Painful astonishment strikes my heart as I behold the adverse simplicity and wide-sweeping oblivion most of professing Christianity has concerning the vital doctrine of judgment. I am pained with Habakkuk’s lamentable cry, "The law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth" (Hab. 1:4). Under this banner, "Only God Can Judge,” the world is fastened on abusing a few certain scriptures to remove their responsibility to OBEY. "Don't judge me," they say, and so, as hell-bound fools, they walk confidently down the broad way to hell. What these persons hate, they say, is “judgment,” but underlying their definition of judgment is a hatred for scriptural truth, reproof, and correction. These persons do hate truth, reproof, and correction (which are judgment), but they do not understand that this is to hate the JUDGE Himself - GOD ALMIGHTY. God has chosen His Christians to spread His word, that they would be the world’s conscience and correction. They are employed in this city-saving and person-redeeming work and were born again for this cause - even to lift up the Judge’s judgments.
Nevertheless, sinners call good evil today like they wickedly crucified their good God 2000 years ago. "Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die," Prov. 15:10 says, and so, beginning in 70 AD, crucifying the Lord of glory backlashed into a horrific destruction upon the generation particularly guilty of His blood, and still more, after their physical bodies decayed into dust, their souls now burn in unforgettable misery in hell. God desires to correct men before Judgment Day through pitiful vessels of clay that He has made His Christians. It is better to have the knowledge of God now than to be surprised by the alien-holy God of the Bible, and so, “dwell with the devouring Fire” and “everlasting burnings.” As it is written, “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings” (Isa. 33:14)? Men killed God on earth, but it is not so in Heaven. He is an unkillable, unstoppable force to be reckoned with - now or later it must come - but let it be done on earth, lest He kills you for a timeless eternity beginning the day your soul flies into the realm of His everlasting. A brutish dog violently bites and devours its master's son, leaving him bleeding and blind, and so, before the dog knows what is happening, it is being dragged by an angry father till he reaches some desolate field to shoot a bullet through the dog’s head. “As a dog”, so are sinners (2 Peter 2). Men have sought to kill God’s Son who cannot die, and before they know it, God will drag their souls forth to the Lake of Fire, and by the hands of angels, souls will be unwillingly cast forth to eternally die. God kills men that kill Him. God kills men who don’t kill sin, and all the friends of sin kill the righteousness of God. The allegiance line separating God and the Devil is drawn by what a man loves and does – righteousness or sin IS life or death. We are as brutish as a violent dog rending our own good master’s son. Our animal-like nature deserves the rebuke of God’s holy word, and "he that hateth reproof is brutish" (Prov. 12:1).
Sinners, "hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly" (Amos 5:10). "A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise" (Prov. 15:12). The unregenerate cannot help it; apart from the drawing grace of God (John 6:44) they will hatefully burn against justice because they are children of the unjust Devil. They will despise obedience because they are creatures of disobedience. They will, if they can, hatefully destroy the Light of Jesus Christ because of the poignant nature of this Light – a sin-confronting, conscience-convicting enemy of darkness - which fiercely interrupts the abode where all once-born men revel in blind play. God is at enmity with sin! "And this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved" (John 3:19-20). Do you walk in the ways of Christ which are Light, or will you falsely allege that this was the sole responsibility of the sinless Christ?
This is why a sin-loving world killed an innocent, caring, sinless Savior. Foaming at the mouth, hellish men hate the good, and so they "lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought" (Isa. 29:21). Thus, Christ Jesus was publically crucified, and for what? He was so bold in love and powerful to save, He became the most wanted criminal to the religious creed of damned hypocrites which forbade freedom from hypocrisy. Christ Jesus is the Robber of Hell who did care enough to correct! He is the Criminal of humanity’s unholy earth and the Captain of God’s Holy Heaven.
Now before your inner man cries "CRUCIFY HIM,” not to Him but me, or should I say Him in me, would you be so “noble” as to search the scriptures on the matter of judgment (Acts 17:11)? There cannot be rest in your soul as you read words from the Holy Ghost if indeed you are accustomed to the unholy rest of sinners at ease. Bear with it and seek the truth PLEASE! I endeavor to thoroughly examine the matter of judgment by scripture in contradistinction to the hypocrite’s shield of unbelief, "Only God Can Judge." The scriptures often rehearsed by those who abuse this doctrine are Matthew 7:1-5, Romans 2:1-3, 17-29, Romans 14:4, 10-13, James 2:1-4, 9, 12-13, and James 4:11-12. Now listen: these are distinctly meant in their context and they can never rightly disannul ulterior teachings on different senses and commands concerning judgment taught in John 7:24, Matthew 18:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5 (entire chapter), and Php. 1:9. I desire for my reader to know the balanced and biblical understanding of judgment through a study in this order.
- A) OLD TESTAMENT - The biblical and historical richness and significance of judgment in the OT, as it is seen by and in God, as it is commanded to be done in acts of obedience by His people, exemplifications of it, and the eternal consequences surrounding it.
- B) NEW TESTAMENT - The NT application of judgment which is equally as consequential regarding the eternal destiny of all, the certain senses of judgment taught, and its distinction and similarities to OT judgment.
- C) An address of persons disqualified for biblical judgment, sins of erring in judgment, varying degrees of severity in judgment, and the illusion sinners believe: that their heart is not revealed through their works; hence self justified sinners declare – “You don’t know my heart.”
First, let me say this: judgment is a part of the nature of God and is therefore a weighty matter of the word of God. It must not be neglected or gone unknown. It is so important to God that, if you don't know judgment, you don’t know Him! Do you know this God of the Bible? God saith, "Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD" (Jer. 9:24). The Scribes and Pharisees (God's professing people and religious doctors in the 1st century), which knew not God, "omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith" (Matt. 23:23). All of their religious skill was at enmity to God; therefore they were enemies to judgment. Satan’s ministers are professionals of deceit. They are religious athletes who catch souls in admiration of their God-less glory. Stadiums sit like a showcase of the Devil’s prisoners while these preachers craft to conquer by scriptural gymnastics; they create a delusive religion which has the appearance of scriptural righteousness, and yet, it is void of judgment. It must be so, for, sons of the Devil worship the Devil.
Now pay attention - God is He which is called "the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He" (Deut. 32:4), and He is furious with today’s religious practices of men who hate judgment and judge those who judge by telling them not to judge. These persecutors hold the judgers accountable by judging, in order to disannul and destroy righteous judgment with peace to the wicked. God has seen it! "Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment" (Isa. 59:15). What angers God today angered God then. So it is today, "blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times" (Psa. 106:3).