On judgement

...there is only the Spiritual realm, ...and to which one either serves God in heaven or resides in hell awaiting Judgment.

heaven_hell_signs_254881_1920x1080.jpg
Is it as simple as that?

This is an actual quote from someone during an online discussion on the subject, but this is not anything against who ever said it, but rather a response to the prevailing view behind it that people generally seem to adhere to.

The topic of Hell in itself is a rather large subject that is much more complex that you might initially think, and is a topic I intend to cover here soon as a series.

Advertisement

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. A lot of Christians would say that hell is the 'final destination' of the dead who are not "in Christ". But if the dead already reside in hell then surely they have already been judged? If not, then why are they there? What use is the final judgement if God has already pre-decided what most people's fate is? That isn't judgement, that's a decision with no consideration.

Look at the definition of judgement in the Oxford dictionary:

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

Or in another definition: "The capacity to assess situations or circumstances and draw sound conclusions".

Advertisement

If its already been decided that the dead without Christ are going to hell, then they haven't been judged in the way the Scriptures portray - and definitely not with "considered decisions" about the "situations or circumstances" of the people involved.

So how does Scripture portray God's judgement on people? Let's look at the Great White Throne judgement:

Revelation 20:12-13
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done.

This judgement sounds a bit different to simply being condemned to hell automatically. At least here it appears as though God is considering his judgement on the people before deciding, else what is the point to this process?

Advertisement

Another thing to consider is what Paul writes about the Law being written on our hearts so that we are without excuse - another verses often bandied about, but we must consider the full statement made by Paul and not stop short of it:

Romans 2:14-16
When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.

This is in line with Revelation's depiction of judgment as God looks at their deeds in his books, he sees everything we've ever said and done, and even then some deeds and thoughts may "excuse them" on the day of judgement.

I feel confident in God's justice here that those who didn't know Christ "personally" but still lived as though they did, or still lived as though they followed his commands, will have that taken into account by God. But before you quote John 14:6 at me and cry out "but none come to the Father except through Christ!" - remember who is the one judging: Jesus. If he accepts them as righteous on the day of judgement, then they have indeed still come to the Father through Jesus, even if it's not in the way we would have expected.

Subscribe to Updates
Subscribe to:

Have something to say? Leave a comment below.

Leave a comment   Like   Back to Top   Seen 161 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Order my new book today from Amazon or fortydays.co.uk

Subscribe to Blog updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to Blog

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

The Temptations of Jesus: Pride

| 3 days ago | Lent

Welcome to the first part of a short series I'm writing during Lent. We’re on the first Sunday of Lent, and so I’m going to be looking at the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, and the temptations he endured. A new post will be up every Sunday, and you can view the series overview here: Lent 2018. Mark 1:12-13And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. That’s all Mark has to say on that time Jesus spent there, and John doesn’t mention the forty days at all. That leaves only Luke and Matthew which mention the temptations or any details about what happened in the desert. So let's look at the first temptation that Satan tried on Jesus. Luke 4: 1-4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’” (cf. Matt 4:1-4) The first thing that jumps out at me here, is that the devil didn’t come to tempt Jesus until after the forty days were up. He waited until Jesus was “famished” and then struck while he was weak. What can we learn from this? That the devil is tricksy and won’t hit you when you feel like you have it all together, but will rather wait until you are in a more susceptible and weakened state of mind. Like James (1:14-15) says, we get tempted by our “own desire, being lured and enticed by it” to try and get us to fall into sin by acting upon those desires. So we need to guard our minds and keep our focus on God in those times to try and ensure that we are aware of the escape that God has given us, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians: 1 Corinthians 10:13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. What about Jesus in the desert then? You might think that he was beyond these things and temptation couldn’t touch him. In some ways that’s true; he was fully in tune and in the will of his Father that he sets the example for us, and what we can achieve. But at the same time, he has “in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15). This is why we can learn much from these few short temptations that Jesus faced in the desert. While on the face of it, we may think it’s unrelatable to be asked to miraculously turn stones into bread — there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s not necessarily about the bread, or the miracle, but the insinuation that “If you are the Son of God...”, trying to do to the Second Adam what that old snake did to the first: trip him up through pride. “Thus, if the first Adam fell from God by pride, the second Adam has effectually taught us how to overcome the devil by humility.” George Leo Haydock (1774–1849) As the quote above points out, Jesus demonstrates to us how to overcome the temptation to think of ourselves too highly, or to flaunt our status (Romans 12:3), by doing the opposite and humbling himself and pointing back to Scripture. Whereas Jesus did have every right to say “I am the Son of God – there’s no ‘if’ about it!” and use his abilities to create a miracle for his own sake, that would also have been selfish and another path to the sin of pride and arrogance. Instead he sticks to the main thing that can thwart the enemy when trying to deceive us: Scripture. Although “he was in the form of God” and had equality, it wasn’t “something to be exploited” as Paul writes in Philippians 2:5-8. Let us learn from this, and kee...

Lent 2018: The Temptations of Jesus

| 8 days ago | Lent

Lent is just around the corner, and so this year I've decided to write a short series over the next 40 days looking at the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, and the temptations he faced. I'll post a new blog each Sunday of Lent looking at each temptation, and then finish the series on Easter Sunday looking at “what did Jesus sacrifice?”. Series outline: Temptation one: Pride (1st Sunday of Lent, February 18, 2018) Temptation two: Worship and Glory (2nd Sunday of Lent, February 25, 2018) Temptation three: Testing God (3rd Sunday of Lent, March 4, 2018) Temptation four: Complatancy (4th Sunday of Lent, March 11, 2018) What did Jesus sacrifice?: Easter Sunday (5th Sunday of Lent, March 18, 2018) Stay tuned for the first installment in a few days time, and if you haven't already, don't forget to subscribe so you will be notified by email when each new post goes out!...

Former Muslim Explains the Trinity

| 09th February 2018 | Trinity

I saw this video doing the rounds on Facebook, and thought it was too good not to share here as well. Very few people tend to articulate the Trinitarian doctrine well enough to: a) still make sense, and b) not slip into heresy. Just reading the comments section on this video proves point b) quick enough, with many people giving their take on it (and usually espousing some form of Modalism). I won't make a big post on the Trinity now, but I may do one soon off the back of this one, as it's clearly still something believers (and non-believers) struggle to understand, or explain without heresy! For now though, sit back and take about 5 minutes to listen to this former Muslim explain one of the core beliefs of Christianity very well:   Some additional information: The man in the video is Nabeel Qureshi who has wrote a few books on his journey to Jesus from the Muslim faith; one of them being: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. He also has sadly died in 2017. I haven't read his books, and only just found out about him after looking up more info on this video, though his book is definitely on my wish list now....

Is there salvation for fallen angels?

| 05th February 2018 | Angels

I've seen and heard this question asked numerous times before, and I've even wondered it myself in my earlier years as a new Christian. Is there salvation for angels and can demons go back to their previous, uncorrupted state? 2 Corinthians 11:14And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. As far as scripture is concerned, Satan can pretend to be angelic for the sake of deceit, but that's about it. There's no mention of redemption for angels or demons — that's the long and short of it. So let's explore four areas of Scripture to see what we do know. #1 They have been imprisoned for judgement by God. 2 Peter 2:4For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into Tartarus and committed them to chains (or pits) of deepest darkness to be kept until the judgment; This judgement is eternal for them and there appears to be no second chance; their judgement is sealed: Matthew 25:41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; #2 They have been imprisoned for judgement by the saints. Not only has God set a judgement, but we who are in Christ will have the role of actually judging the angels as well. How's that for a hefty responsibly! 1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of ordinary matters? #3 Judgement is final We can also see from Revelation some more details about what this judgement entails for the devil and those who followed him: Revelation 19:20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who […] were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. Revelation 20:10And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. #4 Salvation is for humans Salvation appears to be only something that God designed for humans, and is apparently something that makes the angels curious. 1 Peter 1:12[Salvation is the] good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look! Christ came as the "second Adam" (1 Cor 15:45) to rectify the problems caused by the first Adam. We humans are all "in Adam" (1 Cor 15:22), whereas angels are not. They are sometimes called "sons of God" — we are the son of Adam, therefore Jesus' sacrifice is only effective for "Adam". The writer of Hebrews sums this up for us nicely by saying, “it is clear that [Jesus] did not come to help angels”, but those in whom he shared a nature with — us! (Heb 2:14-16) Whatever sins the angels have made (other than rebelling; cf. Rev 12:4,7-9) it is not covered by the blood of Jesus as far as we know. We can infer this from what Paul teaches us about the ministry of reconciliation: 2 Corinthians 5:19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. (Emphasis mine) The plan of salvation and the power of the Gospel to reconcile God and man appears to only apply to this world and our sins (or trespasses). The Greek word here for “world” is kosmos, which can sometimes have a broader meaning of “universe” or “creation” rather than just this planet, but in this context I'm not sure it allows for that scope of reconciliation, given the other passages of scripture we've seen about the rebellious angels (or demons) level of punishment. Either way, Scripture doesn't give us any more information on this topic than that, so anything else would be speculation, but I think we can be reasonably certain that salvation through Christ is only for humans. ...