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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Does God's Judgment Need to be Eternal to be Effective?


The answer to this question is a resounding "No!" Let me explain.


Most people will not come to personally know Jesus in this life. Many of us have been taught that these people will suffer in hell for eternity.

Those who do come to know Him in this life are cleansed from all of their sins, are reconciled to God, and are in good standing with Him. These will die in good standing with God, and they will be raised from the dead in good standing with God in the first resurrection.

Those who do not come to know Jesus in this life will remain in their sins, die in their sins, and they will later be raised from the dead still in their sins in the second resurrection. Jesus spoke about these two resurrections in John 5:28-29,

28 Wonder not at this, because there does come an hour in which all those in the tombs shall hear his voice, 29 and they shall come forth; those who did the good things to a rising again of life, and those who practiced the evil things to a rising again of judgment. (Young's Literal Translation)
  
Let's focus on those who are resurrected to judgment. We must ask, "What is the ultimate purpose of God's judgment of these resurrected sinners?" Jesus tells us in John 5:22-23,

22 For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him. (King James Version)

All judgment has been committed to Jesus for this ultimate purpose - "That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father" (v.23). No one can honor the Father unless they also honor the Son.

The word honor in verse 23 means to prize, to revere. Do all people currently prize and revere Jesus? No. Will all people eventually prize and revere Jesus? Yes. He will accomplish this through judgment, and He will continue the judgment until all people honor Him.

Will this take an eternity to accomplish? No. Theoretically, if it took an eternity to do this, it would never be completed. The very idea of an eternal judgment leads one to believe that Jesus is not able to bring all people to the place where they honor Him. Will He fail? Don't bet against Him.

Jesus will successfully complete all of the work His Father gives Him to do. And it won't take an eternity to do it. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 explains this,


24 Then comes the end, when [Jesus] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he has put all things under his feet. But when he says all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (KJV)

There will be an eventual end to Jesus' work of bringing all things under God. Once Jesus has done all of the Father's will, He will hand over the completed kingdom to His Father. Then Jesus will be subject to His Father, as will all people that are subdued by Jesus.

Part of the subduing of all people includes the judgment in which all people will come to honor Jesus. This will obviously not take an eternity to accomplish. It will come to completion at some point in the future. It will be a tremendous event when Jesus gives the finished kingdom over to His Father. It will be the climax to all of Jesus' faithful, hard work.

You will be a part of this glorious kingdom. Maybe you don't yet know Jesus. Why wait? Call out to Him now. If you come to Him now, and give Him the honor He is due, you can be saved from the wrath and judgment of God. John 5:24 tells us,

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. (New King James Version)


Jesus is the only safe harbor you can flee to in order to escape God's wrath and judgment. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 says of those who are followers of Jesus,

... wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Followers of Christ have already been delivered from the wrath to come. Unbelievers will face the wrath of God unless they repent and turn to Jesus. At that point, they too will be delivered. God's wrath and judgment are coming. Will you be subject to His judgment, or be delivered from it today by Jesus, the Savior of the world?

Jesus will eventually save all people. 1 Timothy 2:4 says,

[God our Savior] will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (KJV)

But some will go through the judgment and wrath before their salvation. The salvation of all people will happen because God is able to do it. He asks the prophet Jeremiah, and us, in Jeremiah 32:27,

...is there any thing too hard for Me?

To that I answer a resounding "No!" What is your answer?


  

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