The Judgements of Jesus.
The Judgements of Jesus Part 1 Video
Medieval, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The bible says that the Father has given all judgement to His son, Jesus.
[Jhn 5:22 KJV] 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
Very often when people thing about God’s judgement they think of Judgement Day. However this is only one of the Judgements that will take place. There are in fact several Judgements. Among them are the following:
Judgement of Nations
Judgement of Cities
Judgement of Angels
Judgement of Believers
There may well be other judgements but here we will look at the ones listed.
The Last Judgement. Albrecht Altdorfer, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Sheep and Goat Judgement. Rijksmuseum, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Nations will be judged by Jesus. We are told about this event in Matthew chapter 25. This event is also known as the Sheep and Goat Judgement.
[Mat 25:31-33 KJV] 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
The basis for the judgement will be how the nations have treated the brethren of Jesus. If you are interested in how this affects nations you can find more information on the web site page England and the Jews.
[Mat 25:40 KJV] 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.
Jesus’ brethren are spiritually all those who believe in him but naturally they are the Jews.
We can see through history how nations have risen and fallen according to their treatment of the Jews. This is a fulfilment of God’s original blessing to Abraham, when he left Ur of the Chaldees to go to Canaan, which was as follows:
[Gen 12:3 KJV] 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
There is a curse that is upon those who curse the children of Abraham.
The next Judgement is the Judgement of Cities. We can see this judgement in Matthew chapter 11 where Jesus pronounces woes on unrepentant cities. Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum are all cited as being guilty because they did not repent when seeing the mighty works performed by Jesus. They are told that it will go worse for them on Judgement Day than it will for the land of Sodom.
The three unrepentant cities lay around the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.Paul Waterhouse, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
[Mat 11:24 KJV] 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
It is interesting to note that the Day of Judgement is specifically mentioned as the time when cities will be judged. The basis of the judgement will be whether they accept or reject the works of Christ. On this subject it is relevant to remember that over the course of the centuries most cities and towns have had the gospel preached in them. For example my own town is Okehampton in Devon. John Wesley came to preach here in the 18th Century and was thrown out. However in the city where I was born, Bristol, he was given a hearing and there is still a chapel in his name in the centre of Bristol. Every town and region has a spiritual history. I am still praying for my town.
John Wesley. John Jackson, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Another judgement mentioned in the New Testament is the Judgement of Angels. In 1 Corinthians chapter 6 Paul is discouraging lawsuits among the believers on the basis that they should be able to judge their own matters.
[1Co 6:2-3 KJV] 2 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? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
So believers will take part in the final judgement of the world and in the judgement of angels. Specifically, the fallen angels who rebelled against God. 2 Peter and the Book of Jude tell us that these angels have been cast down to hell to await Judgement Day. There is no hope for them. The decision has been made. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire along with the devil.
[Mat 25:41 KJV] 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Fall of the Rebel Angels. Luca Giordano, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The Judgements of Jesus.
Light of the World. Stained glass: Alfred Handel, via Wikimedia Commons
The Judgements of Jesus. Part 2. Video
Previously we looked at judgements of nations, cities and angels. The next two judgements are judgements of people. Ultimately the bible makes it clear that there are only two classes of people. The wicked and the righteous. People can only be made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. These people are known as believers.
Firstly we will look at the Judgement of Believers. All believers will have to give an account to Jesus Christ.
[Rom 14:10-12 KJV] 10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
As a believer I will have to give an account of my life to Jesus who is God.
A typical Bema raised platform in Corinth, via Wikimedia Commons
This judgement is often known as the Bema Judgement because the judgement seat of Christ referred to above is a a raised place or platform known as a Bema. This is the place where believers will give an account to the Lord as opposed to the Great White Throne where He will sit on Judgement Day.
There is actually no condemnation for believers so what is being judged is actually the works of the person rather than the person themselves. 1 Corinthians chapter 3 explains that the works of a believer will be judged by fire. Figuratively speaking those works made of wood, hay and stubble will be burnt up but those works made of gold, silver and precious stones will survive.
[1Co 3:13 KJV] 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
Those believers whose works survive the fire will receive a reward. Those whose works do not survive will themselves escape the flames but receive no reward.
[1Co 3:15 KJV] 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
This judgement is separate from the judgement of all humanity on Judgement Day. This final judgement takes place on the last day of all history as it has to take into account everything that has ever happened in the course of history. This is called the Great White Throne Judgement as Jesus is seated on a white throne
[Rev 20:11-12 KJV] 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
The Last Judgement. Albrecht Altdorfer, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Lake of Fire. D. Howard Hitchcock, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Notice that the dead are judged according to their works here. This is really the judgement of those who have not accepted Christ. Believers who took part in the Bema Judgement will be behind the throne not in front of it. They have been saved by grace through faith. Those who are not believers stand or fall on their good and bad deeds. It says the books were opened (plural). These books could be the records of individual people’s lives recording all the good and bad things done in their lives. This would include thoughts, motives and words as well as deeds.
No one is able to pass this test so the Book of Life is opened to see who is in it. My belief is that the only way anyone can be in the book is by faith in God through Jesus Christ.
[Rev 20:15 KJV] 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Judge’s Bench and Jury Box.Carol M. Highsmith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
One way of looking at the issue of Judgement is to think of it in terms of a court of law. In a human court the accused is brought before the judge and jury. The case is heard and all evidence is produced. There is a case for the prosecution and a case for the defence. The court is then adjourned and the jury makes its decision bearing in mind the comments of the judge. The defendant is then pronounced innocent or guilty.
Our lives in this world start with us being condemned as we live in a fallen world. The accuser of the brethren continues to accuse us throughout our lives but, for a believer, our defence is the blood of the lamb which paid for our sins. No other defence is effective against the accuser. When we die believers immediately go to the Bema Judgement but unbelievers go to hell to await Judgement Day where Jesus is the judge. Believers are also present at Judgement Day and take part in the judgement of angels.