Lesson 10

The Hour of God's Judgment

(John 5, Hebrews 9, Romans 8)
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Introduction: Would you want to be hauled before a court? I assume not! We hate to have to go to court even on routine traffic charges. On the other hand, when we have a controversy with someone else that we cannot resolve, we want to have the right to go to a court to resolve the dispute, right?

Is it that same way with God's final judgment? Do we fear being judged, but at the same time want a final judgment on sin? This week we turn our attention to the final judgment. Let's dive in to see if we can avoid the final judgment!

  1. The End of Sin?

    1. Read John 19:30. What event is being described in this verse? (Jesus' crucifixion.)

      1. Do you remember that during the last two weeks we have been discussing the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries? We decided two things about the death of the sacrificial lamb in the earthly sanctuary. First, that this pointed to Jesus dying to take away our sins. Second, the death of the lamb in the earthly sanctuary was not the end of things. The end came with the Day of Atonement. If that is true, what do you think Jesus is talking about when He says in this verse, "It is finished?"

        1. Is the sin problem over?

        2. Is the controversy between Jesus and Satan over?

        3. Is the decisive battle, but not the war, over?

    2. Read Hebrews 9:26-29. What does this text say Jesus finished at the cross? What does this text say Jesus did not finish at the cross?(Verse 27 is the key. It tells us to look at our own life to learn a lesson. We die once, and then we face a final judgment in the future. This tells us that Jesus also died once, and He will be involved in the final judgment. What He finished at the cross was (v.28) redeeming us (taking away our sins). What He will do at the final ("end of the ages") judgment (v.26) is to put an end to sin.)

  2. The Judge

    1. Read John 5:22, 26-28. Who is our Judge in the final judgment? (Jesus)

      1. Verse 27 says that because Jesus "is the Son of Man" Jesus will judge us instead of the Father. What does it mean that Jesus is the "Son of Man?"

      2. Why does that qualify Him to be our Judge?(This is another aspect of what was finished at the cross. At the cross, Jesus showed that Adam did not have to sin - God's law was just. At the cross, Jesus showed that God was willing to uphold the law by dying in place of man. This vindication of the law and this demonstration of God's unbelievable love shows everyone that Jesus is, indeed, qualified to judge us!)

    2. Read John 5:28-29. When is the judgment of our Judge executed? (When Jesus comes a second time to raise the dead. This accords with the statement in Hebrews 9:26-28.)

  3. Judgment of the Righteous

    1. Read John 5:24. What is the standard for the judgment?

      1. Are the righteous judged? (It seems that they are on some basis. Jesus' statement that the righteous "will not be condemned" assumes they are judged - and acquitted.)

      2. When do the righteous begin eternal life? (The timing is very interesting. Jesus appears to say that when you believe you immediately cross over from "death to life," but the actual judgment comes later.)

      3. We just read John 5:28-29, but I want us to look at it again. What standard for the judgment is given here? (Our works.)

        1. How can you reconcile that statement with the standard we just read in John 5:24? (On the surface these texts seem completely contradictory. Verse 24 speaks of belief alone and verse 29 speaks solely of works. Since Jesus would obviously not contradict Himself in essentially the same breath, I believe this should be understood to mean that the measure for the judgment is whether our life truly reflects our beliefs. We are not justified by works, but belief is not simply a matter of empty words.)

    2. Read Romans 8:1. What does this text teach about the righteous being judged? (Like John, it does not say we will escape judgment, it simply says we will escape condemnation.)

    3. Let's read on. Romans 8:2-3. How was Jesus sent "in the likeness of sinful man?" (Jesus was NOT sinful, but He came down to live like us. He came as Adam - no propensity to sin, but fully able to sin. This text is similar to the John 5:27 "Son of Man" text that we just read.)

      1. Why is Jesus referred to as the "sin offering?" (This is what we have been studying the past two weeks. Jesus died on our behalf to forgive our sins - just as the Old Testament sanctuary service "predicted.")

      2. How did Jesus "condemn sin in sinful man?" (Jesus showed that man (Adam and Eve) did not have to sin. That God's law was just.)

    4. Read Romans 8:4. I'm having us break up sentences, but I think it makes this clearer. How does Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf allow us to go through the judgment with a verdict of (v.1) "no condemnation?" (Because (v.4) "the righteous requirements of the law" are now "fully met in us" because of Jesus. Friend, this is the best news you will ever hear. Jesus meets the requirements of the law for us. Just as the lamb was killed instead of the person in the Old Testament sacrificial system, so Jesus died in our place. But more than that, His sinless life is imputed to us so that we fully meet the "righteous requirements of the law!")(To read more about how we should then live, continue reading the rest of Romans 8.)

    1. Turn to Revelation 20:11-12. How many books do you find in these verses? (At least two.)

      1. What are they? (Verse 12 speaks of "books" involved in the judgment and also refers to "another book" "which is the book of life.")

      2. Are the names of those who are judged found in the book of life? (It does not seem that way.)

      3. What is the basis for the judgment of those whose names are not written in the book of life? (They are judged by their deeds. This recording of all their deeds probably accounts for (v.12) the reference to "books" while at the same time there is only one book of life.)

      4. As you consider these two verses, does it seem to you that the righteous are judged? (This suggests the same thing as the earlier verses in John and Romans. Those whose names are written in the book of life (see also Revelation 3:5) are not condemned. Instead, their true belief in Jesus allows them to escape the final judgment. They come to this judgment with their names already written in the "no condemnation" book of life. Those sinners who have not accepted Jesus as their "Sacrificial Lamb" are judged for what they have done. The record of their sins is still present for everyone to see.)

      5. Read Revelation 20:15. What is the final destiny of those whose names are not written in the book of life? (Eternal death.)

    2. Friend, do you want to be judged based on what you have done during this life? Or, do you want to be judged based on the perfect life of Jesus? Those are our only options. I invite you today to accept Jesus as the "Lamb" sacrificed for your sins so that you may cross over into eternal life.

  1. Next Week: The Remnant

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