Surveys reveal that 80 per cent of those polled believe that, “We all will be called before God at judgment day to answer for our sins.”
Judgment is a common theme in the Bible, employing the phrase “judgment of God” five times. It tells us that God’s judgment is scorned by some (Romans 1:2), governed by truth (Romans 2:2), inescapable (Romans 2:3) and righteous (Romans 2:5).
The Old Testament predicts that God will judge all unrighteousness.
Jesus’ teaching in the New Testament agreed with and reinforced this concept.
In spite of this, many bristle at the idea of God as judge, some suggesting that God is unjust and vindictive in judging people.
I’m concerned when professing Christians reject this side of God. I grieve with those (Christian or otherwise), who interpret misfortune as God’s judgment upon them.
I want to remind both groups that God is neither lenient nor vindictive. He is righteous. But let me deviate illustratively.
There was a handsome, young, medical doctor whose expensive clothing and impeccable deportment made him all the more fiendish. His name was Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death” of Auschwitz. With a flick of his perfumed wrist he sent 400,000 prisoners to die in the gas chamber.
He conducted grizzly experiments on people, hoping to produce a superior race. Having a special fascination for twin children, he would surgically paralyze them and then remove various body parts. He spent hours over his microscope unaffected by the stench of burning flesh from the crematorium outside his lab.
Now. what do you think of any person, or God, who could see this kind of evil without feeling anger? Base and insensitive to say the least? If God could observe the hurt and evil in this world without experiencing indignation, He would be defective in His character. He would not be God.
Incidentally, Josef Mengele was never brought to justice. Does that bother you? Does that anger you? Does it please you to know that justice will be served on Mengele, through the judgment of Almighty God? If your answers are affirmative, then you’ve accepted God’s righteous judgment.
I submit that rather than apologizing for the doctrine of the wrath and judgment of God, or ignoring it, we should appreciate it as a vital and wonderful part of God’s divine character.
God’s judgment should not be seen as anger, but as a principle displaying His strong and eternal hatred of wrong.
This goes hand in hand with His strong eternal love of right.
Judgment is the consequence of the fine balance of these two truths.
“Praise the Lord, for his judgments are just and true” (Revelation 19:1, 2).
— Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church