But there are other judgments, earthly judgments, in the book of Zephaniah. Some might say we’re “under grace” so God would not bring a judgment of a hurricane or earthquake. Some might say that, but …“Let God be true, and every man a liar”.
Even in our “under grace” covenant, we have numerous examples of judgment right in the New Testament, although these instances aren’t popular subjects in “tickle the ear” sermons.
A less than Scriptural view of God affects how we live and where we will spend eternity. Not acknowledging Him as “YAH who saves”, Yahshua, Jesus keeps you outside His Kingdom. Not knowing YHWH as a loving Father might hamper your communion with Him. In the same way, not acknowledging Him as the awesome Judge, the Almighty King of Kings, who wields a “sharp two-edged sword” (Rev 2:12) can also have disastrous consequences. Jesus Christ said, “I AM coming soon, bringing my recompense with Me, to repay everyone for what he has done.” (Rev 22:12)
THE DISCIPLINE OF A GOOD FATHER
This lop-sided view of the Almighty God of the universe as bringing no judgment has flawed our society’s view of parenting as well. Discipline is lacking in both adults and children. We NEED discipline. But discipline seems to been thrown out the window along with common sense. Children need FIRM discipline. They need to be taught right from wrong. They need to know there are consequences for their actions. “Now, Peter, don’t do that..” said in a wimpy manner over and over IS NOT discipline. If the writer of Hebrews were alive today would he ask “For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” Sadly, there are many undisciplined sons!
“5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:5-11)
“Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” (Proverbs 13:24)
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Eph 6:4)
As mentioned before, God brings judgment in order to correct those who will be corrected before the eternal final judgment, after which there is no recourse.
Instances of Judgment in the New Testament
1. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” So said Jesus in Mark 9:42 While Jesus may be speaking hyperbolically, the point is made. Hurting God’s children has severe ramifications.
2. The immediate deaths of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11 for lying to the Holy Spirit.
3. Herod’s immediate death for receiving the praises of those who called him a god in Acts 12:21-23.
4. The judgment on idolatry of being given over to a perverse demon in Romans 1:21-28. Yes, homosexuality is an extension of idolatry. One abomination leads to another. But repentance brings the grace of God.
5. The judgments on the churches in the Book of Revelation:
“or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent.” (Rev 2:5)
“Repent therefore, or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth.” (Rev 2:16)
“If therefore you won’t watch, I will come as a thief, and you won’t know what hour I will come upon you.” (Rev 3:3)
“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” (Rev 3:16)
THE MERCY OF JUDGMENT
Surely, it can be seen in Scripture that God will judge His Church. Since sin is bondage and leads to death, then is it not a loving, merciful act of God to bring someone to repentance?
Repentance is needed to bring us into His kingdom, into the very Presence of God! That’s the Good News! You won’t trust in a Savior, if you think you have no need for a Savior! Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32) If you haven’t done so, take this time, to admit to God that you are a sinner in need of the Savior Jesus Christ, who died in your place on the cross! He took your sin! He forgives you! Come to Him! Accept His salvation and deliverance in Jesus Christ. Come into His Kingdom where He reigns as the resurrected Christ. Come walk in newness of life by His Holy Spirit!
Now, after receiving the Savior Jesus Christ, we can go on to all the goodness He intends for us! God is FOR us, not against us! The unrepentant devil’s kingdom WILL be judged. God invites you into His Kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost! (Romans 14:17) But the unrepentant, unrighteous cannot enter there, otherwise, they would again propagate ad infinitum their evil. God must judge evil to protect the Godly. But God is not willing for any to perish (2 Pet 3:9), but for all to come to repentance. The choice is yours!
Continued> THE HELL-BOUND