The consequences of our sin – God’s judgment

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From “How to become a Christian”: Chapter 6 – The bad news first – sin and its consequences.

God’s judgment is going to come upon the whole Earth and upon every person. None of us are exempt and nobody will escape it. Moreover it will be Jesus Christ Himself who will be our Judge:

And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead

Acts 10:42 (NASB)

I said in my heart,“ God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”

Ecclesiastes 3:17 (NKJV)

11 The proud look of man will be abased And the loftiness of man will be humbled, And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. 12For the LORD of hosts will have a day of reckoning Against everyone who is proud and lofty And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased.    

Isaiah 2:11-12 (NASB)

7Let the sea roar and all it contains,
The world and those who dwell in it.
8Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the mountains sing together for joy
9Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth;
He will judge the world with righteousness
And the peoples with equity.

Psalm 98:7-9 (NASB)

6Wail, for the day of the LORD is near!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
7Therefore all hands will fall limp,
And every man’s heart will melt.
8They will be terrified,
Pains and anguish will take hold of them;
They will writhe like a woman in labour,
They will look at one another in astonishment,
Their faces aflame.
9Behold, the day of the LORD is coming,
Cruel, with fury and burning anger,
To make the land a desolation;
And He will exterminate its sinners from it.
10For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not flash forth their light;
The sun will be dark when it rises
And the moon will not shed its light.
11Thus I will punish the world for its evil
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud
And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.   

Isaiah 13:6-11 (NASB)

Just as man is destined to die once and after that face judgment.

Hebrews 9:27 (NIV)

The above verse from Hebrews also shows that the idea of “reincarnation” is totally false.  We only ever die once. After that, we are judged. There are no second chances.  We do not come back to this earth as another person or animal, as Hindus believe.  That is a false hope (if indeed that prospect can even be called a hope). We must face the fact that this life, whether long or short, is our one and only chance to repent, believe and follow Jesus.  If we don’t do it in this life, we never will.

When we die physically we then face God’s ultimate and final judgment. See below how apostle Paul shows that the level of knowledge we each have will affect how we are judged.  However, even those who have little or no knowledge of God or His law will still be answerable for what they do know about what is right and wrong:

12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. 

Romans 2:12-16 (NIV)

Note how fair and just God is.  He will judge each of us at different levels, according to what we know. The more we know, the stricter the judgment will be. But if you imagine that the answer therefore is to deliberately avoid knowing anything, you would be wrong.  As we have seen, even a man who has never heard of Christianity or the Bible is still guilty, because God has written His law into all our hearts in the form of conscience.

Even the most uneducated and simple person knows right from wrong. God writes it into our software. We are born with that knowledge. Thus nobody can ever say that they “did not know” they were sinning, because we all know.  Our conscience tells us. Even if there are some specific laws that you don’t know about, there are plenty of others that you do know.  You know the difference between right and wrong, whoever you are, and whatever country or group you come from.

So, unless God intervenes to do something about it (and we shall see later that He did do something), then we are all doomed. There is no way that we can avoid God’s judgment and the eternal consequences of our sinfulness. The judgment for unbelievers, i.e. non- Christians, is spoken about further in the last book of the Bible, called Revelation. It makes frightening reading, but it is vitally important to face head on what the Bible says will happen to any person who rejects Jesus Christ and who therefore remains unforgiven. They will have to go to the judgment for unbelievers.

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