How God Judges at the End

The Bible makes it plain that there is nothing arbitrary about the judgment. There is no arbitrary standard by which we are measured. There are no arbitrary decisions made. The choice is actually ours. Look at John 3:19: “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light” (RSV). You see, if we have turned down the truth, we have not been won to trust and we don’t have a willingness to listen. Because of this, God has not been able to help us and to heal us. We don’t have a new heart and a right spirit (Ezek 36:26). We are not the kind of people who would be safe to admit to the hereafter. There is absolutely nothing arbitrary about that.

If any one hears my sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him. He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day (John 12:47, 48, RSV).

The sayings of Jesus are the truth and light that He brought to this earth. While all judgment has been given to Him (John 5:22), there is another sense in which He does not judge at all (John 8:15). You see, in the end we are not judged by Jesus or God, we are judged by the truth. It is a matter of them simply diagnosing our condition. It is a consequence. It is a result. There is nothing arbitrary about it at all. And then what God does to those who have turned down the truth (which means He has not been able to heal them) is not arbitrary either. For what does God do to those who reject the priceless truth about Him? What else can He do in a free universe but sadly give them up? As we noticed in the previous chapter: “Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie . . . God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct” (Rom 1:25, 28, RSV). God sadly gives people up to what they chose to do anyway. In the end-time judgment, God simply recognizes the choices we have made, diagnoses our condition, and announces the results.

In those awesome words of Revelation 22:11, one day God will look at his people, some who have rejoiced in the truth and some who have turned it down. On that day He will say, “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy” (NIV). Just go on doing what you are doing. Go on being what you are. There is nothing arbitrary about that. There is no need to fear God for that reason. We have made our choice and we are reaping the results, both good and bad.