Monday, July 9, 2018

Judgment—a necessary part of the Gospel message


 Last week a Jehovah’s Witness was walking by my house and invited me to  an event.  I explained that the Jehovah's Witnesses don’t believe in the God of the Bible because they don’t teach  that Jesus Christ is God;  or that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity;  or that Jesus is the  Creator of heaven and earth; or that we can only be saved by grace alone through faith alone in His shed blood.  He wished me a good day and moved on to the next house. 
What was missing from my reply?  Repentance and Judgment.  I didn't intentionally leave it out but it did cause me to consider why Christians  shy away from telling people the straight up truth that Judgment is coming.   Maybe it's because sharing the positive part of the Gospel is so much easier.  The old 4 Spirtual Laws approach.  God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.    Or maybe we're just collectively stifled because the Silas Marners of this world have intimidated us. 
Providentially, our pastor preached on the final Judgment yesterday.   It’s always sobering to be reminded what we have been saved from.   And it’s also important to be reminded that God has commissioned His people to preach the Gospel to the lost so that they might avoid the wrath to come.   There will be no second chances and Hell is for eternity.    
 There will only be two kinds of people at the Judgment.  The wicked and the righteous.   The righteous are those whose sins have been forgiven and not because of their own doing.   They have been  made rightous by faith in the sacrifice of Christ on their behalf.    The wicked are all those who have rejected Christ and suppressed the truth in unrighteousness.   Nevertheless, we will all appear.    
Jonathan Edwards wrote, 
They shall all be brought to appear before Christ —the godly being placed on the right hand, the wicked on the left (Mat 25:31-33). The wicked, however unwilling, however full of fear and horror, shall be brought or driven before the Judgment Seat. However they may try to hide themselves—and for this purpose creep into dens and caves of the mountains and cry to the mountains to fall on them and hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb—yet there shall not one escape. ‘  To the Judge they must come and stand on the left hand with devils. 
On the contrary, the righteous will be joyfully conducted to Jesus Christ, probably by the angels. Their joy will give them wings, as it were, to carry them thither. They will with ecstasies and raptures of delight meet their Friend and Savior, come into His presence and stand at His right hand…What a vast congregation will there be of all the men, women, and children that shall have lived upon earth from the beginning to the end of the world!” 1
If we love people the way we should we will be more concerned for their souls than we are for their good opinion of us.    
We will want to warn them that every soul will give an account to Christ for every thought, every motive, and every deed we did here on earth.  There will be no excuses.  But there is good news.  
behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation”  2 Cor. 6:2

Yesterday’s sermons 
Part 2 covers whether or not believers will have every sin exposed at the Judgement: Two Resurrections and Judgment, Reiterated 
See also 

1. Chapel Library: Free Grace Broadcaster: Vol. 210: Day of Judgement -“The Final Judgment,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2

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