Doctrine of Eternal Judgment

God’s judgments are not necessarily an eschatological subject; God’s judgments have been present throughout the history of Adam’s generation.

The Bible records cases of extraordinary judgments such as those in the cities of the plain, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, precisely because the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.[1]

24Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. Genesis 19:24-25

Chapter one of the epistle to the Romans states that all the cities of the world have been subjected on more than one occasion to the judgments of God:

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Romans 1:18

And it stands out among the judgments of God, three of them, those that have been repeated more times in all history. The first one, the judgment for rejecting God in spite of the testimony of prosperity that He established among them,

21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Romans 1:21-24

The second one, the judgment because of the establishment of idolatry in their regions,

 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. Romans 1:25-27

Finally, the third, the judgment for having taken God out of his subjects of daily reflection,

 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:28-32

And so, in that same line, the apostle Peter establishes in his first epistle that God’s judgments begin first with the house of God thereby establishing that God’s judgments have been, and are, inevitable.

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? 1st. Peter 4:17

Thus, we cannot speak of God’s judgments believing that they are situations of future punishment, as if they were extraordinary events, for the Bible bears witness to the existence that every inhabited city, of all times, has received a visit from God in judgment about their actions.

If so, why did the apostles accumulate a doctrine of judgments?

The apostles’ doctrine instituted within their basic doctrines a particular doctrine of “final judgment,” because the spiritual nature of the Gospel of the Kingdom requires that those to whom the Gospel is proclaimed also know the consequences of rejecting it. This principle was established from the teaching of Jesus:

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

However, the emphasis of the Doctrine of Eternal Judgment is on several particular judgments about the inhabitants of the earth. The first of these,

  • JUDGMENT TO ISRAEL

The judgment to Israel is because of their rejection to Jesus. It was established as a principle of judgment from the time the prophets prophesied about deportation to Babylon.

The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Isaiah 59:8

Recorded in the book of the prophet Isaiah as the cause of his spiritual illness,

From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. Isaiah 1:6

Recorded in the book of the prophet Jeremiah as a result of not obeying Jehovah’s Law,

For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. Jeremiah 4:22

The prophet Jeremiah prophesied about the coming judgment,

Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead. Jeremiah 2:9

The prophet Ezekiel also prophesied about the coming judgment,

7Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you; 8Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. Ezekiel 5.7-8

This judgment was confirmed to be executed on those who asked for the death of Jesus,

Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Mathew 27:25

The judgment to Israel will be executed in the time before the coming of Jesus, is according to the apostle Peter, the starting point for the remaining judgments,

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:  …

Daniel prophesied as he himself was instructed about a time of trouble over Israel in the end of the times,

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. Daniel 12:1

Jesus defined this time of judgment upon Israel as a time of great tribulation,

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  Mathew 24:21

  • JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS

We know of the existence of this type of judgment through Jesus’ direct teaching to His disciples.

The judgment on the nations is God’s judgment on all those nations of the world that mistreated the people of Israel after their expulsion from their land by the Romans. Prophesied for the first time by the prophet Joel,

I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. Joel 3.2

It is also a judgment on nations that did not allow the entry of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment, than for that city. Mathew 10:15


22But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the Day of Judgment, than for you. 23And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment, than for thee. Mathew 11:22-24


And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment, than for that city. Mark 6:11

This judgment is in the time before the coming of Jesus, but after the tribulation upon the people of Israel, and upon the people of God,

Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 2nd. Thessalonians 1:6

  • THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

This judgment is mentioned only once as part of the direct teaching of the apostle Paul,

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2nd. Corinthians 5:10

This judgment is at the coming of Jesus, just before the beginning of the millennial reign. It should not be confused with the judgment of the Great White Throne, for that is the final judgment at the end of the thousand years. This judgment is to define those who will participate in the “marriage of the Lamb“. Jesus defined this judgment as “the wailing and gnashing of teeth“.

It is established in the accounts of the gospels. John the Baptist presents it as part of Jesus’ lordship over the earth,

Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Mathew  3:12


Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. Luke 3:17

Some identify this judgment with the final judgment, according to these texts, mainly by the fact that the texts speak of unquenchable fire. The writer of Mark’s Gospel uses the expression “Gehenna” to refer to the fire is not quenched,

44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell (Gehenna), into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire (Gehenna): 48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:44-48

The Hebrew expression “Gehenna” was used to refer to the place where the kings of Judah sacrificed their children in fire. It is the transliteration of the word Gei Ben-Hinnom, which is translated in the writings of the prophet Jeremiah as “Valley of the son of Hinnom. So he is not referring to being thrown into hell, but to suffering as a result of having followed an apostate doctrine.

And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. Jeremiah 7:31 (See also Jeremiah 7.32; 19.2; 19.6; 32.35)

On the other hand, if you notice well, the action referred to by John the Baptist refers to the government of Jesus over his people, and the only time that the Bible gives us testimony of that action, is during the millennial reign, which according to the book of Revelation, is the time when Jesus will rule over the earth with “rod of iron.”

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Revelations  20:4

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Psalm 2:9


And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. Revelations 2:27


And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. Revelations 12:5


And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Revelations 19:15

In addition, we have the very testimony of Jesus. When Jesus explained the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus emphasized that such an action, that of burning the tares in the fire, is just at the end of the world:

39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Mathew 13:39-42

In addition, as part of the teaching Jesus gave to his disciples, the expression “wailing and gnashing of teeth” is an expression linked to the celebration of the marriage of the lamb, as confirmed in the parable of the ten virgins,

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Mathew 25:10-12

The wailing and gnashing of teeth is the lament for not participating in that for which they had been qualified as eligible, and for which they were instructed, but by neglect of not prevailing in their convictions they lost the opportunity to enjoy it,

But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mathew 8:12


And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Mathew 13:42


And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Mathew 13:50


Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mathew 22:13


And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mathew 24:51


And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mathew 25:30

  • THE JUDGEMENT OF THE GREAT WHITE THRONE

This is the final judgment. It is the judgment in which the final and eternal destiny of humanity is decided, according to the decision in life that each one made, of acceptance or rejection, on the message of salvation presented through Jesus.

This judgment takes place at the end of the thousand years of Jesus’ reign on earth,

 7And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelations 20:7-10

This judgment is led by God Himself. Those who are not found in the Book of Life will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where Satan, the beast, the false prophet, hell and death will also be thrown.

11And 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. 12And 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. 13And 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. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelations 20:11-15

This judgment establishes the end of the material creation to which we are accustomed. This firmament will be discarded and a new spiritual creation initiated,

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. 2nd. Peter 3:7

This doctrine overturns the pagan ideas of reincarnation, and salvation by one’s own works and/or through the mediation of others,

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Hebrews 9:27

 

 

All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Pastor Pedro Montoya

Twitter: @pastormontoya

https://earthenwarevessels.blog

[1] Genesis 13:13

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