Monday, July 7, 2008

The Judgment Of God II

Jesus said,

“And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (Jn. 12:47-48)

So, the bible reveals to us that the judgment of God does not come until the “last day;” that is, in the next world, after we die.

“And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb. 9:27)

We are now in a time period of grace. Jesus has died for the sin of man and God is now offering salvation to all men, not judgment. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (Jn. 3:17)

When the scribes and Pharisees caught a woman in adultery, they brought her to Jesus to see what he would do with her. Confronting Jesus, they said to him about the woman, “Now the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?” But Jesus refused to condemn her. In fact, he protected her from her accusers saying, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” And when this challenge compelled all of the woman’s accusers to leave, Jesus simply corrected her and commanded her to “go and sin no more.” (Jn. 8:3-11) Thus, Jesus would not judge this woman even though the law commanded her to be judged. He was bringing a time of grace to the earth instead of the law. (Jn. 1:17)

And when the apostles wanted to “call down fire from heaven” to consume a group of Samaritans for not receiving Jesus into their village, Jesus rebuked the apostles saying, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” This spirit of judgment was not from the spirit of God and neither was “fire coming down from heaven” to consume those who reject Christ.” (Lk. 9:51-56)

Yet people today think that some calamities, disasters, and other bad things that happen in life are the hand of God judging people for sin or God “working” in people’s lives. But they are not.

When Jesus was on earth he refused to judge people, AND he refused to allow tragedies and disasters to destroy people lives. He ALWAYS delivered people from them. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out devils, fed the poor, and calmed storms, (so people would not be destroyed).

Well then, if Jesus came not to destroy but to save, and if he is not using destructive forces on men, (even those that reject him and his word) then where do these things come from and what is their purpose? And then of course, if God is against them, why doesn’t he do something about them?

Whew! That’s a lot of questions. But let’s start with the first and the second. They are the easiest to answer… Where do “destructive forces” come from and what is their purpose?

All destructive forces were birthed from sin and the devil, not from God. Destructive forces were not present in the beginning of creation. It was when man sinned in the Garden of Eden that these forces, (and all evil) were released into the earth. They were never part of God’s will for us nor were they active before sin. And ever since man released these forces, God has been trying to deliver us from them. In fact, he sent Jesus to “destroy the works of the devil,” (not to use them). It is actually the devil that has been using them to destroy us, not God… (1Jn. 3:8)

Speaking of the devil Jesus said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” (Jn. 10:10) Thus, the devil, and the devil’s works of destruction come to steal and to kill and to destroy; Period. They are not good, are not intended to bring good, are not the “hand of God” and are not the judgment of God. (Remember, God did not send Jesus to judge but to save and has reserved judgment until after we die).

But one way that the devil has misled men is to deceive them into believing that sickness, disease, death, destruction, or natural disaster of any kind has come from or is “allowed” by God to correct men or to teach, train, or judge them. However, the bible does not say that. The bible says that God uses the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to teach and to train and to correct men, not death and destruction. (Jn. 14:26; 16:8-13, 2Tim. 3:16-17) And as we have seen, when Jesus was present, he never allowed these forces to destroy for ANY reason, nor taught that they were from God to teach or train or to judge. But not knowing this truth keeps us from resisting the enemy and his work like Jesus did. When these forces come against us, many people either become confused and ineffectual against them, or simply “allow” them to occur, thinking they are from God. But in truth, they are not from God, they are from the devil and are evil, and have come to steal, to kill and to destroy.

It is good to note here that God does not control the devil (or the devil’s works) any more than he controls man. If God controlled the devil, God would NEVER allow him to steal or kill or destroy because stealing, killing and destroying is SIN. And God forbids sin. In fact, if God controlled the devil, (or man) neither would have sinned in the first place because it was against God’s will for them to do so. No, both Satan and man have free wills and choose to do as they please. And the devil will devour us if we let him, and so will some men.

That is why the scripture says to us,

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour;
Whom resist stedfast in the faith…” (1 Pet. 5:8-9)

If the devil can find a way to devour us, he will. But it is not God at work.

That leads us to our third question. If it is true that Jesus is against the devil and all destructive forces in the earth, then why doesn’t he do something about them? The answer really is simple; maybe too simple for some. The answer is that Jesus is not here anymore. It is “we” who are here in his place and “WE” are called to do his works for him.

The bible says that after Jesus offered himself a sacrifice for sin he sat down at the right hand of God, “Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.” (Heb. 10:13 NIV)

Jesus is “waiting” for his enemies to be made his footstool because he gave us, (the Body of Christ) the power and authority to do God’s works on earth. When Jesus was on earth, he showed us what God’s works were and what God would do if he were here, and it is now OUR responsibility to continue those works, putting under our feet, (and under the Lord’s) the works of the devil. This is part of what we call the “Great Commission." (Mk. 16:15-18)

See what I mean about being too simple? But being too simple is not the problem. The problem is that we often complicate things when they are simple. Now I realize that we may complicate things because we are unsure and are searching for answers, but sometimes I think we do it as an excuse, avoiding the responsibility of learning how to control and destroy the works of the devil ourselves. But OUR responsibility it is! And if we don’t recognize our authority and learn how to use it, the works of Christ will not get done, and destruction will continue to destroy.

It is not God who is judging us or dealing with us in tragedy... It is God who redeemed us and set us free, breaking the power of sin and judgment over our lives. It is God who defeated Satan so that we do not have to suffer affliction from him, giving us armor to protect us from his works. It is God who gave us the authority to dominate evil and destruction. And it is God who gave us weapons to defeat the enemy on every front, just like Jesus did. Now it is up to us to believe God’s word and to appropriate what Jesus has purchased for us. We ALL have a part in learning about and developing God’s goodness and his power, and to use it for good as Jesus did, and we can do it as MANY, not just one as Jesus was. This is the only way that Jesus’ work will continue and spread throughout the earth as he had begun it.

Are you ready…? Jesus is waiting for us and so is the world!

(Rom. 8:2, Col. 2:15, 1 Jn. 5:18, Eph. 6:13-18, Mk. 16:15-18)

Submitted by John B. Agati
Author of : “Suffering (God’s Will?)”

More information about this and an upcoming book “Suffering, Unanswered Prayer, (And How to Fix the Whole Thing),” along with a short bio may be found at: www.

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