Guilty Or Not Guilty… You’ll Be The Judge

18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.”  Deuteronomy 16:18

In the Old Testament, we see that God delegated some judicial ability to His established judges.  These judges were proven righteous men of good standing, fully equipped in the laws of God, fair & just, and devoted followers of Him.  These judges would settle cases and would decide verdicts based on the evidence of deeds done for the nation of Israel.  In a way, they also functioned as earthly rulers of the land because Israel had no king during the reign of the judges, although ultimately, they were ruled by God as their king.

God, Himself, could have judged a person on each occurrence, but He has chosen to hold off final judgement of all deeds until the end of the age.  This is more than likely because He wants to give people ample time to repent of any wrongful deed all the way up until the end of one’s life.  Sometimes repentance for sins can take an entire life time to realize the wrong that one has done, regardless if there was a sentencing.  And, God has the ability to forgive any wrongful deed even years beyond the earthly sentencing, up until one’s death.  Now that’s an incredibly forgiving Judge!  Until the end of time however, God has chosen to delegate judging to earthly judges.  In doing this, it brings the issues to an immediate resolution, teaches people to see the difference between right and wrong, brings the one who committed the sin to repentance (hopefully), teaches lessons of restitution, and finally it foreshadows how we will be the future judges of the wicked on the earth in the end.

God first transferred His judgement authority to Jesus Christ, Son of God, so that we will honor the Son as we honor Him.

  • 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”  John 5:21-23
  • I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:”  2 Timothy 4:1

Jesus has the full ability to judge and also to forgive sins.

“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.””  Matthew 9:6

Jesus is completely fair and just because He hears God and follows His will, and that He is God.

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”  John 5:30

But, the most interesting part is that Jesus then will be transferring His role as judge to those who have been purified by Him at the final judgement.  Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians.  The people were having difficulty in coming to minor convictions, and Paul scolds them because he had been told by Jesus in his vision that Jesus’ followers would be judging at the end of times.  Paul was frustrated with them because they couldn’t even agree on these petty cases and how could they then be the final righteous judges?

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers,”  1 Corinthians 6:1-5

We read that in Jude that the Lord will be coming with 10,000’s of His holy ones, who together will review the books, convict, and execute judgement on the ungodly.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”   Jude 14-15

How do we know the holy ones are not angels and are actually Jesus’ followers?

First, we see above from 1 Corinthians that these holy ones will judge the angels, so they cannot be angels judging other others.  Second, we see that those who judged were on thrones as we know that angels do not sit down in God’s presence.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed.”  “12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. ”  Revelation 20:4a, 12

These who have been given authority to judge were married to the Lamb at the marriage supper and have been purified and themselves become righteous ones.

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”  Revelation 19:7-8

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in[b] blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule[c] them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.”  Revelation 19:11-15

Why would Jesus transfer judging to His followers and not do it Himself, but instead oversee it?

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed.”  “12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. ”  Revelation 20:4a, 12

When you get to heaven based on your belief in Jesus Christ as the only sacrifice for your sins, you will probably find that there are some people missing, and some very dear and close to you.  This would grieve your heart greatly from a human standpoint.  But, if you were able to then open the books and review the pages of the lives of those people, you would see just how much they were loved by God and pursued by Him and you would also see the times and places where your loved ones rejected God’s love and forgiveness and instead pursued their own ways.  And, because of their rejection of the Savior Jesus, you’ll then see their deeds as these deeds had not been expunged.  They still remain on their books.  Jesus would have washed them clean and erased these pages, but because His blood did not cover these deeds, as they did not trust in His blood and forgiveness to wash erase them, the person’s own blood would need to cover their own deeds, and unfortunately their’s isn’t strong enough to erase their own sins.  You’ll then become fully aware of why it is they are not currently judging with you, but are instead being judged, and you’ll see that God is an entirely loving and yet holy God and that His judgements are completely fair and perfect.  You’ll no longer have a question in your mind if they had been given chances to repent.  As sad as it will be to pronounce judgement on them, you’ll understand it is a completely fair judgement.

Father God, it’s a daunting idea to consider the fact that you would have us, unholy and imperfect ones, to righteously judge those who chose to not follow you, but we believe you when you say that you will one day remove all of our sins, stains, and blemishes, and we will be without sin and able to judge completely and righteously as we will have your untainted word deep within our entire being, no longer questioning what is right and what is wrong.  There is no gray matter with you, as everything is black or white. Thank you for letting us be a part of your work and thank you mostly that you will be washing us entirely clean with your blood when we finally come into your perfect kingdom.  What a day it will be when we are made perfect, never sin again, and never have another bad thought.  In the precious name of Jesus.  Amen.

 

 

 

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