JUDGEMENT OF GOD - Continued: 10/5
The judgement of God upon a nation, upon His church and upon individuals
This is a vast study of which seems to be causing great confusion to the world and to the church. Recent events in our nation have shaken the nation, and the church leadership seems to be stumbling along to find an answer to the people. And out of this 'stumbling for an answer' the moment to declare the whole counsel of God is being missed. And what God meant for an opportunity to repent and return to Him, is being deluded into man's vain phrases.
Note that there are two judgements:
1. The Great White Throne Judgement at the end of time for all mankind;Here at this judgement seat God will separate the sheep and the goats The sheep being those atoned for by Christ and their surrender to Him as His people. But even the church shall be judged here. Not for determination of eternity of heaven or hell, but according to their works of rewards given or taken away.
and of course, the damned, the goats shall be judged condemned and thrown into the lake of fire. Where, it can be argued, judged for all eternity for their folly in rejected the Son of God and choosing rather to live for the flesh and miss and eternity with Him.
2. The second reference to judgement is that which is upon our minds and hearts now; how does God judged the earth, the nations, individuals and His church even now. All of these judgements are before we meet Him face to face. these are instant judgements, enduring judgements, continual judgements, sporadic judgements and/or generational judgements to name a few examples. Of these we will be looking at from Scripture in relation to our present day and future existence.
So let us look at the two things that reveal when, how, what God does in judgement. This will be discerned by 3 means:
1. Who God is;
2. What the Word of God says and reveals about the nature of God and what He has said and done;
3. Historical accounts of God's judgement;
And out of this we can see Who God is, what God desires, what causes these things and what God requires of man in his response.
Who God is?
Leonard Ravenhill stated that anybody that came to visit and talk with him, he would first ask this question, "Do you know God?' And the answer to the question of this is not found in what men say about God. But the answer is in what God has revealed about Himself in His Word, and in what God reveals about Himself in life. And these ways of understanding Who God is are never contradictory. Consistent, true, immutable are the ways of God and Who God is. The Lord said it, 'I change not'.
And yet our problem to deal with Who God is, is found in this reality; God is infinite and we are finite. How can finite grasp, understand conceive of the ways, thought and actions of God? It is impossible. Seeing then we are limited, we cannot answer everything about Who God is. But He has revealed and spoken enough for us to grasp His ways.
Let us look first at what God has revealed about Himself in His Word through what He has said of Himself, and what He has promised to do in response or reaction to man's actions. In the Scripture, one of the most revealing parts of it, is Who God is directly in what He has said of Himself to the actions of man. the reference of this is reaction to action teaches us a lot of God's nature, will and purpose. Again, He is consistent in this reaction to man's action. so that, that which man's action did in 2000 BC is the same in 2000 AD. He changes not.
Now these reactions to actions are phrases in the Scripture that teaches us what God has said of Himself and man. These are both positive and negative reactions of God. And often men will be lopsided in their approach, focus, or understanding and will simply focus on one side or the other. But the truth of Who God is has to be the whole (as much as we can grasp). so when God says, "I am Light, and in Me is no darkness" and yet He also says, 'I dwell in the thick darkness". And can light and darkness exist together? Men can't get their grasp of this, for we are focused on one or the other. And yet, God is not limited; for He is able to do all things, be Light and/or in darkness.
Examples of God's Reaction/Response to man's reaction/response:
--Jeremiah 18:8, "if nation repents, God repents of the evil that He thought to do"
--II Chronicles 30:6 - 9, "if ye turn He will return"
--Luke 12:8, "if you confess Me, I will confess you before My Father which is in heaven"
--Zechariah 1:3, "Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto Me, saith the Lord of hosts, and i will turn unto you, saith the Lord"
--Malachi 3:7, "Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts"
--Deuteronomy 7:12, "if ye keep and do, the Lord will keep"
--James 4:8, "draw nigh to God, and HE will draw nigh unto you"
--John 15, "Abide in Me, and I will abide in you"
--II Timothy 2:12, "if we deny Him, He will deny us"
--Ezekiel 23:17, 18, "mind alienated, God's mind alienated:
--Deuteronomy 31:16, 17, "they will forsake Me; v. 17 I will forsake them"
--Deuteronomy 32:21, "they moved Me to jealousy; I will move them to jealousy; they provoked Met to anger; I will provoke them to anger"
--Luke 12:9, "deny Me before men; I will deny you "
--Zechariah 7:13, "Therefore it is come to pass, that as He cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord"
--I Samuel 15:23, 'tho hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king"
--Hosea 4:6, 'because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee' "seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children"
--Leviticus 26:23, "but walk contrary unto Me" v. 24 "Then will I also walk contrary unto you"
also Lev. 26, 27 - 28; v. 40 - 41;
--II Chronicles 24:20, "because ye have forsaken the Lord, He has forsaken you"
There are over 20 Scriptures revealing God's activity toward men. And as we have already confirmed, 'He changes not'. Therefore, His consistency to men of Old Testament, is the same as New Testament, which is the same as present day. In this we fear and tremble for the wicked and evil of men; but joy and gladness in Him and through Him as His children to receive that which He has promised.
but the error of the church is that they focus on one or the other and never see the scope of the whole upon all men. They know that God will judge wicked men here on earth with afflictions and sorrow; but will He not also judge His church here on earth. All of which we know He judges us at the throne, but also here. You say, "how?' In Revelations 2 & 3 to the seven churches did the Lord impose warnings for them of blessing and cursing? 'In these things you are doing, I am pleased', and 'in these things I am not pleased'. Now this is not to the lost world, this is to His bride, the church. One of the strongest warnings was to the church at Ephesus. 'Remember from whence you are fallen and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.' One may wish to argue whether this is judgement or not, but it is clear that their are works done that has provoked the Lord to respond to their folly. And to remove one's candlestick is to remove their light in this world of darkness; verily in death or destruction. This is God's judgement here and now on earth to His Own people.
The basis that God does not judge His Own people, is garnered from the limited understanding of God's forgiveness. The teaching of the Scriptures is clear, God hears, forgives, cleanses and renews us. sin is washed away by the blood of Christ; cleansed from our lives and removed from His sight and Presences. in this we rejoice. However, what is not apparently understood is that works done in the flesh, in the past, in sin, still have repercussions upon a soul, family, church and/or nation.
For example, a man, lost in sin, smoking, drinking, carousing in sexual sin for decades. This wicked man hears the Gospel, understands his lost estate and in repentance cries aloud for God to have mercy on his soul. Professing allegiance to Christ, confessing all of his wicked practices and denouncing them to never do again, and for all the rest of his days he will serve the Lord wholeheartedly. In this heaven and the church rejoice over one lost soul coming to Christ. and even though we know the Scriptures, God in grace and mercy forgives that man, removes his sin from His anger and judgement. He is a clean vessel, a saint in Christ. Yet, the by products of his decades of evil are still in place - all the times wasted and profit nothing; the affects on his mind, and body; the impact on others that have learned, seen his behavior bearing impression on them. That even though he has forsaken the sin, the results of the sin still remain. so that it would no surprise if the doctor says, 'you have lung cancer from decades of smoking. . .you have sclerosis of the liver from drink. . . .you have sexually transmitted disease from sexual sins'. Forgiven of these yes, but 'the wages of sin' are still temporally upon the man. Now, God in His mercy and grace may heal, may remove, for His Own purposes. But generally the Lord will and does forgive, but does not remove the affects of the sin in the present.
the example in the bible is King Manasseh. He was one of the most wicked kings of all Judah. Yet, God sent the king to humble him and in prison he besought the Lord. The Lord heard him and forgave him; and allowed for him to return to his kingdom. Yet, we read that the blood which Manasseh shed in the streets of Jerusalem God would not forgive and He held Judah responsible for the innocent blood. Also, Manasseh's son, knowing that his father humbled and turned to the Lord, did not humble himself before the Lord, but had learned the evil of idolatry from his father and practiced that sin. Repercussions instilled due to years of sin is passed on and remains till God judges it.
This is the fearfulness of our nation's plight right now in specific regards to abortion. Can God, will God forgive a woman that has an abortion? Absolutely yes, yet the blood of the slain for the millions still remains upon the land. And God says, the blood cries out to Him for vengeance. So that even though the church may confess the sin, hate the sin; it is still in place. and all the blood from years gone by, 4 decades legalized, has not been atoned for. Herein, is the problem of the church today to deal properly with sins of the past, and the repercussions upon the present and future. But this is the nature of God and He is consistent with it.
What God Desires
God has declared His will and ways for His creation. The whole duty and purpose of man is to bring glory to Him. And the soul that acknowledges Him in His perfect way , comes to Him and serves Him. This same soul will be with Him for all eternity through Christ Jesus. But the soul that uses this life for vanity, for sin, for self, misses the purpose and reason of existence in this life. They come to a close of this life, and enter into eternity to face the greatest punishment for all eternity.
Started: October 4, 2017