Ezekiel 14:13-14 says, “Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it: Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.” I would encourage you to read through verse 20 on your own. In continuing our series on how God is reasonable, we see from this section of Scripture that the righteous are spared in God’s judgment. Even in the Old Testament, when Israel failed to keep the law and turned to idols, when God judged them for it, He would spare the individual who was righteous (see also Ezk. 18).
This, once again, shows that God does not indiscriminately judge the righteous with the wicked. God is on the side of the righteous. If God be for us, who can be against us? As we saw the last two weeks, God is not judging His children with destruction. Our judgment was passed upon Jesus, and He suffered it for us. There will be a judgment day, but that day is not today. Otherwise, why would it say in Romans 2, that the unrighteous are storing up for themselves wrath, for the day of wrath? We are not in the day of wrath; but I believe that day is coming shortly. We need to be faithful to Jesus, and be ready for His return.
Some would look at 1 Peter 4:17 and 19, and say that God is judging us, and wills for us to suffer. To say that is to totally take those verses out of context. The context of 1 Peter 4 is persecution. In context, the judgment that starts at God’s house is persecution. Are you a real Christian? Are you judged worthy to suffer for Christ? All those who live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2Tim 3:12). Peter is saying, that if you suffer, let your suffering be because you are a Christian; and not because you are an evil doer. Do you see the difference? He is saying that if you are going to suffer, it is God’s will you suffer for being righteous, rather than suffering for being unrighteous.
The righteous will not be judged with the unrighteous – in this world, or in the world to come. The righteous will be judged at the judgment – or reward – seat of Christ (2Cor 5:10, 1Cor 3:13-15). We know this is the case, because in this judgment, the person is already saved; only their works are being judged. Only Believers in Christ Jesus stand in this judgment, and their works are tried by fire. Works of the flesh are burned up like wood, hay, and stubble; works of the Spirit withstand the fire, and become crowns to lay at the feet of Jesus.
The unrighteous will stand at the Great White Throne judgment. The Book of Life will be opened, and their name will not be found in it. Then the books will be opened, and they will be judged according to their works - then be cast into the Lake of Fire and suffer eternal torment. Each of us must choose in this life right now what judgment we want to stand in. If we call on Jesus from a pure heart to save us, and submit to His lordship in our lives; we will stand in the first one. If we refuse Him, we will stand in the second.
“But doesn’t God chasten His children?”, one might ask. Indeed, He does – but not with evil. Calamity, killing, stealing, and destroying is from the thief; the enemy of God and His children. Chastisement, or child training, is good; and is from God (Heb 12:5-12, Rev 3:19). God chastises, or trains us, through His Word (Ps 94:12, 2Tim 3:16-17, Ps 19:7-8, Ps 119:9, 104, 130). If you had to hit rock bottom before you looked up to God, then praise God you looked up. However, don’t mistake that as God putting you at rock bottom. He would rather you heed His Word, and look up to Him now. If we would be trained by His Word today, we would avoid so much destruction in our life from the hand of the enemy.
We should not view our Heavenly Father as an abusive Father whom we can’t trust. “Will He bless me one day, then curse me the next?” This is a flawed view of God, tempered by vain tradition and a lack of understanding of Who Jesus is and what He came to do; as well as His finished work on the cross. I pray this series has blessed you and helped clarify God’s nature for you. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!