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January 19, 2022 7:00 am
Why then is Jesus talking and telling us that you're going to be judged by the measure with which you judge.
Is he saying that even his own disciples are going to be judged while if so, this is pretty serious about what we need to do today is to be very precise to think through what the Bible teaches about judgment is judgment unique to nonbelievers while the Bible tells us, all people will give an account of their lives, but in different circumstances at on this edition of the truth.
Pulpit pastor Don Greene will begin comparing and contrasting those events as he continues our series. The art of discernment high until right at dawn is titled today's message how would you like your judgment. You see, Jesus tells us in Matthew seven that the manner in which you judge will in turn be the way you are judged. So if you're looking for maximum grace eventually the gracious and humble in your dealings with others.
Let's get started. As we join our teacher now is a truthful out what I want to do here at the start to give you a sense of where were going in this is that Jesus is addressing his disciples and commanding them.
He is addressing them to contemplate what they are doing now because it will have an impact on their internal reward before God is commanding us. Those of us that know him. He is commanding us to stop living life with a critical fault finding spirit toward others and he does this in order to help us to warn us and to bless us. He is pointing us in this passage to the reality that you and I have a coming judgment of our own and what happens in to us in that coming judgment even as believers is will see all go into this.
He warns us that that God is going to judge us in a manner that somehow resembles and reflects the way that we have interacted with others during the course of our lives the way that we have judged others is the standard that God is going to apply to us when we stand before him to receive our eternal reward, and so we come and realize that there is something of of of of massive internal significance and in what were reading here today massive internal significance that has a direct impact on every immediate human relationship that you have here on earth, and how you how you interact with others how you think about the world around you, how it is that you speak and and and all of the assessments it will make in everyday life and so is pointing us to our coming judgment and is warning us that God is going to judge us in the way that we judge others. That's a basic theme of of the text here now when we talk about judgment. I always think there's a question that comes up that kinda needs to be addressed in Christian circles, and its essence is, does does the thought of judgment of the future judgment before God even apply to Christians at all. I mean, I thought that the purpose of salvation was that we were going to avoid the judgment. Why then is Jesus talking and telling us that you're going to be judged by the measure with which you judge. Is he saying that even his own disciples are going to be judged while if so, this is pretty serious. While what we need to do today is to be very precise. That's what were going to do our levelheaded best to do today to think through what the Bible teaches about judgment just by way of little bit of introduction here Scripture speaks of of a particular kind of judgment for unbelievers for sinners who do not repent and receive Christ speaks about a judgment that applies to them and then it also speaks of a judgment that applies to those of us that know Christ and that's what we want to try to unpack for you here is to distinguish those two things so that were thinking rightly about what is to come. So first of all first point here today is this, is that God will judge non-Christians in eternal hell.
God will judge non-Christians in eternal hell and it should immediately be obvious were not trying to be a seeker sensitive church here today with what we say and we don't try to avoid things that will offend people by what Scripture says there will be an eternal judgment at the end of time where those who do not know Christ will be cast into an eternal lake of fire which is the just judgment for their sins against God during their earthly life, and if you'll turn to Revelation chapter 20 you'll see this stated plainly. Revelation chapter 20 verse 11 where it reads I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away in no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small standing before the throne, and books were opened.
And another book was opened, which is the book of life and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.
This is the second death, the lake of fire and if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Do you see it, beloved, if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. You know I would want to know if I were you, is my name in the Lamb's book of life are not as a matter pretty great consequence in a one of the things about eternity is it doesn't end there is no cessation to it. Those who would teach you a doctrine called annihilation is an that says that that the unsaved are judging God annihilates them so that they cease to exist or not telling you the truth, you have an eternal soul that is going to live forever, and it is your duty.
It is your responsibility to make sure that your soul is well before you die because those that die in an unsafe condition. Those that die with unforgiven sin are facing an eternal judgment in hell. This is the natural consequence. This is the right thing for a holy God to do when Inc. with me when those who have an eternal soul sin against an eternal God and break his eternal law, well then there's going to be eternal consequences to that we have to come to grips with what Scripture says and so Scripture here in Revelation 20 brings us as it were, and we peak. We look over and we peek into the very brink of hell itself, and every man must contemplate this reality that if you die in your sins, you will face a terrifying judgment now that's the reality for every unsaved person hears her question for today is Jesus is our Lord. Applying that threat of eternal judgment to Christians is he is he threatening eternal damnation upon those who have put their faith in him for salvation.
Is that what he's doing here in Matthew seven and the answer to that question is, is no that's not what Jesus is talking about here in Matthew seven. You see, let's remember some of the basics about Christianity. The whole point of Christianity is that Jesus Christ suffered the judgment. Our sins deserve on the cross he stood in our stead.
He stood in our place. Stated more graphically.
He hung on the cross in our place. In order to bear the judgment that your sins and mine deserved and so he's already paid the price of eternal judgment for those who come to him for salvation is already paid the price. God is not a God who inflicts double jeopardy.
The whole point of the New Testament gospel can be summed up in John chapter 5 verse 24 John five verse 24 where Jesus said, truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life does not come into judgment does not come into that eternal condemnation of which Scripture speaks for the unsaved, but rather believing in Christ, we have passed out of death out of judgment into life into forgiveness into eternal blessing. That's the promise of the gospel. That's why we can gather together in the name of Christ in the spirit of joy and confidence and peace, knowing that our Lord is made provision for us it would be my privilege as a teacher is a preacher to invite you to come to Christ if you don't know him to come to the foot of the cross and and to come to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins that this awful judgment of Revelation 20 would pass you by that, in Christ you would you would pass through that judgment safe and enter into eternal life. Christ, as it were, would extend his hand to you and say come to me, you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Come to me and I will deliver you from this eternal judgment that is certain to come. I've paid the price for sinners, believe in me and the gift can be yours and so we recognize that Scripture speaks of an eternal judgment for sinners who reject the gospel and yet we realize that we have this great blessing from Christ. For those of us of the believed in him that he has delivered us from that he is rescued us from it so that that threat is not hangover our own heads, and we rejoice and have peace and that my Christian friend my brother and sister in Christ, let me assure you, based on the testimony of the word of God that if you are in Christ, you need never fear hell again.
He who saved you will keep you, he who brought you into his hand will not let anyone pluck you out. Satan can do his best against your soul, but he cannot take you out of Christ because Christ has saved you and Christ keeps you. That's what a great, faithful, loving Savior. Does he keeps those that he is saved, so we are greatly blessed to be free from that fear of eternal judgment.
Now with that said, the Bible does speak of another kind of accountability. Another kind of judgment that we face as Christians that's what I want to move into here in the second point of our message today. The fact that Christ has delivered us from Helen death does not mean that there's not going to be an accountability that we give to God at the end of our lives when we stand before him. The Bible is equally clear on this point as well. And so that brings us to point number two is that God will judge the lives of Christians.
He will judge the lives of Christians and this is perhaps not as emphasized as often as it could be in the Christian circles in which we live and move and have our being is I'm going to show you and I state simply by way of introduction here right now. The Bible teaches us as believers that we will stand before God and give an account to him for our lives. After we came to faith in Christ. And so Christ deals with our sin takes it away and we enter into life in Christ, and God gives us a window of time in which to live as Christians gives us a stewardship you might say a stewardship of life and ability and talents and there's a time coming where were going to have to give an account to them for what we've done with that opportunity and with the life that he's given us. If you'll turn to Romans chapter 14, there's three or four different passages that I want to take you to the just teach this unmistakably Romans chapter 14 beginning in verse 10. Here in Romans chapter 14 Paul is writing to Christians he is addressing believers in Christ, as shown by the language of brother that he addresses them with in Romans chapter 14 verse 10 he says, actually, let's back up to verse seven let's say to set the context a little better. He says not one of us lives for himself and not one dies for himself. For if we live, we live for the Lord. If we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore whether we live or die. We are the Lords now notice brothers and sisters here this morning noticed something very important. Paul is addressing those who are in the Lord is addressing those who belong to Christ who have been saved to have been ransomed by the blood and so so is addressing Christians here in this portion of his letter.
Verse nine he says for this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living now in verse 10 we come to what is pertinent to our discussion here this morning. Verse 10 he says that you, why do you judge your brother or you again. Why do you regard your brother with contempt for we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall give praise to God. Then he goes on and says in verse 12 so then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Beloved, I want to just remind you those of you that have been with us over the years. This is what I have said to you so many times I have told you again and again to contemplate the fact that you have an appointment with God that you are inexorably moving toward and so we plead with you as a church we plead with you to take that into account to take life seriously to be mindful of the fact that you have a calming appointment with God and appointment of some kind of judgment that were going to talk about in a moment because because that's the only way that you can live life with the proper perspective is if that is somehow anchored in your thinking.
Only then can you assess life properly. Only then can you establish priorities correctly. To realize that all of my priorities in all of my choices and all of my decisions are coming in a context where I'm going to give an account to God for my life.
What is done for me and what what I said I'm on pleading with you.
I'm pleading with you and what I'm saying here right now what I what I said so many times to you is that the only thing in life that matters for you and what what I want more than anything. For each one of you, and under the sound of my voice is at that time of judgment for you would go well that that that that would go as well for you as it possibly could, because nothing else matters. By comparison, and so Scripture tells you that if you are a Christian you are going to give an account to God for your life. First Corinthians chapter 3, beginning in verse 10 says this, according to the grace of God which was given to me.
Me being Paul here like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it, but each man must be careful how he builds on it start to see a theme each man, each one of us.
Each person being brought into this calculation into this calculus of of of what is to calm everyone meant to consider it closely. Verse 11 for no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones would pay a straw each man's work will become evident for the day will show up because it is to be revealed with fire and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which is built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
I noticed a couple of things here. Notice how often Paul says any man. Each man, each man any man any man is in practically every verse of this passage, don't you see beloved. Don't you see that you're included within the scope of that.
Doesn't it doesn't it awaken you to eternal realities and it the matters of eternal significance. Doesn't it awaken you to those things to realize that somehow this is addressing your life as well. This is of great consequence. God is going to evaluate our lives in a way that is like fire testing physical materials. Now this is not the false doctrine of purgatory. We address that recently in our series on Catholicism will not spend any time on it here. What Paul is describing here is that there are there are aspects of life that we do. There are things that we that we say things that we think that have eternal value and eternal consequence that will become the basis upon which our reward is given to us these things of indestructible quality like precious gold, silver, precious stones, matters that matters that endure, compared with matters of temporal insignificance. Blood alone eternal insignificance would have a straw that just is going to evaporate before the fire. Paul is saying that the God's judgment is something is going to be something like a fire. Not that were going to actually go through eternal flames. Not that but that our work is going to be tested by fire, the matters of our life and have eternal significance will endure and will become the basis of our reward.
The opportunities that you squandered the time and the other things said that you devoted to things of no significance will burn up the be nothing left upon which to give a reward so that will bring a making them using a metaphor here will bring a big basket that has since some precious stones and it has some straw in it and will be dumped out in the burn up what's left will be the basis upon which God will reward us and only those things that have eternal value will be the basis of your reward.
Go to second Corinthians chapter 5 if you will. Second Corinthians chapter 5. Again, I want you to see the Paul is necessarily an obviously addressing Christians and what he has to say. Second Corinthians chapter 5, beginning in verse six second Corinthians 5 or six says therefore being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord, for we walk by faith not by sight.
We are a good courage I say and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord who is it that's going to be with the Lord when they die. Except for Christians.
True believers. So, that's who is addressing there and he goes on in verse nine he says. Therefore, we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent to be pleasing to him. Now, in this context of addressing Christians watch what he says in verse 10 for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds and the body according to what he is done, whether good or bad.
Paul talking to Christians, says we are going to appear before the judgment seat of Christ to be reckons recompensed for how we lived our lives and he says to them.
We must all appear before the judgment seat now let me clarify something for you here at that time at that seat of judgment before Christ. Christ is not going to rehearse all of our sins before us and castigate us for and criticize and judge us and bring all of our sins up as if you know is some of the tracks used to do that is going to play at a videotape of your entire life and everything's going to be exposed like that.
I don't believe that's true at all. Scripture says plainly.
For those of us that are in Christ we have a promise from God. In Hebrews 10 and other places that says their sins and their lawless deeds. I will remember no more. Praise God for that. I am so thankful that he is not going to rehearse my sins again. Our sins were dealt with. Finally, at the cross, Christ satisfied the judgment of God against our sins at the cross, the payment was made in full for those who believe in him so he's not going to promises that and then yank them back out at the last minute and reverse everything that he told us to base our life and hope. Upon his not do that. Otherwise, this was kind of a an inadequate work that Christ did for us when he suffered on the cross know he's not going to rehearse our sins before us. For those of us that are in Christ from talking to Christians now Scripture does make it plain that God will evaluate our lives. At that time.
Listen, listen, listen, God will evaluate our lives, to determine a reward somehow will echo forth throughout all of obviously the judgment seat of Christ will be a place of serious examination, but praise God. It pertains to our works, rather than the judgment of unbelievers souls at the great white throne pastor Don Greene will have part two of his message.
How would you like your judgment next time you're on the truth pulpit as we move further into our series. The art of discernment. We hope you be with us then.
Right now though Don's back your in studio with some closing words will hello my friend. I want to thank you for listening to the truth pulpit. Thank you for being a student of God's word.
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