Morality And Judgment In God’s Kingdom
‘When He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.’ ~ John 16:8
As we begin seeking wholeheartedly after God and his Kingdom it is important that we have a solid understanding of how the Holy Scriptures define and speak of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment in regard to God’s kingdom and rule.
What is sin really? Does God treat our mistakes in ignorance as sins? What does it mean to be righteous? What will the Judgment be like? Will we be judged by our works or by our beliefs?
1.1 Sin Is Willfully Doing Wrong Or Neglecting What Is Right
One of the greatest tactics of the enemy is to get us confused about what sin actually is. The Bible teaches the following about sin.
Ephesians 2:3 ~ We all had our conversation [anastrepho: conduct or behavior] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.
- We all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.
- In the most general sense, sin is gratifying the desires of our body and mind that stand in contrast to what we know to be right.
1 John 3:4 ~ Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
- Sin is a choice to neglect known moral laws. It is knowing that there is some moral law or requirement that should be followed and yet choosing to behave contrary to that requirement.
James 4:17 ~ To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
- Sin is not only doing wrong things but it is also when you know that there are things you should be doing but you choose to not do them.
- When you have knowledge that someone is hurting physically or spiritually or in need of some help, and you have the power and ability to help them, and yet you choose not to, then this is sin.
Romans 14:23 ~ He that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
- Lastly, sin is doing something that you doubt the morality of. If you’re not sure but you think something is probably wrong and you go ahead and do it anyways, this is sin.
1.2 Ignorant Sin Is Not Will Not Be Charged To Our Account
The enemy would have you believe that things done in ignorance and even temptation itself is sin. The plan then, is to confirm a belief in you that overcoming sin is impossible because everything is sinful.
Once you have taken this bate you will much more easily fall for true willful sin. As you sit at the computer about to look at something wrong, it is then easy to reason ‘well, I sin all the time anyways, what’s one more today?’
Romans 5:13 ~ Sin is not imputed when there is no law.
- When there is no knowledge of what is required, and a person breaks the requirement, that person does not get charged with sin.
- Lay this to your heart. The wages of sin is death but it has to be sin that is charged to your account. There is a world of difference between doing something you do not know is wrong and willfully violating a known command! One results in death and the other does not.
Romans 4:15 ~ Where no law is, there is no transgression.
- When there are no known requirements, then even if someone is acting directly contrary to the requirements, that person has no sin.
James 4:17 ~ To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
- Remember, you first have to know the good that needs to be done before neglecting it becomes sin to you.
- Notice also that sin is personal. James says ‘to him it is sin’. What is sin for one person may not be for another. Sin is not absolute but rather dependent upon knowledge and capacity for good.
John 15:22 ~ If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
- Jesus himself says that if he had not revealed certain truths to people then they would not be guilty of sin.
- He says that people can have a cloak or an excuse for their sin. That acceptable excuse would be lack of knowledge.
John 9:41 ~ Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
- Jesus says that if a person is blind to what is required of them then they will not be charged with sin.
- The moment a person receives light and understanding of obligation, and they go against that knowledge, at that point that they become guilty of sin.
- This is how we understand that 1 year olds or mentally challenged people will not be accountable for sin and will not be condemned. It is not that the things they have done are not technically wrong; it is just that it would not be right to hold them accountable.
Psa 19:13 ~ Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
- David says that if he can simply be free from committing presumptuous sins [willful sin against known requirements], then he will be in a state of blamelessness and
- This is the perfection that God requires and nothing more.
1.3 Righteousness Is Being Forgiven & Living A Righteous Life
Righteousness is having a right standing with God and man.
Romans 4:6-8 ~ David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
- First, there is a right standing in regards to one’s past conduct. This is a righteousness that can only be had one of two ways.
- Either one has been perfect since birth or one has been forgiven of their past and had their slate wiped clean. They are therefore seen as righteous in regard to their past.
Psalms 18:23-24 ~ I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.
- Second, the most prominent use of righteousness in Scripture is to be presently in a state where you are not sinning and you are doing what is lawful and right.
- David says that he kept himself from sin and that this was his righteousness. This righteousness was in direct proportion to the cleanness of his hands in God’s sight.
Luke 1:6 ~ They were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
- Righteousness is living in a state where you do everything you know to do and you do it blamelessly.
Genesis 6:13&7:1 ~ God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
- When God was about to destroy the earth, it was because they had all turned from righteousness and become corrupt and violent. God saw that Noah was not violent like the others but that he was a righteous man. It was because of this that God saved him from that corrupt generation he was living in.
I Peter 4:18 ~ If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
- Peter draws a direct contrast between the righteous one and the sinner. There is no such thing as a righteous sinner.
1.4 God Will Judge Us All Based On Our Works In This Life
Contrary to what modern Christianity teaches, judgment will not be based on our faith, but will be based on our works. In fact, there are no scriptures that speak of the Day of Judgment being a time when what we believed is the standard for whether we will inherit the Kingdom of God or God’s wrath and destruction.
Hebrews 9:27 ~ It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
- Judgment is not in this life. It occurs after death and we can be sure that it is coming.
- Note that there is no purgatory mentioned. The very next thing you will experience after death is judgment.
Romans 2:5-8 ~ God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.
- The scriptures plainly declare that God will repay everyone according to what they have done.
- Eternal life will be a reward for those whose works were seeking after him and his Kingdom and God’s wrath will be poured out to those whose works proved they despised truth and were motivated by selfish interests.
2 Corinthians 5:10 ~ For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
- On judgment day, you will receive in accordance with what you have done while you were alive.
- This will be in accordance to whether those things were good or bad. This is clearly a judgment based on our works.
Revelation 22:12 ~ Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
- Jesus declares that when He judges the world he will judge people by what they have done.
Revelation 20:12 ~ 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.
- On Judgment Day, before the book of life is opened, there are another set of books that are opened. These books contain records of our works. Many disregard these books and deceitfully teach only about the book of life.
- Truly, all of our works are written and recorded in these books that are first opened. On judgment day the dead are judged by the records of their works contained in these books. Why have you never heard of the Books of Works? It is because the enemy is doing his job!
1.5 Judgment Result – Everlasting Destruction Or Eternal Life
2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 ~ When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
- Those whose works show that they do not obey the truth, but have been self-seeking, will be destroyed.
- This destruction will be everlasting, eternal, and irreversible.
Revelation 22:14 ~ Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
- Those whose works prove that they kept the commandments of God and did what was right will be granted access to the tree of life, which provides immortality.
- They will also be given access to the New Jerusalem or the Kingdom of God on Earth.