"ON EAGLES’ WINGS MINISTRIES"
“Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?” July 2014 Part 1.
“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?” 1st Corinthians 6:2, 3.
The word judgment creates certain notions and misconceptions both in the church and in society at large. Of course, many things believed and practiced in the secular world are being espoused by the church, and thus end up written in laws, and repeated by politicians, educators, and varied categories of professionals and careers people.
As an example, we hear members of Congress and politicians at the State and County levels refer to the coming of Armageddon, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and even the coming of the anti-Christ, to be followed by Christ’s earthly reign in Jerusalem, called the millennium. It does not matter how solidly set in scripture these subjects are. Since the church continues to teach them, the world in one way or another gravitates to them and even accept them as “gospel truths.”
As our continued practice is, we will put the subject of judgment under the microscope of scriptures to glean from them the true message that God wants to convey to his people and to the world at large. The word judgment is usually linked to punishment: thus the judgment of God is equated with burning in hell fire and brimstone. No matter how large or how small, God’s judgments are seen as some sort of tremendous punishment, rained down upon mankind for the sins we commit.
This is obvious when major disasters strike and there is loss of many lives. The average person, and even some well-trained educated people, lean toward the belief that these calamities are the actual judgments of God. So the word judgment is synonymous with carnage, disasters and destruction. But the more powerful and misguided belief is that “judgment” refers to God’s punishment of sinners in a never ending burning hell. In this study, we shall obligate ourselves to look on the other aspects of the word judgment in the context of the scriptures, and before long we shall see that the word has some very pleasant and promising aspects.
To easily understand how judgment works, we only need to closely examine the court systems in developed countries, especially those that are not under the control of dictators or religious extremists. In our court system, to judge, is to conduct a hearing in which an accused person and an injured person both air their differences, more often than not, there is a prosecuting attorney representing the State, and a lawyer for the defense, representing the accused individual.
Presiding over the court (hearing) is a judge, who has two primary responsibilities. One is to the State, to make sure that a convicted person pays the penalty to society. The second, which in many cases are ignored or neglected: and that is to rehabilitate the guilty party. In other words, the judge is faced with a life that has somehow spun out of control, and help is needed to get it back on track.
That is why prisons are called “correctional institutions” intending to be where misplaced values and outrageous behavior, can be remedied and once again become fit to rejoin a sober and productive society. Needless to say, this is far from what the results have been in cases too numerous to count. It has been reported in the news media time and again, that a great percentage of people who went to prison even for minor offences, come out more hardened and worst off than when the entered prison.
The big picture is that a judge is not one who merely hands down sentences with dire consequences in terms of severe punishments. He or she sits in a seat of review with power and obligation, not only to punish (where justified) but also to rectify, reshape, and redirect lives that have gotten out of control. This means that the sentence should both satisfy the State or the Government, but also offers the best chance of reform to the convicted person.
So if putting the person on probation, rather than sending him or her to prison poses a better chance for reform, then that should be the sentence coming from the bench. Sometimes the probation comes with a required amount of hours of voluntary service, and a constant review by a probation officer. In the case of youngsters who got unruly and disobedient, they are put on probation in the custody of their parents. But it seems to me that if the parents were doing a satisfactory job to begin with, the youngsters would not have gone astray and into big trouble.
Let us see how easily it is to misunderstand the words and the ministry of Jesus Christ. He said: “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.” John 9:39. To listen to how this verse has been presented over and over again in sermons and bible studies, one would stand in terror of the man Jesus. It sounds as if he is a man with fierce and punishing intentions. But his judgments had nothing to do with punishments and condemnation. John made it quite clear what Christ’s ministry to the world was. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:17.
Because Jesus Christ came to set things in order, an ancient prophet looked down the corridor of time and announced: “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 40: 4,5. So, as we commonly say these days, Jesus came to level the playing field.
This is a glimpse of how God’s judgments work among the family of man.
Let us not forget that God concluded ALL in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon ALL. Romans 11: 32. Concerning the judgment of God which is our study in this issue, Abraham took the Lord to task and remarked: “That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25.
That is telling it like it is! That is hitting the nail on the head! That is the sum of the whole argument! God’s judgments are always just: always right, and are usually corrective in nature and purpose. They are like a father chastening his son: not to destroy him, but to make him a better man over time. I have heard some who used to be dedicated Christians on radio talk shows rebuffing the idea of any form of trials or punishments that are designed to bring out the worse then the best in us.
I remember that some years ago, I was ministering in a house fellowship in Morgantown, West Virginia, and I offered the thought that Jesus became our great high priest who can be touched by our infirmities, because he was in all points tempted like we are. I suggested that we cannot adequately and thoroughly help others until we can feel what they feel.
While fellowshipping after the meeting, one brother said that he does not agree that in order to help someone else, he had to feel what they feel. But it is God who has designed the process: and it is he who calls the shots. Case in point! We all do not go through the same experience of trials and tests. But because that is the case, we can admonish and strengthen one another, thus learning how to overcome.
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