Note: This is the second of a two-part series. Click here for part one.
Perhaps some of you can warmly remember hearing and singing Bill and Gloria Gaither's inspiring song "The King is Coming!" many times, in church or—before CDs—on cassettes and 8-Tracks.
But have you ever sung the one that says "The Judge is Coming?"
I'm not sure there is such a song, but Scripture teaches that Father God has given all final judgment to His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, who "has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). He is coming back to earth to eventually judge all mankind, from ages past to these "last days."
His judgments will be righteous, real and related to what each individual "has done, whether it was good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10b). Nothing will escape His attention.
John's gospel tells us that "the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all men should honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him ... and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man" (John 5:22-23, 27).
We will study more about those end-times judgments a little later in this article. First, we should review how the apostle John spoke of a special messenger in Revelation 14:6-7, having an "eternal gospel" to preach to all those yet alive on earth at the end of this age:
"Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the eternal gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue and people. He said with a loud voice, "Fear God and give Him glory, for the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water."
In the context of "the hour of His judgment," the angel gives three commands to those who "dwell on the earth" in those ending days of mankind: "Fear God ... give Him glory ... Worship Him ..." (14:7b). Any ministry (or minister) that fails to bring people to God to repent of their sins, to "lift up their heads" and give the Creator-God their highest respect and honor, while worshipping His nature and modeling His character, is misguided in its mission.
Our Creator-God is to be worshipped and adored for who He is and praised for what He has done. We are to give Him and His Son our greatest respect, "for the hour of His judgment has come ..." (v. 7b). He comes to answer Abraham's ageless question, "Should not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. 18:25b).
Christ is returning to judge the world, reward the faithful and remove evil and wickedness from the earth (Jude 14-15, Ps. 96:13). He no longer will allow mankind to curse the God of heaven or persecute and kill His prophets and people. Those whose deeds were evil shall be exposed and judged accordingly (John 3:17-20, Matt. 25:31-46, Rom. 2:6-8, 2 Cor. 5:10).
Peter reminds us that God's eventual "judgment and destruction of the ungodly" is delayed only to allow "all to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:10). Believers are to use this time to develop and deploy our spiritual gifts in His service while growing in His character and displaying love for all believers (and even their enemies).
The closer we get to the return of Christ, the more Satan will strive to deceive and draw even professing believers in Jesus to turn their backs on the faith they once believed and joyously practiced. Paul says many will succumb to this deception, and there will be great apostasy. Even Jesus asked the question, "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).
We read in the book of Revelation of those who "overcame" the devil "by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony" (12:11). These end-time believers did not shrink back from death itself, but they showed enduring patience while keeping the commandments of God and faithfulness to Jesus (12:17, 13:10, 14:12).
When these severe steps of persecution and martyrdom begin to happen, Jesus said for us to "look up and lift your heads, for your redemption is drawing near" (Luke 21:28). The apostle Paul encouraged the Thessalonians with these words: "May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ" (2 Thess. 3:5).
The Lord is coming!
Gary Curtis served in full-time ministry for 50 years, the last 27 years of which he was part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the Van Nuys' California Foursquare church. Now retired, Gary continues to write a weekly blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com and frequent articles for digital and print platforms.
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