There are many in the church that do not believe that God judges in the New Testament era. I believe this is because there is a lack of understanding about what judgment actually is and what the Bible says about it in the New Testament.
I would probably be correct in saying that about 85% of the church world does not believe that God allows judgment today. I have said, “Find out which way 80% of the church world is going and go in the opposite direction, and by default you will be headed the right way.” That is because many do not pray and find out God’s will. They follow their own plan. Pray, find out what the Lord says to do and do that only.
When I speak of God’s judgment, I am not saying it is God’s wrath. There is a difference between the two. Many, when speaking on this subject, don’t make a distinction between the two and it brings confusion to people.
God’s Judgment is His condemnation of wrong. God’s Wrath is His anger exhibited in punishment.
Jesus Christ shed His blood, died and rose again to hold back the wrath of God in this dispensation, time of grace, or church age. His wrath will come on the earth, in the future, because the Bible says so.
…Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev. 6:16b-17)
There is coming a day that our Father God will scatter parts all over this earth, if the Bible is true. The age of grace will be over and his wrath will be poured out.
The Apostle Paul gives us a Biblical example of judgment in the New Testament era.
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. (1Corinthians 5:5)
Apostle Paul turned this man over to Satan, not to God. In other words, he permitted Satan to bring about the destruction of this man’s flesh or cause havoc in his life. The judgment of God today, is when He has to withdraw His grace and mercy from you. He can no longer protect you in your disobedience and sin. To do so would be to violate His Own Word and that would make God a liar, and He cannot lie.
I know that the Lord is very gracious, merciful and long suffering because I have proven it over and over in my own life and ministry. I am so thankful for His mercy and grace in my life! I would have already been dead, long ago, if it were not for His mercy.
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. (Revelation 2:21)
Space means a time or a season. The Lord Jesus will give us space to repent, but the day will come that He will have to withdraw His grace and let Satan have his way with you. He has to or He violates His Own Word. That is what judgment is in this dispensation. Continued disobedience will bring judgment, eventually.
Judgment Is Mercy
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (1 Cor. 11:31-32)
Because it is a controversial topic for many, we have avoided discussing judgment in the church. None of us enjoys thinking about or discussing judgment because we all do not want to be judged ourselves. Most people enjoy hearing about how much the Lord loves them—and He does. We enjoy hearing about God’s kindness and grace. Although we dislike hearing about judgment, it is a Biblical truth that is proven by the New Testament.
Our Heavenly Father is not a crazed tyrant waiting for a chance to cause havoc, turmoil, test and trials, problems or premature death in our lives. God is love. Those things can happen to us, but it is not the fault of our Heavenly Father or the Lord Jesus Christ.
Another major truth to consider is just because we encounter problems does not mean we have done something to deserve it or judgment is taking place. The devil attacks those who are in the perfect will of God to cause problems for them. These things make us depend upon the Lord and be strong in Him and the power of His might. No one can live the Christian life without the Holy Ghost putting them over.
The false doctrine of “it’s not my fault Christianity,” has permeated the church and caused many to live far beneath where God desires, as well as the condition of our nation. It is our fault just as it was Adam and Eve’s fault because God told them so. He judged them for their disobedience. Just like God told the believers in a nation to pray for their nation. If we don’t do it, the condition of our nation is our fault. The other false doctrine is Jesus paid for all my sins so now I do not suffer consequences for my disobedience. The only sins that Jesus has paid for is your confessed and forsaken sin after you are born again. If you continue in sin afterwards you will eventually be judged for it.
Christians look at God’s judgment as punishment because they do not understand it. Judgment is actually the love and mercy of God being extended to you to get your attention, to stop greater destruction in your life. God is not sending anyone to Hell. You send yourself. If you bypass the stop sign on the hill of Golgotha, where Jesus hung on the cross, you will go to Hell. Turn to Him and His mercy and grace will be given to you. There is a Hell to shun and a Heaven to gain!
Judgment In The World
It seems that the only place that does not believe in judgment is in the church. The world surely does. I know because I stood in front of a judge and he found me guilty for the crimes I committed and sentenced me to prison. So the world believes in judgment.
You know that, don’t you? You’ve seen those white signs on the side of the road with big black numbers on them. You think those are speed limit signs, but they’re not. Those are judgment signs. Those are there so when you do not obey them, the police office that pulls up behind you with their lights on can give you a ticket. That’s because you have broken the law and they are pronouncing judgment on you with that ticket. The world believes in judgment. The world believes in consequences for disobeying the rule of law.
The Bible is God’s rule of law. When we violate His law, judgment will come. It’s not God’s fault, just like it’s not that police officer’s fault. It’s our fault for violating the Word of God. But remember, Judgment is the love and mercy of God being extended to you to get your attention, to stop greater destruction in your life. That officer giving you a ticket is the love and mercy of the law (smile), so you don’t end up dead for driving like a maniac.
Judgment In The New Testament
The New Testament is filled with scriptures and instances of the judgment of God. These scriptures are after Jesus Christ died and rose again for the sins of mankind. If you believe that God does not judge today, you will find yourself in a very hard spot one day. Because one day you will find out that God’s judgment in this life is real and you did nothing about it.
Below are the different times that judgment is mentioned in the New Testament. The Bible tells us that we should believe something based on two or three witnesses. I’m sure you will see that there are more than three witnesses below.
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? – 1 Peter 4:17
Ananias and Sapphira fell dead because they lied to the Holy Spirit in Acts 5. Certainly they believe in the judgment of God and that it is for the New Testament era.
King Herod was smote by an angel and died. And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. – Acts 12:21-23
The Apostle Paul spoke to the Corinthians church about the judgment of God.
But Peter said, Ananias, -why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? – Acts 5:3
And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. – Acts 5:5
Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them -which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. – Acts 5:9-11
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. – 1 Corinthians 5:5
The judgment of God came upon the sorcerer Bar-jesus in Acts 13 as the Apostle Paul declared he would be blind for a season. Yes, Bar-jesus believes in the judgment of God in the New Testament dispensation.
And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. – Acts 13:6-13 KJV
The Apostle Paul even warned us about judgment when he spoke of the Lord’s Supper.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. – 1 Corinthians 11:27-32
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. – 1 Corinthians 11:31
These judgments below happened after Jesus was resurrected from the dead. It was in the New Testament era.
And 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. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. – Matthew 11:23-24
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple:and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. -Matthew 24:1-2
Our Heavenly Father must judge the church, if sin is there, before He can judge the world. He is just, fair and righteous and reprieves no person or people group above another when they violate His law. When a Christian continues to live in sin, God will allow them to reap what they have sown. We call this consequences. God calls this judgment. Hopefully they repent and turn to God.
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? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1 Peter 4:17-18)
Herod knows that God judges in the New Testament era. He glorified himself and accepted the praises of men, calling him a god.
And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. – Acts 12:23
It’s unpopular to say that God judges, even on issues of sexual immorality. Yet the New Testament church didn’t believe that.
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 father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, -1 Corinthians 5:1-3
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. – 2 Corinthians 5:5
Judgment happens for those who are trying to stop the plan of the Lord.
Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander: whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. – 1 Timothy 1:20
And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. – Acts 9:4-5,7-9
These are not all of the scriptures in the New Testament, but they are enough for you to see that God does judge in this day and age, in this New Testament era.
What Will You Do
The New Testament is clear about the fact that God still judges today. Despite what some ministers and Christians would preach or want to believe, those messages and those beliefs do not agree with the Bible. That doesn’t mean that every little thing that happens is the judgment of God. You have to stay balanced.
But that also means that we have a part to play in God’s judgment. First off, we need to walk as close to God as possible. The closer we are following what the scriptures say and what the Holy Ghost says, the further we’re going to walk from the devil. We should also make sure that we are obeying the words in 1 Corinthians 11:31: “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” If we’re judging and correcting ourselves, the Lord won’t have to do it. But if we are ignorant of the fact that God judges, we will do nothing about a judgment that could be turned around, or we will fight against something that cannot be changed. That is why it’s important to get God’s point of view on a subject as well, whether that’s from the Word of God or the Spirit of God.
But after looking at all these scriptures in the New Testament, the question may arise, “If the penalty of sin had been paid for, why did judgment come?” They failed to repent. Oh God! Forgive them and us! The only sins that Jesus has paid for is your confessed and forsaken sin. If you continue in sin afterwards, you will eventually be judged for it. Do you think that America will not be judged if it rejects the Lord? Yes it will, is your answer. He is a righteous and just God and is not a respecter of persons or nations. Rejection of Jesus Christ will bring judgment to any nation, just like it did to the Jews.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves . Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? – 2 Corinthians 13:5
If we will examine ourselves, judge ourselves, and ask the Lord if there is anything that we need to get out of us, then we will have no problem. If we will seek God and desire to live according to His ways, asking Him to remove things that need to be removed, then we will go on with God. Do not be afraid of the judgment of God. It is His love and mercy. Be concerned when judgment comes and there is no repentance. God is with us!
Further Reading on the Judgment on God: The Church Is Responsible