What is God’s judgment and who gets judged?
Many Christians believe God’s judgment happens when He comes back. He will separate the goats from the sheep. God will get those nasty evil people who refused to repent and ask Jesus into their lives.
My goodness what a vindictive and punitive mindset to have about God who loved the world!
Scary judgment versus True judgment
Judgment is a confusing and scary topic. Religion makes it so.
If we do not understand His judgment through His everlasting lovingkindness, then it will continue to be intimidating, unsettling, and fearful.
Understanding of true judgment comes when we recognize that everyone is made in the image of God, God does not make bad reflections, and He sent His Son to restore this truth.
Is God A Judge?
Sadly religious Christianity preaches that God is a judge – meaning, someday He will deal with all this sin in the world and all those sinners. He will pound the gavel and declare “guilty” or “innocent”.
What do we do with the following scriptures that negate this religious vindictive punitive mindset?
- God didn’t send His Son to judge the world, but that the world be saved through Jesus. (Jn 3:17)
- The Father judges no one (nothing) but gave all judgment to the Son. (Jn 5:22)
- I can do nothing of Myself. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. (Jn 5:30)
- You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one. (Jn 8:15)
- …I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. (Jn 12:47)
- God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them. (2Cor 5:19)
- While we were sinners, Christ died for us and justified us by His blood and saved us. (Rom 5:8,9)
- When we were enemies we were reconciled to God through His Son’s death, and since reconciled we are saved. (Rom 5:10)
- Through one man’s offense judgment resulted, so through one Man’s righteous act resulted justification (GR. acquittal, absolution, approval) to all. (Rom5:18)
Sure looks like God is a non-judge Judge! Or His definition of judging is certainly different than ours.
Example of non-Judge judging
When Jesus said, “you judge according to the flesh, I judge no one”, He was speaking to those judging the woman caught in adultery. The self-righteous wanted to stone her to death, because the law commanded it.
But, Jesus had no words of condemnation. He came to fulfill (perfect) the law. Its perfection meant He spoke to her true identity. When He said ‘go and sin no more’, He didn’t mean do not commit adultery ever again. Jesus was exposing her emptiness and speaking of her true identity.
Sin (hamartia) means to have no share, to have no part, to be without, to be empty, to have no substance, to miss the mark.
Our mark, our identity, our part, our origin is God and He made us to enjoy and reflect His fullness of goodness. When we do things that don’t reflect Him we are without substance, without share. We are left empty as are others affected by our lack.
Jesus did not judge her actions, He spoke to her true being and for her “to be” so!
Meaning of Judge and Judgment
judge (krínō) – I judge, decide, to separate, distinguish, think good
judgment (krísis) – a decision, a judgment, divine judgment
Now, isn’t it interesting that ‘judge’ also means ‘think good’?
If “God is good and all the time God is good.”, then why wouldn’t His judgment be to ‘think good’ of all of us? Certainly something to think about.
- We tend to see judgment as a negative thing. We hope to escape God’s judgment because we believe it will be fierce. How quick we are to gloss over – God did not come to judge, but to save the whole wide world!
- God’s judgment is reconciliation, restoration, salvation. The Greek word for salvation means deliverance, preservation, healing, wholeness. God is not against man, He is for man – His wondrous reflection. We have believed lies about ourselves. God’s judgment dealt a death blow to those lies and falsehoods. One day He is coming to make it very clear who we all really are, in the meantime He is bringing this truth here and now. Yay!
- If we understood what His judgement really means, then exceeding joy would be our confidence and perspective. One big result – we would judge with a “righteous judgment” – just like His.