PHBC August 8, 1999

Series: First Peter, Ser. #76

JUDGMENT AT THE HOUSE OF GOD FIRST


TEXT: 1 Peter 4:17-18 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

INTRO: The meaning of this passage was difficult for me at first but, after wrestling with it in my mind for a time, I began to look again at the immediate context. It follows shortly after a verse that speaks of Christians who might suffer as an evil doer and indicates that there is no glory in that but rather shame. 1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other menís matters.

On the other hand, if we consider the verse in the light of verse 16, it could possibly refer to the problems to be faced by Christians at the hands of the world. My main problem with that is that the word judgment, as I understand its meaning and usage, would not be used to refer to persecution. Peter uses the same word four times in his second epistle to these same people and there is no doubt as to what he has in mind in any of those uses.

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.

2 Peter 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

How a word is used in Scripture is more important than what the Lexicographers say about it. I also think the words following this statement indicate the judgment referred to is judgment form God. Peter seems to be saying, "If the righteous, the saved, are barely saved when they experience Godís chastening judgment, what will happen to the ungodly when they are judged by God.

Let me leave this matter since I plan to bring another message on the judgment of the ungodly, and I will give some more attention to this matter at that time.

Some might be prone to say that a Christian would never do any of those things named in verse 15. But, a Christian, given a certain set of circumstances, may do anything that a lost person would do except commit the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. David, a saved man, and a man after Godís own heart, when taking Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, got Uriah drunk in an effort to get him to go spend a night with Bathsheba so that he would think that the son she had conceived by David was actually his son. When that failed, this chosen man of God, this writer of so many beautiful songs, this man after Godís own heart, conspired to have Uriah killed to cover his own sin. Likewise, a Christian, might kill under certain circumstances. I am sure there has been murder committed by children of God throughout the New Testament period.

Consider also that a Christian might be guilty of any manner of evil doing. Consider the sin of the young man at Corinth who had taken his fatherís wife. 1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his fatherís wife. This man was called a brother, and was a brother, and was a brother, who, when disciplined by the church, became very sorrowful and repented and Paul wrote in his second epistle that he should be restored.

Sin can happen in the life of any child of God. 1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Paul instructed the church at Corinth to put this incestuous brother away from among themselves, delivering him unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh. 1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. This clearly indicates a child of God and member of one of the Lordís churches may commit terrible sins for which judgment must come.

Let us now consider our text and its teaching.

I. JUDGMENT MUST FIRST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD

A. This is clearly illustrated in the nation of Israel.

1. God judged Judah for her sins through the use of other nations and then, after his purpose was accomplished, he judged the instrument even more severely. Isaiah 10:12-23 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. 13 For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: 14 And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. 15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. 16 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. 17 And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; 18 And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. 19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. 20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. 22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. 23 For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.

2. Pay particular attention to the first verse of this passage; God would use the king of Assyria to judge Judah as he had used a pagan nation to judge Israel, but after judging Judah, he would judge the king of Assyria and his people. Isaiah 10:12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.

B. Through Jeremiah, God reminds Jerusalem and Mt. Zion, that though he has honored them by choosing them as the place of his special abode in the temple, they will not go unpunished for their sins. Jeremiah 25:29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.

C. Though Godís people will not be judge to the point they will be consumed, He does judge them. Malachi 3:5-6 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. 6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

II. GOD JUDGES HIS CHURCHES WHEN THEY SIN

A. The house of God in New Testament times and today, may refer to a local church of the Lord Jesus Christ and judgment must begin with us. 1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

B. Since Christ is the great High Priest of all his elect, the house of God may also refer to all the children of God. Hebrews 10:21-22 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

C. I have no doubt that Paul has all the saved in mind when he speaks of Christís house in the third chapter of Hebrews. Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

D. On our text Dr. John Gill commented in part as follows. Ver. 17. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God, &c.] By the house of God is either meant the temple at Jerusalem, which is often so called, because it was built for God, and where were the symbol of his presence, and his worship; and now the time was come, or at hand, that God would begin at his sanctuary, and leave this house desolate, and not one stone should be left upon another, as Christ had foretold: or else the church of God, which is frequently called the house of God, because it is of his building, where he dwells, and grants his gracious presence, and which he beautifies, fills, repairs, and defends; and so may design believers in Christ, those that are of the household and family of God: and by judgment is meant, not punishment for sin, strictly speaking, because Christ has endured this in the room and stead of his church and people, and therefore in justice cannot be inflicted on them; but afflictions and persecutions, and which are fatherly chastisements, and different from God's judgment on the world, and condemnation with it; see #1Co 11:32 and these may be said to "begin" with them, because it is only in this life the saints have their afflictions; and which are in love to them, and therefore are early brought upon them to try them, and purge them, and make them partakers of his holiness: besides, wicked men are often made use of as instruments, by which God chastises his people; upon which account they are reserved till last, to be the objects of his vengeance, when they have filled up the measure of their sins; and then what is begun in love at the house of God, will end in wrath and severe punishment on them: and whereas it is said, "the time" is come, or at hand, it may be observed, that as God has his set time to favour his Zion, so likewise to chastise her; all his people's times are in his hand, as of comfort, so of temptation, affliction, and persecution. The first times of Christianity, or of the preaching of the Gospel, were times of trouble and distress; for as it was necessary the Gospel should be confirmed by signs and wonders, so that it should be tried and proved by the sufferings of the saints for it: and the phrase also suggests, that these sufferings and afflictions were but for a time, and even as it were for a moment, for a little while; and is a reason why the saints should glorify God, as these words imply, being introduced with the causal particle, "for"; that they have their sufferings now, and not with the wicked in the world to come, which will have no end.

E. Matthew Henry, commenting on this verse and the expression "judgment must begin at the house of God, wrote the following. "He tells them that the time had come when judgment must begin at the house of God. The usual method of Providence has been this: When God brings great calamities and sore judgments upon whole nations, he generally begins with his own people, Isa. 10:12; Jer. 25:29; Eze. 9:6. "Such a time of universal calamity is now at hand, which was foretold by our Saviour, Mt. 24:9, 10. This renders all the foregoing exhortations to patience necessary for you. And you have two considerations to support you.íí [1.] "That these judgments will but begin with you that are Godís house and family, and will soon be over: your trials and corrections will not last long.íí [2.] "Your troubles will be but light and short, in comparison of what shall befall the wicked world, your own countrymen the Jews, and the infidels and idolatrous people among whom you live: What shall the end be of those who obey not the gospel of God?íí Learn, First, The best of Godís servants, his own household, have so much amiss in them as renders it fit and necessary that God should sometimes correct and punish them with his judgments: Judgment begins at the house of God. Secondly, Those who are the family of God have their worst things in this life. Their worst condition is tolerable, and will soon be over. Thirdly, Such persons or societies of men as disobey the gospel of God are not of his church and household, though possibly they may make the loudest pretensions. The apostle distinguishes the disobedient from the house of God. Fourthly, The sufferings of good people in this life are demonstrations of the unspeakable torments that are coming upon the disobedient and unbelieving: What shall the end be of those that obey not the gospel? Who can express or say how dreadful their end will be?

F. The great Baptist, B. H. Carroll, wrote on this passage concerning the judgment that begins at Godís house. Peter's thought here is that Christians are judged in this world and sinners in the world to come, and that on Christians in this life, in this world, God visits the judgment for sins, and the judgment is so heavy at times, that even life itself passes away under the afflictions of the judgment. It is a good deal like our Saviour said, that if these things be done in a green tree, what shall be in a dry one? If the fire is so hot it will make a green tree blaze, how quickly will it kindle a dead tree? Judgment, he says, must commence at the house of God; it commences there, but it does not end there. The preceding Verse says, "And if it begin first at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?" The thing is this, that our salvation comes through our Lord, so that we ourselves are full of faults, infirmities; we commit sin, we have to be chastised for it, and this judgment comes on us in this world. This is precisely Peter's thought.

G. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown commentary explains the expression in this manner. Another ground of consolation to Christians. All must pass under the judgment of God; Godís own household first, their chastisement being here, for which they should glorify Him as a proof of their membership in His family, and a pledge of their escape from the end of those whom the last judgment shall find disobedient to the Gospel. the timeóGreek, "season," "fit time." judgment must begin at the house of Godóthe Church of living believers. Peter has in mind Ez 9:6; compare Am 3:2; Je 25:29. Judgment is already begun, the Gospel word, as a "two-edged sword," having the double effect of saving some and condemning others, and shall be consummated at the last judgment. "When power is given to the destroyer, he observes no distinction between the righteous and the wicked; not only so, but he begins first at the righteous" [Wetstein from Rabbins]. But God limits the destroyerís power over His people. if Ö at us, what shall the end be of them, &c.óIf even the godly have chastening judgments now, how much more shall the ungodly be doomed to damnatory judgments at last.

H. On this verse C. H. Spurgeon wrote as follows. Judgment must always "begin at the house of God;" and there is, as good Archbishop Leighton very properly says, both "equity and congruity in such an arrangement." There is equity in it; for Christians profess to be better than others, and so they ought to be. They say they are regenerate, so they ought to be regenerate. They say that they are a holy people, separated unto Christ; so they ought to be holy, and separate from sinners, as he was. It is right that, where there is a high calling, and an honored name, there should be a life proving the accuracy of these two things. So, when God begins to test that which professes to be gold and silver, who can say that he does not begin his testing at the right place, and with the right material? There is also a congruity or fitness in this arrangement. The Church of God is his house; and where does a man begin cleansing and reforming? Why, in his own house, of course; he might perhaps feel that he must have some filth in the farmyard, but not in his own sitting-room. There may be much evil abroad that he cannot remove, yet he can begin cleaning up at home. If we want to do any good in reforming the world, the very first duty for each of us is to begin reforming at home; and the Lord, when he means to clear away the dross, begins at home by setting up his "fire in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem." The tests to which God subjects those who profess to be his people are not easy ones. When his fan is in his hand, woe be unto those who are: "like the chaff which the wind driveth away." The Lord says, by the mouth of the prophet Amos, "I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth;" nor shall an atom of chaff be left in the sieve. When omnipotence and omniscience unite to sift the chaff from the wheat, you may depend upon it that the sifting wall be thoroughly done. There is also the testing by fire; and if any are not able to endure that test, "reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them." Then God will weigh us; we shall be put into the balances of the sanctuary, and if we are found wanting, how terrible it will be! We often judge by appearances, but God looks at the heart. We may be deceived by the outward profession, but God sees what is within. He looks for the Truth in our inward parts; and in our hidden parts there must be the true Wisdom, or else we are not saved. Now, dear friends, as the tests are so severe, you see how it is that the righteous are only saved with difficulty. Oh, if I may but come out of that scale full weight, if I may but come out of that fire as pure gold, if I may but remain with the wheat in that sieve, and not be blown away with the chaff, I shall bless God forever and ever that I was saved, even though it was with great difficulty.

I. He warned the church at Ephesus that he would judge them by removing their candlestick unless they repented. Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

1. The candlestick of a church is the evidence of their being a true New Testament church.

2. If it is removed, the administrative work of the Holy Spirit is gone, and though they still look like a church and be very active in doing what seems to be the Lordís work they are not his any longer.

J. He warned the church of Pergamos in a similar manner because of the sins among her people. Revelation 2:14-16 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

K. The church at Thyatira was a good church in many ways but Christ warned them of impending judgment unless there was repentance. Revelation 2:20-22 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

L. The church at Sardis was in a terrible state but still had some folks that had not stained their garments; the church was warned to repent or suffer judgment. Revelation 3:2-3 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

M. The church at Laodecia was in a terrible state of self-sufficient, lukewarmness but was still a house of God and was warned of judgment, even to being spewed out of the Lordís mouth. Revelation 3:14-19 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

N. Because of their error in observing the Lordís supper some members of the church at Corinth were sick and some were dead. 1 Corinthians 11:28-30 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lordís body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

III. THIS WARNING OF JUDGMENT BEGINNING AT THE HOUSE OF GOD HAS AN APPLICATION TO SAVED INDIVIDUALS WHETHER CHURCH MEMBERS OR NOT

A. As I said earlier, there is a sense in which the house of God may refer to all the saved.

1. Paul may have that in mind in Hebrews. Hebrews 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God. Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

2. Paul speaks of the household of faith that seems to refer to the whole of true believers. Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

3. He also speaks of the family, another word which can refer to a household, and this definitely has reference to all the saved. Ephesians 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

B. Regardless of how we interpret the house of God in our text, we do know for certain that God does judge his people when we sin.

1. This was true in Old Testament times and was declared by Moses. Deuteronomy 32:36 For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.

2. It is true today as it was in New Testament times. Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

3. The Psalmist also declared this. Psalm 50:4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

C. The Lord chastens his children. Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

D. We are not antinominians saying you can sin and not face judgment for sin. 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

1. Self-judgment followed by repentance would will save a child of God from more severe judgment from God.

2. We should be grateful that the Lord chastens us in this present life for so that we will never be condemned with the world and cast into hell.

IV. CONSIDER THAT JUDGMENT FIRST BEGINS AT THE HOUSE OF GOD

A. It begins with self-judgment by the Christian for the unregenerate rarely judge themselves very closely. 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

B. Judgment also begins at the house of God in church discipline. 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

1. It is obvious from this verse that a church has the burden of judging its membership.

2. There are certain sins that call for the disciplinary actions of a church body when met together. 1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.

a. This is true of a person who has offended another church member, has been approached by the offended brother or sister seeking reconciliation. Matthew 18:15-18 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

b. It is true of a person guilty of immorality. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

c. It is true in the case of a member who is guilty of propagating heresy. Titus 3:9-10 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject.

C. Judgment begins at the house of God as Christians are chastised when they sin.

1. God chastened Israel for her sins. Deuteronomy 8:5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

2. Solomon wrote of Godís correction of his people. Proverbs 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

3. In the book of Job this same truth is taught. Job 5:17-19 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: 18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.

4. Paul dealt with the matter in Hebrews. Hebrews 12:6-7 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

D. God sorely chastened David for his sin and used several instruments of judgment, including his own family.

1. The sword never departed from his house.

2. Godís hand was heavy upon him in judgment. Psalm 32:3-5 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

3. The arrows of God were sticking fast in him. Psalm 38:1-12 O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. 2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. 3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. 4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. 5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. 6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. 7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. 8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. 9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. 10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. 11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off. 12 They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

4. His judgment from a loving God had a good effect upon him. Psalm 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

V. CONSIDER ALSO THAT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST PRECEDES THE WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT

A. The saved will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ.

1. Weóthe savedómust all appear at this judgment. Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

2. We will be judged according to our deeds done after salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

B. The judgment of the Lordís preachers may give some evidence concerning this judgment as it affects all believers. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every manís work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every manís work of what sort it is. 14 If any manís work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any manís work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

C. In his admonition to the Hebrew Christians Paul indicates that pastors must give an account of their work and if those to whom they have ministered have not obeyed the word of God as they should have, it will be unprofitable to the hearers. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

D. The judgment for the lost will not take place until after the 1000 year reign of Christ. Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

E. Again we have the principle that is set forth by Peter that judgment begins with Godís people and their judgment should serve as a warning to the lost concerning their judgment. 1 Peter 4:17-18 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

CONC: Since God does judge his children, and that severely sometimes as in the case of David, an unnamed man of God, and Moses, consider how severely he will judge you if you are unsaved. If the righteous scarcely be saved, what will be your awful suffering in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone?

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This page last updated Friday, March 04, 2011