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Summary: It is commonly believed that God 'judges' people today, and He does that by causing good things to happen to people doing good things and causing bad things to happen to people doing bad things.

This belief is nothing new and seen in Job, the oldest book of the Bible.

Every use of the word 'judgment' referring specifically to God in the New Testament is regarding salvation and His eternal punishment for those who reject Jesus as Lord and Savior. Receiving Him is the only way to escape it. The judgmental wrath of God against sin was satisfied by the shedding of Jesus' blood and death on the Cross. The love of God for the Born-Again Christian that accepted, justified, sanctified holy, and made them the righteousness of Christ, gives them confidence for the Day of Judgment, and it is His love that casts out any fear of it (Rom. 5:1, 15:7; 1 Jn 4:17; 1 Cor 1:2, 6:11; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 10:10). They are not considered wrongdoers who will deny Jesus (Col 3:23-25).

"For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (1 Peter 4:17 ESV)

The Greek word translated as judgment is "krima," which means a decision or a verdict was made and is not the act of judging. The verse does not say that the first verdict of God shall strike His own house, the Church, and after that, a second verdict shall strike the wicked in the world. It also does not mean that false Christians are to be exposed, and the house of God is to be purified by removing them, or that the true Born-Again Christians are to be purified by suffering from any sins that are still in them.

The image of the time has come for judgment beginning at God's household comes from the Old Testament (Ezek 7:7,12,9:6; Jer 25:18-29; Amos 3:2). The Born-Again Christian also experiences the judgment of earthly courts (1 Peter 4:6), and God can use it to bring discipline to His Bride, just as persecution has refined and strengthened the church throughout history.

The purification, or progressive sanctification, of the Born-Again Christian, is never called "the verdict." The emphasis is on God's verdict on humanity as a result of the crimes that are committed against every Born-Again Christian, just as every court verdict starts from the object involved in a crime. It is not for the Born-Again Christian, who is the house of God, but for those who deserve it because of their treatment of the Gospel and the Born-Again Christian

"And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who PRACTICES righteousness has been born of him." (1 John 2:28-29 ESV - emphasis mine)

Every Born-Again Christian lacks no spiritual gift or blessing that would keep them from living a life that is pleasing to God (1 Cor. 1:7; Eph. 1:3). They were once "alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds," but, at the moment of salvation, they were "reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present" them "holy and blameless and above reproach before" Jesus. The proof a person has been justified and Born-Again is that they actively continue "stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel." (Col 1:21-23 ESV; also 1 Jn 2:19; Phil 1:6).

No Condemnation

"There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8:1 ESV).

The word "condemnation" (Gk: "katakrima") means an adverse verdict, judgment, and sentence pronounced after a detailed investigation. It was at the Cross that God pronounced judgment on the unbelieving world and against satan, the father of lies (Jn 8:4). Jesus said shortly before the Cross, "Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out" (John 12:31 ESV). The Greek word here for 'judgment' is 'krisis' and means the decisive verdict of the court.

God wants every Born-Again Christian to evaluate themselves (1 Cor 11:28). They do this by prayerfully practicing self-examination, honestly assessing their spiritual condition and repenting of behavior that they know to be wrong before the eyes of an all-holy God, to be more like Christ (Eph 4:21–23). God will lovingly correct and chasten His children by disciplining them (Heb 12:5–11; Rev 3:19). God will bring them to a place of repentance and restoration when they sin to show they are not of this world "But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned" (Gk: "Kataknno to cast a verdict) along with the world" (1 Cor 11:32 ESV).

When a Born-Again Christian sins, (and they will because it is in their old nature to do so) they are implored to "confess" their "sins," and God who is "faithful and just," will "forgive" their sins and "cleanse" them "from all unrighteousness." If they say they do not sin they "make him a liar, and his word is not in" them (1 Jn 1:9-10 ESV).

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