great detail, verse by verse of the Apocalypse, by trusted teachers such as Perry Stone, Hal Lindsey and Chuck Missler. I also glean insights from Jack Hibbs at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel in the Holy Land.
At this point you may be saying to yourself, that’s all well and good, Amber but what’s this got to do with me?
No one, no matter how depraved, is beyond redemption for the Salvation was bought for all of us by the Suffering Sacrifice of Jesus. How will people know that this GIFT is available to them IF they are never aware of their NEED for it? We have to get the message out that righteous judgment is required of each of us. WE MUST SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE as noted in Ephesians 4:15.
Hate the sin and love the sinner has been and will continue to be a phrase we all need to keep in mind as our world is moving further from the truth of God’s ways.
You can listen to the podcast of this blog by clicking the link below