Chapter 5 How Are We Judged?

How are we judged? When we look at the many different beliefs in this world today, we are going to get dozens of different explanations. Christian denominations read the same Bible, the same books in the Bible, compare the same proof text, and come up with a wide range of conclusions. The strange thing is, other religions parallel Christian beliefs on how this world will be judged. Or in some cases, has been judged, or is being judged. How do we determine which explanation is true, and which explanations are added to, or subtracted from the Bible? The first step is to remove all those explanations and start from scratch with an open mind, and a vision of learning at Jesus’ feet.

This may seem rather strange to you at this time, but look at the John’s Gospel as a whole. John’s Gospel seems to be the easiest story to follow. Jesus taught in a particular sequence. How many times did Jesus quote scripture? How many times did Jesus tell His followers and His enemies, He was doing His Father’s will? That included teaching this world about Heaven, and the judgment process in particular. When you read John’s Gospel with an open mind while focusing on the judgment process, you will see dozens of references Jesus made to the judgment process. Every time Jesus mentions the judgment process, let you mind go over previous stories, parables, chapters, and explanations Jesus offered. You will find yourself putting the judgment process in the prospective Jesus explained it. All those cloudy areas will disappear.

Buy the entire eBook online

Jesus emphasized another important subject. Being born again. Hearing the Shepherd’s voice, born of water, living water, and other stories all were focused on that subject. The need to put aside preconceived ideas. That included all the ideas and concepts men taught about the judgment process. When we take one little portion of a story and attempt to explain what it means, we will fail. When we try to explain a story in the Bible based on our limited human knowledge, we will fail. Why is that? Look at how Jesus taught. Jesus repeated lessons with His followers. That was because they were listening. But not to the degree they needed to listen. They were in the process of learning. When and who to listen to was part of that learning process. Jesus explained subjects to His enemies once. Later Jesus built on those lessons. Why? Jesus didn’t feel a need to repeat Himself because His enemies were not listening, and would not listen. Why repeat yourself when the other person or party refuses to listen? The subject matter was important and had to be covered. Jesus had no choice but to offer the information. It was up to the listener to either accept or reject those messages. Chances were, if they missed the first lesson, the second, third, and all future lessons were lost. It was up to the individual to go over the entire process and put all the pieces together. In other words, look back. We have the opportunity to look back when we read John’s Gospel as a whole. We can compare one story with previous stories and see the spiritual meaning unfold. Bits and pieces should be fitting together. We should be able to see how Jesus added to subjects such as the judgment process. The moment we think we have it all figured out, we loose our connection with the Holy Spirit, our guide and teacher. We are left on our own. Whether or not we admit it, subjects become confusing, out of sequence, and difficult to explain. Why? Explanations in the Bible do not agree with what we have been taught. We lost our ability to look back and see how Jesus was given one subject from His Father, and added to that subject at a later date. Why did Jesus teach that way? The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit worked as a team. God gave the messages to Jesus who of course delivered them. People needed time to digest messages, and time for the Holy Spirit to work with them. Some people took advantage of that simple process while other people rejected the Holy Spirit, and of course they rejected Jesus. They thought they were serving God. They convinced themselves they were following God, But in fact they rejected God.

The same is true with the Holy Spirit. Try arguing or correcting the Holy Spirit during a study and the Spirit will withdraw. That’s it. You can continue to study, but everything will be interpreted by you and what the world has taught you. There is little chance any of your interpretations will be correct. They may sound good. The world may accept them. But that does not make them right.

We will begin our study in John’s Gospel. We could go all the way back to chapter 1 to see where this discussion actually began. But that is a task for you to accomplish. I will look back at the previous chapter so I can add a few examples showing how information in the Bible is introduced and build upon.

John 12:37-50 NLTse But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. (38) This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted: “LORD, who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm?” (39) But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said, (40) “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts– so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.” (41) Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. (42) Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. (43) For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. (44) Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. (45) For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. (46) I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. (47) I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. (48) But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. (49) I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. (50) And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”

This story makes a distinct reference to previous stories in the Bible. We should know what miracles Jesus performed and why they were rejected. When we look at the beginning of the chapter we see the story about Lazarus. Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. Isn’t that a direct reference to the judgment? Of course it is. This is one example showing how Jesus taught in a particular sequence. First Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. That of course was an example showing Jesus had the power and authority to raise the dead. Of course Jesus needed His Father’s cooperation as well as permission. This also showed how they worked together.

Looking back a few more chapters we see Jesus also healed a blind man. That attracted the attention of the religious leaders who questioned and rejected that miracle. In chapter 12, Jesus quoted from Isiah where he predicted that would happen. Now we not only have a prophecy and its fulfillment together, we also have something in Isaiah to consider. But first, let’s look at parallel chapters a moment. Parallel chapters are the prophecy matched to the fulfillment recorded elsewhere in the Bible. They are parallel chapters based on the fact, the two chapters cover the same subject. They will have similar introductions and summations. When you study those chapters together, the Bible will reveal more than ten time the information you ever expected to see. That’s one of the ways the Bible works and confirms itself. Now we can look at a little bit from Isaiah.

Isaiah 53:1-6 NLTse Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm? (2) My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. (3) He was despised and rejected– a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. (4) Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! (5) But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (6) All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.

Many Christians are familiar with Isiah chapter 53. This chapter explains how Jesus was executed. What would have happened if His followers and enemies read this chapter? Would they take it to heart? Isiah was telling the future. Jesus was showing people the future. Of course we can look back and see how all of this was planned, and how it turned out. But if we are in fact more advanced than those people who missed the message Jesus gave, why aren’t we using this knowledge? The Bible just showed us a simple way to study the Bible. Why don’t we all take that lesson and put it into action?

In terms of the judgment, Isiah also offered some information.

Isaiah 53:10-12 NLTse But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands. (11) When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. (12) I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

In simple terms, Isiah explained how Jesus died for our sins and how this was part of God’s plan. We are not given a great amount of detail, but when we see additional explanations given in John chapter 12, we should be able to see the pieces of the puzzle come together.

I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. (48) But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. (49) I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. (50) And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”

Now we have a few pieces of the puzzle in writing to examine. Jesus died for our sins. That is true, but there is more to it than that. Jesus had to earn the authority to judge. The Father granted Jesus that authority. But with authority comes responsibility. Jesus was also responsible for telling the world about God’s plan of salvation. We can’t be held responsible for a plan we don’t know. On the other hand, ignorance is no excuse.

We are not judged by our knowledge of this plan. But we are judged on our willingness to either listen to that plan, accept, or reject that plan. Why do you think Jesus and the prophets talked about that plan so much? That plan was introduced through baby steps over a great amount of time. People in the Old Testament understood next to nothing about the plan of salvation. They did have the responsibility of knowing God, His laws and commandments, and obeying those laws. Of course everyone failed at that task. That was why Jesus had to come to this planet to die. But what about those people who knew the laws and ignored them? What about those people who never heard about God? What happens to them? I hope you don’t expect me to answer that question. But maybe with a little more studying, we can begin to get a clearer view on that subject.

What about those people who never heard of God or Jesus? Let’s take another look at that list of religions and their beliefs on the judgment in Wiki. They all seem to be pretty much the same. Christian religions should be the same. They all got their information from the same book. On the other hand, what about those other religions? How did they get a concept on God’s judgment if they never heard about God or Jesus? They must have gotten their information from somewhere. That brings us to the obvious answer.

We can all agree God’s judgment is in the future. Where did all those religions get the ability to see into the future? We have only two choices. Either God or the devil told them about the future. Of course the devil lacks the ability to see into the future. The devil didn’t see how Jesus defeated him in the wilderness. The devil had no idea Jesus was going to raise from that grave. Those simple facts leave us with one conclusion to draw on. Only God could have reached those people with ideas and concepts on the judgment process. Judgment must be a rather important subject for God to reach the entire world on the idea and concept of judgment. So where does that leave us on our search to find out what happens with those people from other religions? They seem to be in the same boat as all the different Christian religions. All the Christian religions claim to communicate with God in one way or another. So why do they all seem to have different concepts on what God told them? Easy. Some people listen better than others. And of course some people like to add their own ideas to what they heard. Others prefer to eliminate a few details because they don’t entirely agree with God. Where does that leave us? Look at how much Jesus blended the judgment process with the Holy Spirit, listening to the Spirit, and learning from the Spirit. If anything, this book has shown how the judgment process is learned step by step. People don’t tear apart a V8 engine without first starting on a small single cylinder engine, learning the concepts, and moving onto bigger and better things. What makes people think they can master the plan of salvation after a five minute conversation with God?

It may seem rather strange to some people when a modern writer talks about the connection between the Holy Spirit and the judgment process. Can we call it God’s plan of salvation for a moment? I’m not making this stuff up. I’m taking popular proof text major Christian denominations use to explain the judgment process and reading a few extra sentences found in those chapters. In other words, I am simply doing what every good Christian should do. I am testing what is being taught, preached, and spoon fed all around this world. Is it a crime to go a little further in the Bible. Or in most cases, review the introduction to that popular proof text? I don’t think so.

John recorded a lot about what Jesus taught on the judgment process. To me it would be a crime not to look at what John and other inspired authors wrote about the judgment process and study exactly how those inspired authors introduced and explained this subject. You see, I know I have two choices. I can either accept what people are teaching. Since I already know different religions have different concepts on the judgment process, I feel it is my responsibility to look into this subject myself. Not by myself. But as the Bible teaches, and the point Jesus tried to make. I want to study along side the Holy Spirit.

John 16:7-13 KJV Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

I decided to use the KJV for this part of the story because I know there is at least one word we need to look up in the Greek dictionary. If you didn’t see at least one word to look up, you’re not listening to the Spirit. That is one thing the Spirit does during Bible Study. The Spirit will tell you to look up certain words. When you follow instructions, you’ll see how the definition of certain words in the Bible have been twisted around. In this example we will look at the word REPROVE.

REPROVE

G1651 ἐλέγχω elegchōb el-eng’-kho

Of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish: – convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.

In most cases the definition of the word reprove many people use and teach will omit that part about conviction and telling a fault. When we look at the word sin, we can see how conviction falls into place. But when we get to the word judgment, that conviction part of the definition is often left out, or is changed to something along the lines of, “we can prove we are right and the world is wrong.” But who is right and who is wrong? Why did Jesus tie in judgment with a word that means, “to tell a fault.” Common sense would tell us, judgment has a very close relationship to pointing out faults. But who is supposed to point out those faults? It has become common practice for churches to substitute words and phrases like, “church, God’s chosen people, and the saints,” with what John actually recorded. Take a look at what John recorded. Jesus said, “the Comforter.” Who of course is the Holy Spirit. Go ahead. Check the chapter. Jesus was talking about an increased relationship with the Holy Spirit. Jesus was not teaching about some modern church age with some new enlightenment that somehow replaced the Holy Spirit. To a large degree it has become acceptable for the modern church to replace the Holy Spirit with one term or another pointing to their particular church. Is that correct? And is that acceptable in Heaven’s court?

When we look at how Jesus presented His defense to the Jewish authorities, we not only see Jesus answering their questions based on their level of knowledge, but we see Jesus going far into the future establishing a new set of warnings for a church that was not even conceived in the mind of a single person back in those days.

Jesus introduced the concept of the Holy Spirit early in His ministry. One night a religious leader by the name of Nicodemus came to see Jesus. Jesus tried to explain the concept of the Holy Spirit to Nicodemus,who seemed rather lost on the subject. Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? (John 3:10 NLTse). Was Nicodemus saved at that moment? We have to admit, Jesus did explain the concept of being saved to Nicodemus. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. (John 3:14-18 NLTse).

One of the most famous verses in the Bible is found in John chapter 3. But most modern Christians start and stop at one verse, knowing little to nothing about the rest of the story that spans more that one chapter. Looking at the context, which is the verses around John 3:16, we can’t help but see there is much more to the story that most modern philosophers are able or willing to explain. We see how Jesus pointed Nicodemus back to a rather short story Moses recorded. This brings up a few valid points to consider. Jesus sent an advanced student of the scriptures back to a story he needed to review. Something was in that story Jesus knew Nicodemus didn’t understand. The story is short and blunt. Israel was once again complaining about the long journey and the manna they grew tired of eating. We know manna was a physical bread from Heaven and also contained a spiritual meaning. It wasn’t by chance that Jesus also sent Nicodemus to a story about that spiritual bread and also talked to Nicodemus about spiritual water. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. (John 3:3-6 NLTse).

Many people will miss the majority of those points because they don’t understand how Jesus and the scriptures point willing students to the right information at the proper time. As Jesus made clear to Nicodemus, you may think you are an advanced student of the Bible, but you will never stand a chance of understanding the Bible until you make a connection with the Holy Spirit and learn to follow directions given by the Spirit. Jesus followed those instructions and was able to give Nicodemus the instructions he needed to open his mind and heart to the Spirit. Between John chapter 3 and chapter 7 we find evidence showing us how the Nicodemus established a connection with the Spirit and the effects of that connection. Much like Jesus, Nicodemus was able to send the Pharisees back to the right scripture at the proper time. Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up. “Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked. They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself–no prophet ever comes from Galilee!” (John 7:50-52 NLTse).

Ir took more than an understanding of the spiritual water Jesus talked about. Nicodemus also had to read the story about the snake Moses made and see the connection between salvation and the living bread Jesus also talked about. Jesus added more information about the Spirit the second time we see Nicodemus mentioned in John’s Gospel. On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) (John 7:37-39 NLTse). That reminded Nicodemus about their first meeting when Jesus introduced the living water. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. (John 3:3-6 NLTse). When we put those two stories together we can see how the Holy Spirit had been teaching Nicodemus to see the spiritual meaning behind that living water and how to put real life events together to see the deeper meaning of spiritual symbols.

Jesus used more than water as a spiritual symbol. Jesus mixed the spiritual water with the spiritual bread. When Nicodemus had only one symbol to consider, he was confused. When Nicodemus put the bread and water together, he began to see spiritual lessons his counterparts could not understand. Jesus and the Holy Spirit placed Nicodemus in a unique position. Nicodemus could see and understand spiritual symbols. Nicodemus could also see how his fellow teachers misunderstood and misused those symbols and other information in scripture.

No one can argue the point, it is easy to see how Jesus pointed out the symbol of living water. John recorded that portion of the conversation. It may be a little difficult to see where the bread comes in. That takes a bit of investigation. Which is what faith means, an investigation. We how see Jesus point directly to bread when He told Nicodemus about the bronze snake Moses made.

When we look at how this information was presented, we have to ask why. Jesus of course was trying to teach Nicodemus how to connect with the Holy Spirit. Jesus used some of the best teaching methods known to mankind. Jesus used actually life examples. In this case, a real life experience. The lesson goes much deeper than that. When the Spirit uses life experiences to teach, the student has to learn how to look back at events. Bible study follows the exact same standard. Notice how the story in John chapter 7 references miracles. Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?” (John 7:31 NLTse). To find out what miracles they were referring to, we have no other choice but to look back in John’s Gospel. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. (John 6:11 NLTse). With a free meal comes a free lesson. That is the way Jesus operated. Jesus physically and Spiritually fed people.

After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.” Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. (John 6:31-36 NLTse).

Jesus went a step further by tying in spiritual bread with spiritual water. No one made that connection except for Jesus. Now we have a direct connection between spiritual bread, water, and of course the Holy Spirit. We also see how scripture established a connection between spiritual bread, water, the Holy Spirit, salvation, and judgment. According to scripture they are all related, connected, and need to be studied together. Which is what we are doing after we see how those subjects have been linked in scripture.

What does all this teach us on the subject of judgment? There is no doubt, everyone will be judged. It doesn’t matter what denomination you are, or what religion you are. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you know about the judgment process. What matters is, the connection you establish with the Holy Spirit and how much you are willing to learn. Is there salvation without a learning process? Based on the evidence we gathered from two short stories about Nicodemus, we see there is a learning curve. We also see two sides of the story. The Pharisees and other religious leaders rejected the Spirit. They wanted to kill Jesus. They questioned everything about Jesus and judged Him based on their personal understanding of the scriptures. When we look deep enough, we can’t help but notice how the groups disagreed and had different views on the Messiah. They went as far a contradicting themselves. We have to read the entire story to see that. Based on what we’ve seen and read, we should begin to see how those stories not only showed the mentality in Jesus’ day, we also see a prophetic warning for our day.

Denominations still can’t agree on who Jesus was, His role in Heaven, nor the judgment process. That is a living fact today. We cannot trust anyone. We owe it to ourselves to investigate the judgment process by teaming up with the Holy Spirit to find out what that process is, what role we play if any, and exactly what we need to do to be saved.? Is that so difficult to understand?

As students of the Bible, we also want to exercise our freedom, privilege, and responsibility to check other sources. Up to this point we have been looking at information provided by John, Isaiah, and of course Jesus. What did Paul add to this subject?

1 Corinthians 6:1-6 KJV (1) Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? (2) Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (3) Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (4) If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. (5) I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? (6) But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

Paul pointed out the responsibility we will take on in the judgment process. We will judge the world as well as angels. That explains why we have to develop an understanding of that judgment process. It is not as simple as some people make it sound. Maybe those people do not want to face or take on the responsibilities. That does not add up to a valid excuse for anyone to use.

Paul is not giving the church any authority to judge, but simply pointing out how important it is to study the subject. “It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13 NLTse). Paul pointed people back to Deuteronomy chapter 22 which has a collection of laws. Most of which dwelt with adultery. Which has a spiritual meaning all its own. Along side of those laws on adultery are a number of other laws. Some are plain and simple to understand. Others seem to have more of a spiritual meaning than a physical real life application. The lesson is. The Pharisees couldn’t agree on all the laws. The Pharisees often twisted laws to suit their own ideas. In any case, an honest Christian with an open mind should see how confusing those laws can be and the point Paul was making. When it comes to the law, we need help from Heaven. We also need help from Heaven to understand any type of judgment. In short terms, no one with less than a perfect understanding of the law should be judging anyone. If the Pharisees couldn’t understand the law, what chance do we have? Sure you can go with the old excuse, “we have Jesus and the New Testament.” Well ask yourself this question. Do you really have Jesus? Or do you have the word of a modern day teacher of the law? Do they have it right? Are they correctly interpreting the New Testament? In most cases, I could prove them wrong. I’m not bragging. Based on what you learned from this book, take those Bible Study concepts and go over what people teach. Test them yourself. Get into the Bible yourself. Not by yourself, but with Jesus. You see, having Jesus is the main thing. The most important thing. The only thing that will keep you on the right side of the judgment process. The only side you want to be on. We don’t have to understand every detail about the judgment process. But based on what we’ve read and studied in this chapter, there is a lot more to the judgment process that most Christian denominations are wiling to teach. The easy way draws crowds, new members, and money. That’s a sad fact in modern Christianity, but it is true. Christians have been making their own brand of nets for hundreds of years. When Jesus called His first disciples, they dropped their nets, their main source of income, and left them behind. Today the fondness of income has become a necessary evil. Income at all cost has became the driving force for some denominations. You know who they are. At least the worst offenders. But how much of that drive has your church borrowed from the money making prosperity movement? I’ve studied the history of a few major denominations to see how they grew from their original conception when they were called from God to break away. Sad to say, they seemed to loose touch with God after a while. Then began to form their own opinions, write their own rules, doctrines, whatever you want to call them. They broke away from the world, then rejoined the world to a degree they felt was safe. Like Cain, they each compromised on the sacrifice they owed God. How could this be? We call that human nature. We go so far with God then reach a point where we say, “God really doesn’t understand how this world works.” That’s when we join with the world to better reach the world. It seems like a plan that cannot fail. It seems like a good plan. We may be able to collect a hand full of scripture to build a base concept. But when YOU look at what they used for proof text, I can bet that the context will show it was from something similar to Paul’s letters where Paul used a man made concept as an example to show what NOT to do. I see that happen all the time. That is what makes proof text so dangerous. A dusty Bible on a shelf may look harmless and innocent, but the devil has uses dusty Bibles to steal eternal life from more people than you can imagine. You’ll never know. You’ll never have an idea how much control the devil has been enjoying in this world until you pick up your Bible and begin reading.

What is God’s Judgment?

How do you begin writing a book about God’s judgment? That is a great question. On one hand the judgment is a simple subject. On the other hand it has more facets than most people imagine. Then again, how many people talk about the judgment of this planet? Why do people avoid the subject? Why do few people study the subject? Let’s begin by taking a look at what the Greek definition of judgment is. Did you know John used three different Greek words for judgment in the Book of Revelation? Krima, krino, and krisis are the three Greek words John used in specific stories in Revelation. Let’s first begin by establishing John’s book and the Bible as inspired writings or revelations from Heaven. We are never going to get anywhere unless we approach the Bible as an inspired book written by the living God who created this world, the universe, and something referred to as the plan of salvation. In plain and simple terms, if we want to search the truth, the best place to begin is the original author and architect of not only this planet but the plan to save it. With that being said we can open up a Concordance and look at the definition of the three Greek words John used for judgment.

JUDGMENT

G2917 Rev_20:4

κρίμα

krima

kree’-mah

From G2919; a decision (the function or the effect, for or against [“crime”]): – avenge, condemned, condemnation, damnation, + go to law, judgment.

G2919 Rev_11:18 Rev_16:5 Rev_18:8 Rev_19:11 Rev_20:12 Rev_20:13

κρίνω

krinō

kree’-no

Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish: – avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.

G2920 Rev_14:7 Rev_16:7 Rev 18:20 Rev_19:2

κρίσις

krisis

kree’-sis

(Subjectively or objectively, for or against); by extension a tribunal; by implication justice (specifically divine law): – accusation, condemnation, damnation, judgment.

After looking at those three words there has to be a few thoughts drifting around in your head. The first may be, the word krisis is really close to the English word crisis. Why is that? Maybe the word crisis came from the Greek word krisis. I don’t know. I am not about to get side tracked by looking at the development of the English language. Although there are a few details we will examine. The first detail in the English language will look at is the modern definition of judgment.

Worldly Definition of Judgment

judg·ment

/ˈjəjmənt/

noun

noun: judgement

1. 1.

the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.

“an error of judgment”

synonyms:

discernment, acumen, shrewdness, astuteness, sense, common sense, perception, perspicacity, percipience, acuity, discrimination, reckoning, wisdom, wit, judiciousness, prudence, canniness, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, powers of reasoning, reason, logic; More

2. 2.

a misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment.

“the crash had been a judgment on the parents for wickedness”

One detail I noticed is the fact, there are two ways to spell judgment. With and without the extra – “e”. Why? I don’t know. Maybe that’s God’s way of showing us, the world cannot even agree on how to spell the word judgment.

The main difference between God’s judgment and the world’s view of judgment is the outcome. Of course the world is going to disagree with the outcome of God’s judgment. This world as we know it will be on the loosing end of the judgment, They are not going to accept the final decision without a lot of screaming and kicking.

Looking at the definition of the three Greek words, krima, krino, and krisis, we should see something missing. When we look at the worldly definition of judgment, we see there is always a chance the final decision will fall in our favor. No one would proceed with a court case without hopes and thoughts the judge will agree with them and condemn their opponent. In human understanding, there has to be a winner and looser in every judgment. But when we look at the definition of those three Greek words John used, there is no winner. All three of those Greek words agree. Judgment only leads to condemnation, sentencing, and damnation. What happened to the winner? I have news for you. Based on the inspired word of God, there is no winner. If you reach the point of being judged, you are already a looser. Does that mean God’s court of law is fixed? That’s what the devil wants this world to think. He has been busing trying to convince the world they have a chance when they face God’s judgment, In plain and simple terms, the devil wants to defend you in God’s court of law. How do you feel about that? I’m sure you never heard that one from any preacher. But those are the cold hard facts.

Satan had to change the worldly view on the word judgment. Satan wants the world to believe they have a chance in God’s court system. After all, don’t we serve a loving, forgiving God? Of course we do. God made the sunshine, flowers, cuddly little animals, and a host of other things. Why would God just condemn this planet?

It boils down to a basic understanding of God’s plan of salvation. Most Christians agree Jesus came to this world, died for our sins, and if you believe in Jesus, or call on His name, you are saved. The one part most churches don’t teach is the fact, when you follow Jesus, you completely skip that judgment process. Only the losers face any type of judgment. Let’s look at that from a perspective much easier to understand than the worldly definition of judgment and much easier to understand than any court system in this world. Let’s look at the obvious example. Does everyone on this planet have to appear in front of a judge and defend themselves in a trial? No. Common sense tells us, only people who have been accused of a crime have to prepare to defend themselves in front of a judge. So let me ask you a question here. Why does the world think God’s judgment or court system is different? Why do we hear so many Christians walking around preaching that everyone stands in front of God? Why does the world teach us, you have to stand in front of God to be judged. And there are winners and losers. That’s not what John said. That’s not what the definition of not only one or two, but three Greek words tell us. Nothing in the Bible tells us, Jesus’ followers will be judged. I got news for you. Only the condemned will be judged. So if you are preparing your case to present in front of God, the outcome will not be good.

Okay so there are a few verses people can pull out of the Bible and argue that point. I’m not going to look at those just yet. Let’s just say, those verses used different Greek words and refer to different aspects or points of time in the plan of salvation. We will cover those verses in later chapters. At this point we will keep the plan simple and look at a few key thoughts.

John 5:20-30 RSVA For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel. (21) For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. (22) The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, (23) that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. (24) Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (25) “Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. (26) For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, (27) and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. (28) Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice (29) and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. (30) “I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

This sums up the judgment process in a nutshell. There are two choices. The resurrection of life, and the resurrection of judgment. Here John used the Greek word krisis. Which we know means only condemnation and damnation. There is no chance of a good outcome, second chance, or a defense that will somehow get you off the hook.

The world likes to teach something along the way of, “believe in Christ and be saved.” Of course there are 100 versions of that. But we are not here to study all the different versions or flavors of salvation. We are here to take a series look at judgment and what it means.

When it comes to the subject of judgment, the world has a variety of ideals and concepts to choose from. I looked the judgment up on the Internet and was, well a little surprised at what I found. Few people are able to stay on track. In other words stick to the subject. They swerve off in all kinds of directions. We are not here to examine every belief the world has. That would be a waste of time. It may result in a best selling book. But I want to keep this book rather brief, to the point, and Biblical as possible. Later we will look into scripture explaining the judgment process in more detail. Today we you can look at some of the beliefs the world teaches about God’s judgment process. One of the best sources I found on the Internet comes from all places, Wikipedia. Here is the link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Judgment

You can look at the site yourself. It lists many of the modern day beliefs and doctrines on God’s judgment. Going through those I noticed, most of the Christian religions agree on about 80% of the points. But they vary on a few points. I’m not going to get into those disagreements but only point out the fact, for the most part Christian religions have a lot in common on the judgment process. Something in the back of your mind should be telling you, that opens a ton of doors to reach people. As a matter of fact, the Wikipedia article lists a few non-Christian religions that share some major points. That opens up a few extra doors.

Paul wrote a few letters showing how the subject of God’s judgment should open doors for discussion. We will examine those letters in later chapters in this book. For now we will look at a few basic concepts you have to know to number 1, understand the judgment process, and number 2, be able to teach what that judgment process is. Let’s look at the one of those criteria.

1 Corinthians 2:7-16 RSVA (7) But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. (8) None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (9) But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” (10) God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (11) For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. (13) And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit. (14) The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (15) The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. (16) “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

The first concept you have to know, understand, and accept is, this world knows about God’s judgment but doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of explaining what God’s judgment is, the process, sequence, or anything else. We’ve already showed how the devil got into the mix, changed the definition of the word judgment, and gave this world a false hope of defending themselves, looking for a favorable outcome, and in the long run, changed one word to create dozens of new worldly beliefs about the judgment process. After looking at the article on Wikipedia you would agree.

The point is. We don’t stand a chance of getting on track if we don’t have the Spirit of God to guide us and explain God’s judgment process. That goes without saying. Another important point to consider is, we cannot avoid the judgment and condemnation that goes along with that process if we don’t know Christ. Without Christ we are going no where. So let’s get in tune with the Spirit, get to know Christ, and start our education process on God’s judgment.