Summary: The Bible describes the judgment of sinners. How does this compare to the popular notions of life after death for those who have not placed their faith in Jesus for salvation?
Please continue standing as we read the Apostle’s Creed in unison.
Last week we took a look at what the Bible has to say about Christians judging and condemning or pardoning and forgiving those who are not born again followers of Jesus Christ.
This week we’ll be taking a look at the judgment that will happen when this old world comes to an end.
What about those who do not know Jesus … What then?
There’s an old hymn of the church that states
There's a great day coming, a great day coming
There's a great day coming by and by
When the saints and the sinners shall be parted right and left
Are you ready for that day to come
There's a sad day coming, a sad day coming
There's a sad day coming by and by
When the sinner shall hear his doom, “Depart I know ye not”
Are you ready for that day to come
And then, there's an old Southern Gospel song called "What Then" by Donnie Sumner that says,
Many years you’ve been toiling to gain earthly treasures
And you may be the greatest of men
Now your time here has ended, eternity’s calling,
Alone facing God, What then?
That is NOT a question the world wants to hear. That’s not a question a lot of folks who call themselves Christians want to hear!
Alone, facing God, what then???
What then??? Heaven, hell, nothingness???
The world has its own pseudo-theology, either we are an accidental freak of monumental coincidence and there is nothing after death, or, the great god of only love just overlooks all actions and sweeps everyone into heaven for a never ending life of fun filled delights.
In the movie, Heaven Is For Real, young Colton Burpo has a near-death experience in which he goes to heaven for a short time. Colton’s father is a pastor. In his father’s congregation is a woman whose son died in combat but she never had any discussion with him about faith in Christ.
This mom and Pastor Burpo have a conversation about the eternal destiny of her son and it goes like this:
"Do you think - I have to ask - do you think my son went to heaven?"
"Do you love your son?" Todd replies.
"Of course," she says.
"Do you think I love mine?" he asks.
"I know you do," she replies.
"Do you think I love my son more than you love yours?"
"Do you think God loves my son more than He loves yours?"
And that’s the end of the conversation.
The obvious conclusion to be drawn from this is,
“Since my son went to heaven and God loves your son as much as He loves my son, then your son must be in heaven as well.”
Is that really how we get to heaven?
Our memory very first memory Scripture we ever learned together as a congregation talks about God’s great love …
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
“Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
Yes, God IS a God of love.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.
“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
“This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.”
The day of judgment …
This, of course, is talking about God’s judgment at the end of time.
People can come under judgment of a sort in this life. We see examples in the Old Testament of Noah and the Great Flood, the plagues of Egypt, Korah’s rebellion (Numbers 16), Sodom and Gomorrah. And in the New Testament we see Ananias and Sapphria and King Herod. All of these are examples of God’s judgment on people in this life, but, what we’re looking at today is the great judgment at the end of time.