Let us look into God's Word and see what he says regarding judgment. The Judgment of God affects the lives of each and every one of us. Yet it is something we seldom think of, unless of course it is in the context of His judgment falling on someone else... someone we feel we have been wronged by... then we are all for it. But, do we really have a handle on how God's judgment works in our own lives?
We see in Isaiah 4:4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
As the people of God, we are in dire need of being made clean, of coming into conformity to God's will rather than following after our own will. This change is a requirement, not an option, and it is something that is impossible for us to do in our own strength and understanding. We see from this verse, that the cleansing of the daughters of Zion, (which children we are), is brought about by the Lord, by the spirit of burning and the spirit of judgment. Again, we must see these words with the eyes of our spirit and not just with our natural reasoning. This is an operation of the Spirit of God upon our reborn spirit, bringing us into compliance with Him.
1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. Let us not confuse our own self-righteousness... with holiness. Being well liked and highly thought of by men is not evidence that we are in right standing with God. We need to grasp the reality that having been born again, it is now our job to do our part, and grow up in Christ. To live by and from the dictates of our spirit rather than as we did prior to our conversion, living by the dictates of our flesh and our carnal reasoning. We are called out that we might seek a relationship with God; to press into the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Judgment is a part of this process that we must go through to get there.
Isaiah 33:5 The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. We are His temple; God's dwelling place. Not some geographical spot or man made building, be within the hearts of His people. It is to our individual benefit for us to seek after an understanding of God's judgment.
2 Chronicles 19:6-7 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. Carnal judgment can be bought... God's judgment cannot.
Psalms 9:7 But the LORD shall endure forever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.
Psalms 9:16 The Lord has made Himself known; He executes judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion [meditation]. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
Psalms 37:28 For the Lord delights in justice and forsakes not His saints; they are preserved forever, but the offspring of the wicked [in time] shall be cut off.
Psalms 103:6 The Lord executes righteousness and justice [not for me only, but] for all who are oppressed.
Proverbs 21:3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Micah 6:7-8 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?
Proverbs 28:5 Evil men do not understand justice, but they who crave and seek the Lord understand it fully.
Are we there yet? Do we rejoice in God's judgments?
Jeremiah 5:4-5 Then I said, Surely these are only the poor; they are [sinfully] foolish and have no understanding, for they know not the way of the Lord, the judgment (the just and righteous law) of their God. I will go to the great men and will speak to them, for they must know the way of the Lord, the judgment (the just and righteous law) of their God. But [I found the very reverse to be true] these had all alike broken the yoke [of God's law] and had burst the bonds [of obedience to Him].
Do we want to be counted among the foolish, having no understanding?... ignorant regarding the judgment of our God???
Hebrews 12:5 And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him;
Hebrews 12:6-12 For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God's children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all].
Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness.
For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness--in conformity to God's will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees.
Right here is the KEY. God's judgment to His children is for our profit!! That we might be conformed to His image, and join in true fellowship with Him. The spiritual process God brings about in those who will submit to the operations of the Holy Spirit in their lives... is the only way that we can be partakers of God's holiness. We have accepted teachings that told us that salvation was the end... that we had arrived. We have been misled. Salvation, acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is not the end, it is the beginning. We have received the seed... now we must grow-up in Christ to maturity. Psalms 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. We need to know that we are called to be sons and daughters of the Most High. God desires for us to grow up and reach our full potential in HIM. We see in 1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
My friends, we are called to do exactly the same thing. To live our lives in this world as unto the Lord. To accomplish this... is impossible in our own flesh... by our own understanding (what seems good in our eyes). This is why Jesus sent the Comforter... the Spirit of Truth... to help us, leading us into God's Truth. If we will but trust in God with our entire being; if we will stop resisting and submit to the operations of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we will reach maturity. We will be transformed by the power of His Spirit, accomplishing all that God desires for us to be and do.
There is far too much carnal judgment going on. We tend to gather together in groups of like-minded individuals. We feel that we have achieved some level of insight or understanding of the scriptures... excluding those who think differently than we do. By our unity and numbers, we are emboldened to label others as sinners and ourselves as righteous. "If they would just come around to our way of thinking, then everything would be alright." In reality, this conduct only serves to isolate us from the very ones we should be helping. We categorize people according to their outward appearance... drunkard, druggie, troublemaker, and shun them, as if association with them might rub off on us, or tarnish the righteous image we are trying to maintain. Why do you suppose that most Christians would be horrified if asked to meet someone in a bar or nightclub? "Well, Christians don't go to those kind of places." Maybe something is out of kilter with our whole program. Jesus would, and did. Christians today act more like the Pharisees of old, than the Son of God. The religious leaders accused Jesus of being a drunkard (winebibber) and friend of notoriously bad men. Matthew 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking [with others], and they say, Behold, a glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and [especially wicked] sinners! Yet wisdom is justified and vindicated by what she does (her deeds) and by her children. Just how much of 'God's Wisdom' are we actually demonstrating?
John 8:15-16 You [set yourselves up to] judge according to the flesh (by what you see). [You condemn by external, human standards.] I do not [set Myself up to] judge or condemn or sentence anyone. Yet even if I do judge, My judgment is true [My decision is right]; for I am not alone [in making it], but [there are two of Us] I and the Father, Who sent Me.
You might notice that Jesus did not rail against the people the religious leaders considered sinners. He did however, strongly come against those who 'claimed' to know all about God, the religious leaders themselves. The Church is not charged to judge anyone outside of the Church. Well that would certainly put a new spin on things. We see in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 I wrote you in my [previous] letter not to associate [closely and habitually] with unchaste (impure) people-- Not [meaning of course that you must] altogether shun the immoral people of this world, or the greedy graspers and cheats and thieves or idolaters, since otherwise you would need to get out of the world and human society altogether! But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. [No] you must not so much as eat with such a person. What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]? God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside. Drive out that wicked one from among you [expel him from your church].
Some of us would do well to climb down from our high horses and ivory towers... Judgment belongs to God... not us. We might see more positive results if we spent more time demonstrating God's love through our lives, than by setting ourselves up as judges. We are called to seek after the Lord, and leave judgment in His hands.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God's providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good or evil.
If we would begin to fulfill that which is our duty, we would find that we have our hands full. It is only when we are operating from the realm of the flesh, that we feel at liberty to dispense judgment with a free hand. We have seen from the scriptures...
that no one is exempt from judgment.
That God's judgment is an integral part of being brought into righteousness (right standing with God).
That we have no right to pass judgment on the world.
1 Peter 4:17 For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God? And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the godless and wicked?
There are many times when we experience situations that will try our faith to it's very limits. Those times are when we need to give what we are facing to God. He never asked us to carry it alone or try to solve our own problems. 1 Peter 5:7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. May we seek to lay hold of all that God desires to give us. May we come to know and understand that God is in control of all things; both good and evil. May we learn to rejoice in His Judgments. Jeremiah 10:24 O Lord, correct, instruct, and chastise me, but with judgment and in just measure--not in Your anger, lest You diminish me and bring me to nothing. God's correction is for our own good. We have no problem grasping that concept as it applies to us when we correct our own children, but we need to realize that it is no different when applied to us... for we are God's children. And as such, we will receive correction... that we might be made righteous and have fellowship with Him. God's judgment against rebellion is another matter. We never want to find ourselves on the receiving end of God's wrath. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Let us walk in the path set before us... without grumbling and complaining. Let us never fail to realize that our God is a consuming fire. Search the scriptures for yourself... and ask God to teach you about His Judgments in your life. If we feel the need to judge someone, let us first judge ourselves.
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