Yesterday we thought about how the gospel includes the hope of heaven. Today, we look at the other side of the coin. We look at how the gospel includes judgement. Let us read two scriptures:
This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (Rom. 2:16). Here Paul speaks of his gospel including the judgment of people’s secrets through Jesus Christ.
Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Rev. 14:6-7). Here we hear an angel speaking of the everlasting gospel which includes the hour of the Lord’s judgement.
These scriptures indicate that the gospel includes within in its embrace the reality of judgement. This is surely apposite because the threat of judgement for all who die in their sins without faith in Christ is something that spurs people to flee to Christ. When people become aware that there is a wrath to come then response must be to consider how they can flee from the wrath to come.
By way of contrast, when we have a gospel which does not include judgment, it is very anaemic. For the majority of the people in the west who exist with tolerably comfortable and happy lives, the proclamation of the need for them to embrace by faith Jesus Christ as Saviour is of no consequence. It has no fit into their conception of what a decent life should be.
However, if it is proclaimed to them that a disaster to out-disaster all other disasters is ahead then that puts a very different complexion on the situation. To the question “Why should I embrace Christ as Lord?”, there is an immediate reply: “Because you face hell and judgment if you do not.”
So fellow Christians we need to be reminded that Paul considered, very rightly, that judgment is part of his gospel and so should we.