Although it has been two months, I would like to pick up where we left off on the subject of New Covenant ministry. If you need a refresher, you can go to our website and get the first article from the download weekly messages page.
We saw in 2Cor 5:17-21, that God has already reconciled the world to Himself through Jesus; and that we, as ambassadors for Christ, have been given the ministry of reconciliation. Unfortunately, many Christians are often proclaiming that God is judging this or that (with no proof, I might add), and basically attributing every evil sickness or disaster to God. In fact, often times, spontaneous, horrific disasters are called, “Acts of God”. The word Gospel literally means almost to good to be true news. It’s the news that Jesus has taken the world’s sin upon Himself and paid the price for them; and that if any person will accept the sacrifice and the person of Jesus, then God will count them righteous. Chuck Swindoll once wrote, “Justification is the Divine act, where God declares a person righteous through their faith, although they are still in a sinning state.” This is the good news. This is the Gospel. It’s not by works - it’s by faith in Jesus (Titus 3:5, Eph 2:8-9). Sin has been judged - On a Roman cross, 2,000 years ago.
God’s Word clearly shows that Jesus was already judged for sin. Here are just a few Scriptures that prove this: Isa 53:3-6, 1Jn 4:10, Rom 8:3-4, Gal 3:13-14, 1Pt 3:18, 1Jn 3:5, Heb 2:9, 1Tim 2:6, Jn 9:39. Let’s also look at Jn 12:31-33, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” It is interesting, that the word “men” was added by the translators. The context from vs. 31 is judgment. While it is true that through the cross Jesus would draw all men (1Tim 2:3-4) to Himself - in actual context, He is saying He would draw all judgment unto Himself.
So am I saying that Christ-rejecting man will never be judged? Of course he will be judged. However, there is an appointed day. Don’t worry, NO ONE gets away with ANYTHING. ALL things will be brought into the spotlight one day - Judgment Day. It has been appointed (Act 17:31). There are many references to it: 1Cor 3-5, 2Tim 4:1, Rev 19:11, Mat 12:36, Rom 2:5, Heb 6:2, 9:27, 2Pt 2:9, 3:7, 1Jn 4:17, Jud 6, Jn 12:48, Rom 2:16. If you are truly saved through faith in Jesus, you have nothing to fear on judgment day (1Jn 4:17). If you have not made Jesus Lord of your life - you may want to do that ASAP (Heb 10:26-31). As Mr. T used to say, “I pity the fool”. Indeed, you are a fool to be pitied - if you have rejected the Son of Almighty God (Prov 26:12)
We need to be declaring why Jesus came to this world. It was not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Luk 9:56, Mat 18:11, Lk 19:10, Jn 3:17, 1Tim 1:15, Jn 12:47). God loves people. Jesus loves people. We need to love people, and stop telling them that God is behind every bad thing that happens in the world, or in their life. We are living in the church age, or the “age of grace”. Today is the day of salvation (2Cor 6:2). God has already done everything through Christ for you to be in right standing with Him, short of just making you get saved - but He won’t make you. You have a choice - a free will. Take it or leave it - but know it is available to you.
Some would disagree with me and point to 1Pt 4:17 to prove that God is judging His people for sin. I agree that God is judging His people; but it’s not for sin. In 1Pt 4, the context of the chapter has to do with persecution. Persecution is not from God; it’s from Satan who hates Christians and would like to see the entire church of God destroyed. The word judgment not only means to condemn or pass sentence on; it also means to recon or discern or make a decision. So in essence, the judgment is being judged, or counted worthy, of suffering for Jesus Christ. A decision (judgment) must be made by each Christian: are you willing to suffer for the cause of Christ? Will you be judged (counted worthy) to suffer for Jesus Christ? After all, it is a privilege as far as God is concerned. Many Scriptures bear this out: Acts 5:41, Rom 8:17, 2Tim 2:11-12, 2Th 1:4-5. In this sense, we should all want to be judged by God. And if your truly dedicated to Jesus, then you will be judged in this way.
Lord willing, we will continue this subject next week. Until then, rejoice in The Lord! (Phip 4:4)