The Eight Major Judgments of God
To judge means to make a distinction between or among someone or something. In and of itself, judging is not good or bad, only necessary in everyday life.
To be truly just, one has to “make a distinction” between the good and the bad, between right and wrong, between life and death, etc.
Punishment of the impenitent sinner is justice for the saint!
“When mercy is rejected, judgment must fall.” (Commentary on Heb. 10:26, Wycliff Bible Commentary, Dr. Robert W. Ross p.1421) The full Hebrew passage reads “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.”(NKJV) “This is talking about Paul the apostle making drastic examples for those who might have a tendency to apostasy, or fall/turn from the faith. The book of Hebrews was written to confront and combat those Jews who had come to the knowledge of the truth but were contemplating leaving that faith they had come to know, by experience, and going back to the dead works of Judaism for justification.” (ibid; See Heb 6:3-6)
Dr. Ross comments, “Sin willfully (hamartanonton, ‘as long as we are sinning willfully’) and knowledge (epignosis, ‘full knowledge’) govern this passage. In this case there is no lack of understanding of the truth, just as is the case of false teachers mentioned in II Peter 2:20, 21, where the same strong word for knowledge is twice used. The basic thought in this climactic warning passage is the same as in Hebrews 6:4-6. A deliberate rejection of the cross by one who knows the way leaves God with no alternative. When mercy is rejected, judgment must fall.”
THE EIGHT JUDGEMENTS OF GOD
There are eight major judgments of God in the Bible.
- There is the believer’s judgment of sin.
- The believer’s walk is judged.
- The judgment of Israel.
- The world’s gentile nations will be judged.
- There is the Great White Throne Judgment.
- The judgment of the fallen angels.
- The judgment of the unsaved/wicked dead.
- Something called the Bema seat judgment
Contrary to popular belief - JESUS IS THE ONE THAT DOES ALL THE JUDGING, SINCE HE’S THE ONE THAT PAID THE ULTIMATE PRICE TO REDEEM THOSE WHO CHOOSE HIM.
Judgment always starts with those belonging to the house of God. This is why believers will be judged first. Everyone who comes to faith in Christ has their sins judged at the cross of Calvary. While it is true that Christ’s sacrifice, on the cross, was for all the world, it is not true that all the world has their sins forgiven them by Calvary’s cross. Forgiveness doesn’t take place until each person repents of his or her sins. God rightly judged mankind’s sins and made payment to Himself and by Himself for them but everyone has to receive this payment in lieu of their personal sins by their personal confession of them. Sin was condemned in the flesh. (Romans 8:3).
The walk of a believer is also judged. This is sometimes called God’s chastening. (1 Corinthians 11:32) is pretty plain, stating, “But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.” Obviously, this judgment is definitely for our good. God judges us by chastening us, meaning buffeting us, correcting us, dealing out small punishments to get us to fly right when we get off the path.
God also judges Israel. Because Israel is the nation chosen by God, Israel bore more responsibility towards God than other nations. Although the first promise of the gospel came after the fall in Genesis 3:15, when God read the riot act to the serpent, then to Satan, then to Adam and Eve, nevertheless out of Israel came the promise, the law, the prophets, the Scriptures, and Messiah Himself. To whom much is given, much is required. (Luke 12:48) Israel was to show the world what it is to follow and obey the Lord, by all the blessings He had for them. But we know the story. Israel rebelled, every chance they got, and adhered more to the nations of the world instead of Jehovah God. Thus, Israel will be judged right after God removes His Church because of the Great Tribulation that will come upon the earth, to judge Israel and the rest of the nations.
National Israel still owes God 7 years to finish the purging. Daniel’s 70 weeks of years prophecy in chapter 9. 490 total years of punishment were determined of which they endured 483 years with Christ’s crucifixion, at which event God stopped the clock for national Israel, and has dealt with the Church for the last 2000 years. After the Rapture of the Church, an imminent event, God will again start the clock for Israel.
This will start off really ugly and devastating for Israel in the fact that the prophet Zechariah informs us that 2/3 of the people will die but 1/3 will make it, as through fire. (Zech. 13:8, 9)Afterwards, Israel will enjoy total restoration by God, and blessings beyond description, for finally the day has come when Israel will rule the world with an earthly kingdom led by Jesus which will never end. This is the promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob fulfilled.
There is a judgment of the Gentile nations in Scripture. (Zechariah 14:2, 3)The nations of the world that helped protect Jews and Christians will be spared everlasting destruction though some will experience a measure of judgment. Conversely, those that did not will be wiped out in total destruction. According to (Isaiah 19:23-25), “In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria-a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” Wow!!! What a statement from our God. With today’s turmoil regarding Islam and all the international unrest, Egypt now being controlled by Muslim factions, and Assyria, whose descendents are hard to trace but traditionally it was comprised of the northern part of today’s Iraq, also in danger of being ruled by Islamic factions.
The northern part Assyria will experience a conversion, (Is. 19:23-25) while the southern part, which is Babylon, will experience total destruction. (Is. 13:24; Jer. 50; 51: 33) It is awesome to think that God already has a plan to deal with everybody according to His perfect love, mercy, and justice, all at the same time. Iran also known biblically as Persia, and even earlier as Elam, will see partial punishment and then a conversion and restoration. (Jer. 49:34-39) Other nations such as southern Jordan also known as Edom (Is. 34:8; Obadiah 17; Ezek. 25:12) and all of Saudi Arabia (Jer. 49:28-33) will be totallydestroyed. Lebanon is actually part of the promised land to Israel and will be occupied by Israel. There are three ways God will use to divinely intervene to accomplish peace: occupation, conversion, total destruction.
Contrary to what some believe, there will still be national distinctions on earth as these cultural distinctions have no bearing on how the nations treated Israel and the Church as a whole, but serve only to spice up the world in a good and Godly manner, the way the Lord designed it to be.
The judgment at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15)is where all the unbelievers from all ages will be resurrected to appear before Jesus, their Judge. John the Revelator tells us that Satan will be locked up in a pit for 1,000 years. (Rev. 20:2, 3) The individuals who live in the millennium will have no satanic influence on their lives, yet they too will rebel afterward and imagine they can overthrow the Lord God. They will again “surround” Jerusalem to take the city but God sends fire down from heaven (Rev. 20:9b) and for all time destroys all the armies of evil. All who rebelled during that 1,000 years of actual peace and prosperity on earth, plus all who ever died since Adam, who did not accept the free gift of salvation which Christ paid for on the cross, will be judged individually as to their allotment in the Lake of Fire. This is what’s called the Great White Throne Judgment, and the 2nd resurrection unto death.
Fallen angels also must be judged according to God’s standards. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly who these creatures are after their fall. Of all the different views about the fallen angels, that they are the ones who co-habited with human women who lived before the flood, or that these are the ones whom Satan was able to bring to his side, 1/3 of them according to (Rev 12:4). In any case, the bible says that God has kept them in chains for the day of judgment as is revealed by (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). We’re not told when they were locked up, just that they are. There is also much debate over who, or what, demons actually are. Some say that demons are fallen angels, but that would do injustice to the Scriptures to the fact that they are locked up for the [Day of Judgment] already mentioned. Demons clearly are not ‘locked up” in any way since Jesus had to exorcise them out of people all over the N. T., and the demoniac of Gadarene we’re told, had a whole legion of demons-about 2,000 of them. (Mark 5:9). It is more probable that demons are the offspring of the unholy union between the “sons of God” who in Scripture (bene ha elohim in Hebrew), always refer to angels, in this case, fallen angels and earthly women.
The judgment of the wicked dead is the same as the Great White Throne judgment. Everyone appearing here will get an absolute fair trial because every thought, word, and deed have been carefully recorded by God’s angels. Many here will claim to be Christians but God will show them from the books of record that they were either, never truly born-again, or they allowed deception to a point where they threw their salvation away. All their religiosity was or turned selfish as religious mentally normally is. It says, look how many times I’ve been to church. Look at all the giving I did when I was there. I sponsored many people who didn’t have a way. I was as good and better than most with whom I went to church, etc. In this judgment, the sea, the grave and even hell itself will give up the dead in them to stand, in their resurrected bodies, before the Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ. None of their pleading will help their cause because the evidence against them is too strong. They never accepted to only price the Father would accept as payment for the sin of treason, namely, the death of His only begotten Son.
The bema judgment is the judgment that concerns only those who’ve been truly born-again and stayed there, by enduring commitment. Since by being born-again, one can never experience ‘thanos’ (Greek) eternal death, the death of everlasting separation from God, the only thing that needs to be judged is the believer’s works. These are the works which all believers do according to what they believe God wants them to do. Every Christian who has ever lived will receive rewards or losses according to the works they performed while they were Christians. If what they did was done with the right attitude of heart they will receive reward; if they did these things with selfish ambitions, their works will be burned up. Remember, this judgment has nothing to do with salvation. Salvation was dealt with by Christ on the cross for His part, and the personal acceptance of that sacrificial death by Christ on our part.
Paul the apostle tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:14, 15, “If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss: but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” This building is obviously something that we Christians do to build up the body of Christ, for it is on the foundation of Jesus Christ Himself that we build whatever it is we build. This “adding”, to the foundation which we do, will be tested by God’s holy and consuming fire. “Our God is a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29)
There is no getting out of this one for any true believer of the gospel. Paul again tells us, as a matter of fact, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat (bema in Greek) of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”(2 Cor. 5:10)