Two Different Judgments
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
— Hebrews 12:25-29 (NKJV)
In the midst of the storms in the last days, God desires that His people be firmly established on the Rock and be a shining witness to the world. The need to prepare is urgent.
Two Different Judgments
We continue to look into the fact that judgment is part of the Gospel.
In John 16:8 Jesus said:
“When He [the Spirit of Truth] has come, He will convict the world of [three things], of sin, of righteousness and of judgment.”
As I see it, those are the three eternal, unchanging realities on which all true religion is based. Sin, righteousness and judgment. And if we ask what sin is, the Scripture says all unrighteousness is sin. So there are just two possibilities in every action and every life, sin or righteousness. And if a thing is not righteous it is sinful.
It is, in a way, easy to define what sin is. As if I were asked: “what is crooked?”, all I would have to do is hold up a straight line and say that anything that departs from that, whether by a little or by much, is crooked.
The same is true with righteousness and sin. God has held up a line of righteousness, it is Jesus. And anything that departs from that, little or much, is sin.
And, on the basis of how we have lived, whether by sin or by righteousness, we will face the judgment of God. There is one appointment that every one of us here will inevitably keep, it’s the judgment of God. Not one of us can escape.
There are two different judgments. There’s the judgment of condemnation and there’s a judgment for those who have received Jesus and lived for Him, which is an assessment of reward. But every one of us will stand before the judgment of God. I think it’s foolish to live as if that were not so. I think, in a way, it’s unjust to the unconverted not to confront them with the reality of God’s judgment.
In what I’m going to say, if I succeed, I will paint a picture of some very terrible and frightening things that are going to come quite soon over the whole earth and all humanity. I could wonder if when these things begin to happen the unconverted will not say to you and me, “Why didn’t you ever warn us that this was going to happen?”
You see, the same person who is the Saviour is also the Judge. His name is Jesus. It’s interesting that when the apostles presented the Gospel to people from a non-Jewish background, they always presented Jesus as both Saviour and Judge. For instance, in Acts 10 when Peter went to the house of Cornelius and began to tell them about Jesus, he said in verse 42 and 43:
“And He commanded us to preach to the people and testify that it is He [that is Jesus] who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that through His name whoever believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins.”
In actual fact, Peter put judgment before forgiveness. He said the same one through whom you can receive forgiveness of sins is also the one who is ordained by God to be the judge of all.
Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You with all of my heart that You have taken upon Yourself my sin, my unrighteousness and my judgment. I acknowledge with gratefulness that You are both Saviour and Judge. Please use me as an instrument in Your hands to bring salvation to others. In Your Name, Amen.
These messages are taken from Derek Prince's teaching on the theme, I Will Shake All Things, available in our webshop here.