Posts Tagged ‘the judgement of God’

Like any good story that has twists and turns, action and romance there is always a big reveal at the end. This is also true for the story of the Bible.

Once everything that God set out to do in the old creation has been done, all mankind has been called to account and Jesus reigns supreme, God will reveal the new creation. He will give it to mankind and mankind to it. All the imagery of Revelation 21-22 points toward the undeniable fact that all are one in God, perfect unity.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
(Revelation 21:1-8 ESV)

The old creation is no more, with its last remnants swept away into Hell. In that day hope will be realised and the unity (glory) of God will be perfected in all things, he will be all and in all. As in the beginning it is not what it looks like (physically) that matters, rather it is the perfection of unity between God, man and creation that matters.

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
(Revelation 21:9-11 ESV)

There will be no barrier and no mediator between God and man, man will live in the presence of God forever. Unrestricted access to the source of life and love. This new union of man and creation (in God) will last forever and the darkness of sin and disunity will have no place in the new creation. This has been secured by Jesus Christ the new head of this new creation.

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
(Revelation 21:22-27 ESV)

While the unity that existed in the beginning was the same type as the unity that will exist in the new creation there is one fundamental difference, Jesus. Jesus is a better head than Adam ever could be. Jesus, the perfect union of God and man, makes all the difference in the new creation. He will not rebel against the union of God because this would require him to rebel against himself and break the mould of unity that all things were created to fit. Instead he will remain true to God and himself forever, securing the lordship of the entire human race over creation.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
(Revelation 22:1-5 ESV)

The End

This is only the beginning.

The enemies of Christ must be cast into hell before the new creation can be inaugurated. Hell is not part of the new creation.

Unity can’t exist between God and those who will not willingly submit to his headship (though all will submit, willingly or unwillingly). Not all who are born of Adam will be reborn in Christ and receive all the good that comes with being united to God and others (in Christ).

Hell is not part of the new creation. Those who are cast out out of the presence of God have no place in the union of the new creation. At the end of Revelation 20 the Bible describes the final judgement after the last war. All those who will not bow the knee willingly are thrown into the lake of fire (hell). This is to ensure that they are dealt with before the union of the new creation is inaugurated. If they are judged after the new creation is inaugurated this will restart the cycle of a divided creation making perfect unity in Christ impossible.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
(Revelation 20:11-15 ESV)

God will have his day in court. There is only one justice, the justice of God. In unity justice for one is justice for all. Only those who are united in him will be vindicated. Those who are not united in Christ will be condemned by their own actions.

The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.
(1 Timothy 5:24-25 ESV)

All that will matter on that day is unity in Christ. God will separate the sheep from the goats, the faithful from the unfaithful. Those who actively and faithfully live out their union in Christ will be set aside to live in union with God forever, in the new creation. By this shall all mankind know the faithful who are in Christ, that they loved one another. Christians will be distinguished by their love in unity, glorifying God by living out their unity in Christ.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
(Matthew 25:31-40 ESV)

The Glory of God is in his oneness/unity. There can be no greater pursuit or life of value than a life lived in union with God. In unity mankind was designed to reflect to glory of God, glorifying him in every action.

Those who will not unite in Christ will be cast out forever. All benefits of unity (in God) received in the present age (though they were not united to him) will be removed forever (the love of family, any good thing, etc). Their fate will be one of eternal torment, beings created to exist in unity with God and one another yet unable to achieve this in the slightest. There will be no hope of reprieve from this torment, no death to look forward to. In that day they will know their own actions condemned them. God will glorify himself by condemning those who will not unite in him, vindicating himself before all.

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For iI was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
(Matthew 25:41-46 ESV)