By; Danny Wallace
There are many ideas about judgment. In the colloquial sense, “judgment” is an opinion expressed as fact. There is certainly a lot of that in the world. In the psychological sense, “judgment” is used to define the quality of cognitive faculties of particular individuals, typically called wisdom or discernment.
In the religious sense, things begin to go a bit off the rails. In this realm, “judgment” is used in the concept of salvation to refer to the adjudication of God in determining Heaven or Hell for each and all human beings, ignoring the fact that God’s judgment happened long ago.
In the over-all sense, “judgment,” is nothing more, and nothing less than a “just decision,” offered by an authority qualified to present a fair opinion that is both fact, and beyond contestation. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, is that authority. There was a time when God was set to judge the world. However, in John 5:22 we see that the Father judges no one. Instead, He has given the Son absolute authority to judge. The right to render righteous judgment at the end of all time, for all people, remains in the hands of the One who saved the world from the penalty of sin, death, and judgment.
In the promised New Covenant, God sent His Son to save the world. His blood became the final sacrifice for the sins of “all” humanity – for all who have ever lived, and all who will ever walk the earth. Jesus, “the Sacrifice,” made this statement in John 12:31…
“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.”
Religion says that God “will” judge the world, yet God stated that He would judge no one. Instead, He passed that right entirely to the Son.
Religion says that judgment is coming. In fact, every preacher and modern-day prophet have continued to echo that sentiment across every decade, of every century. No doubt, that teaching will continue until our Lord’s return. Jesus said, “judgment is now,” as He struggled to reach the cross and die for us all.
When Jesus stepped to the cross of Calvary, He received upon Himself the full, and righteous judgment of God for the sins of the entire world. The judgment that was surely coming has surely come. One of two things happened that day. Either Jesus did not pay for the sins of the world, and judgment is surely coming, or Jesus died for the sins of the entire world and judgment has come, as He assured us.
Most Christians blame their every woe on Lucifer. They testify that Lucifer has attacked them, or that Satan is tempting them, etc. However, Satan is neither omnipotent (all knowing), nor omnipresent (can be everywhere at once). Satan is just like you and me in that regard. He is where he is, and the Prince of Darkness is one place - at one time. He is not omnipresent, like God. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that most Christians have ever encountered the Lucifer.
We credit the illusions of pestering demons to an all-out, strategic attack of Satan, himself against us. It makes us look, and feel spiritually relevant among our peers. We do this in spite of the fact that some 2000 years ago Jesus said, “NOW, the ruler of this world is cast out.” Therefore, most of our wallowing in a supposed malicious attack is our continued allegiance to religion, and our outright refusal to acknowledge the promise of Jesus.
In short, our informal judgment is off, our subjective judgment is off, and our divine wisdom has always been off. We need to relinquish all three for the glory of the only opinion that has ever mattered. To teach others that God is judging the earth, or will judge a man for his sins is to make God a liar, and His Son a liar. God said He would judge no one, but would pass all judgment intended for humanity onto the Son. Jesus said He didn’t come to judge the world, but rather, to save the world. God accomplished that mission.
Nevertheless, the judgment we seek is coming. It’s just not coming by the definition we desire. Jesus will occupy the final seat of “righteous opinion.” The Savior of the world will stand before us, and as promised, every knee will bow and acknowledge Him as Lord of all. The One, who assured us that He had not come to condemn the world, will stand before the world to prove Himself faithful and righteous.
Religion longs for an end-time judge that is religious and spiteful. Nevertheless, by God’s promise, a just opinion will be rendered by the One who laid down His life as a final sacrifice for all of our sins. How does the Savior of the world see the world? Only He can say, who knows – maybe He will smile and simply ask us this question.
“What part of finished, forgiven, and forever redeemed is confusing? Enter into your home, my good, and faithful servants. Perfect, by my sacrifice, not by your works.”