Summary: First he reminds them that they have been forewarned with regard to the oncoming peril. Then he encourages them to maintain themselves in a strong spiritual condition. Finally, he counsels them to use discernment in ministering to those who have been . .
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
I cannot pass v. 15 without taking notice of how often, and how forcefully, the word ungodly is repeated in it, no fewer than four times: ungodly men, ungodly sinners, ungodly deeds, and, as to the manner, ungodly committed. Godly or ungodly means little with men now-a-days, unless it is to scoff at and put down even the very expressions of godliness; but it is not that way in the language of the Holy Ghost. Notice that omissions, as well as commissions, must be accounted for on the Day of Judgment. Notice, further, that unkind language when directed toward one another, especially if it is meant to be hurtful, will most certainly come into account on the Great Day of Judgment. Let us all take care to be a Good Samaritan; if we happen upon one of God’s true saints who is bleeding we ought to bind his wounds and take him to a place where he will be cared for. Let’s do it for his sake and let’s do it for the Lord’s sake.
Christ comes to execute judgment on all; this will occur after Christ’s 1,000 year reign. The rest of the verse shows that the ‘all’ here means all the ungodly. True believers will not be included. Through faith in Christ, they have been granted immunity from judgment, as promised in John 5:24: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” As the Son of Man to whom all judgment has been committed, the Lord Jesus will convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. Four times in this one verse we find the word ungodly occurring. The people are ungodly, their deeds are ungodly, the manner in which they perform these deeds is ungodly, and they further manifest their ungodliness by their blasphemies against the Lord. He will convict them of the whole ungodly business, not just in the sense of making them feel a deep sense of guilt, but convicting them by pronouncing sentence as a result of their proven guilt.
He (Jesus Christ) cometh:
1. To execute judgment—He shall come to judge all the dwellers upon the earth, good and bad.
2. To convince (convict) them. We now commonly use the word convince in a somewhat limited sense, as meaning to satisfy a man's own mind either of the truth of some proposition, or of the fact that he has done wrong, and in this latter sense it is the same as the word convict. This conviction is commonly produced by argument or truth, and is not necessarily followed by any judicial condemnation. But this is clearly not the sense in which the word is used here. The purpose of the coming of the Lord will not be to convince men in that sense, though it is undoubtedly true that the wicked will see that their lives have been wrong; but it will be to pronounce a sentence on them as the result of the evidence of their guilt.
Observe, Christ will condemn no one without precedent (an action or decision that can be used subsequently as an example for a similar decision or to justify a similar action), trial, and conviction. Then every mouth shall be stopped, the Judge and his sentence shall be approved and applauded, and even the guilty condemned criminals shall be speechless, when all ungodly men are convicted of their ungodly deeds.
All that are ungodly among them. All that are not pious; all that have no religion.
Of all their ungodly deeds, etc. Of their wicked actions and words. This is the common doctrine of the Bible, that all the wicked actions and words of men will be called into judgment: “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works" (Rev. 20.13). Death (used here for the grave) gives up the bodies; hell gives up the souls. No one is said to escape or enter eternal bliss. All the unsaved will suffer their eternal doom *(cf. 20:6). Even the unsaved who have died on the seas, whose bodies have never been recovered, will not be exempt from this august tribunal--"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (Jn 5:28, 29).