July 2, 2011
Resurrection of Judgment
As we saw yesterday, we know that God will never condemn the believer in Christ Jesus. One essence of salvation means that Christ took the death penalty of our sins, and we gained His righteousness. Today, we will see the contrast between the resurrection of judgment for unbelievers, and the resurrection of life for believers.
Believers Do Not Come into Judgment for Sin. Jesus often described the future, and related the future to God’s present plan for everyone. In John 5:24, pages 1662-1663, Jesus explained: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” Notice the parallel here between John 5:24, page 1663, and Romans 8:1, page 1768. In Romans 8:1, page 1768, we know that believers have no condemnation from God. In John 5:24, I face no judgment for sin, because I have passed out of death into life. Jesus develops this great doctrine of no judgment for sin in the following passage.
Dead Will Hear the Voice of God. Now Jesus begins to reveal in more detail how we pass from death into life. Jesus starts with the timing. Jesus indicated that right then, while He was preaching, people were hearing the Word of God. They were all dead spiritually, and condemned to death by the Law. Some of the spiritually dead people listening to Jesus would hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. This word “hear” (“ἀκούσουσιν“) has special meaning here. Jesus refers to hearing spiritually and understanding by faith the message preached by the Son of God (Jesus). In various places, Jesus had taught the crowds around Him a lesson, and then said: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15, page 1518 (John the Baptist); Mark 4:9, page 1563 (Sower and seed); Mark 4:23, page 1564 (lampstand); Luke 14:35, page 1630 (salt)). Jesus taught that only people “of God” hear the words of God (John 8:47, page 1672). He also said that “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice” (John 18:37, page 1692). In the Old Testament, Isaiah the prophet had prophesied about the people of Israel listening to Jesus: “YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE” (Isaiah 6:9, page 1079). Jesus applied this passage to the crowds around Him, and then told His disciples that God had granted them to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and that their eyes and ears have been blessed by God to hear and perceive (Matthew 13:10-17, pages 1522-1523). Also, we should note that Jesus said that people who hear (“ἀκούσαντες“) will live. So, to see the emphasis in the original text, we see that in future, and right now, some people will hear (future) the voice of the Son of God, and, still in the future, when they hear, that hearing will be complete and finished so that they will have life instantly. The point here is that when you hear Jesus, He saves you and gives you eternal life at that moment, and the gift of eternal life is a complete, punctiliar act at the moment you hear and believe the words of the Son of God. While you may continue to listen to Jesus for a life time, Jesus meant that the gift of life was complete at the moment you first heard His voice as the Son of God speaking life to you. In the law of Florida, you must often have a delivery of a gift before it becomes effective. You must have the intent to donate the gift, plus the actual delivery of the gift. In this case, Jesus both intends to make the gift and then actually delivers life to you by means of hearing His word. What a wonderful blessing we have as a completed gift from Christ.
Resurrection of Live and the Resurrection of Judgment. Many people think that everyone will appear at a single judgment before God, but they are mistaken. As we see in this passage, different groups of people face different judgments and different resurrections. In John 5:28-29, we see that one group goes to a resurrection of life, while the unbelieving group goes to a resurrection of judgment. As believers, we have already passed from death into eternal life, at the moment we heard and believed in the Word of God. We will have a resurrection of life, and be rewarded for our acts at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where only believers stand for judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10, page 1809). Believers never have to fear the resurrection of judgment, because we already have eternal life. Believers do not go to a resurrection of judgment, because we have already escaped all judgment and condemnation of sin. Jesus taught that each unbeliever has been judged already, “because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18, page 1658). Every person who does not obey the Son of God has the wrath of God abiding upon him, and he will not see life (John 3:36, page 1659). Unbelievers face eternal judgment at the Great White Throne of God, where they will sentenced to eternity in the lake of fire, prepared for Satan and his followers (Revelation 20:10-15, pages 1938-1939). As people who have heard the voice of Christ, we may confidently rest assured that we will be going to resurrection of life, and never face the resurrection of judgment experienced by unbelievers.
So we learn more about Judgments and Decrees today.
● Everyone who hears the voice of the Son of God today will live and experience the resurrection of life.
● Everyone who does not hear the voice of the Son of God, will experience the resurrection of judgment, and their final abode will be the lake of fire.
● God loved the world, and sent Jesus to speak life to us. Because we heard His voice, we know that we will life with the Son of God forever.
Application for Today
As I live today, I will remember that most of the people I know, and see very often, have never heard the voice of the Son of God. They need to hear about the love of God, and His message of forgiveness in Jesus Christ. I pray that the Lord Jesus will send us forth a laborers into the fields white unto harvest because of the terrible eternal destiny facing unbelievers. I want to share God’s love and the Gospel of Jesus Christ today. Will you remember the resurrection of judgment and share God’s love and the Gospel of Jesus Christ today?