Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Day of Judgment

(1) What thought does the expression "judgment day" bring to your mind?
The thought of the Judgment Day often causes dread in many, usually because they were mistaught that it is a 24-hour day, when, amid great convulsions of nature -- literal earthquakes,graves opening, etc. -- Christ calls from heavenly bliss and horrible torture the billions of dead, places them back into the old bodies they had at death, sentences them and then sends them back, some to eternal joy in heaven, but the vast majority to eternal torture by fireproof devils. Accordingly, the Judgment Day has been termed Doomsday (see dictionary).
(2) This view, that originated in the "dark ages", makes the Judgment Day quite purposeless -- a farce.
(3) What is condition of mankind in general today as related to condemnation, why, and with what hope?
Because Adam disobeyed, God sentenced him (and the race in his loins) to death, and that death would have been eternal if God had not provided some means to offset the condemnation -- but the sentence was not eternal torment or eternal separation from God. However, God in his great love caused his Son to be "made flesh," "a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death . . . that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." -- Genesis 2:17; 3:17-19; Romans 5:6-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Matthew 20:28; John 1:14; 3:14-18; Hebrews 2:9.
(4) What is the good tidings of great joy which will be to all people?
The "good tidings of great joy, which will be to all people," centers in Jesus, the "ransom for all, to be testified [to all] in due time." This "good tidings" guarantees to "all men" (Acts 17:31) one (no individual second chance for any of Adam's race) full, fair opportunity for everlasting life (either in this life or after being awakened from the dead -- John 5:28,29, New American Standard). God "wills all men to be saved [from Adamic condemnation; but this does not mean that they will automatically live eternally], and to come to the knowledge of the truth." -- Luke 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; 4:10.
(5) Does the word "day" always mean a period of 24 hours?
The term day is often used to mean a period much longer than 24 hours, both in common usage (e.g., Luther's day) and in scriptural usage. -- Genesis 2:4; Hebrews 3:8,9; Psalm 95:7-10; 2 Corinthians 6:2.
(6) Who is being judged during the Gospel Age?
The Gospel Age has been the Church's judgment day (2 Thessalonians 1:4,5; 1 Peter 4:17), but God "has appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness" -- "the day of judgment and perdition [destruction] of ungodly men; but . . . do not be ignorant of this one thing, that one day with Jehovah is as a thousand years." -- Acts 17:31; 2 Peter 3:7,8; Psalm 90:4.
(7) Why does the world not believe the God News in this age? What change is to take place in the age to come regarding this?
Satan, "the god of this world," has for centuries blinded the minds of the vast majority. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9) Darkness has covered the earth and "gross darkness the people." However, in the world's great judgment day Satan is thrown into a symbolic abyss, "that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years are ended." -- Isaiah 60:2, Revelation 20:2,3,7.
(8) Instead of the present age of ignorance concerning God, what will be be taught in the whole world in the coming age?
"In that day," the 1,000-year reign of Messiah, when he will judge mankind, "the earth will be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea." Then it will be said: "Look, this is our God. We have waited for him, and he will save us . . . . We will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." -- Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:9,10; 25:6-9; 40:5; 52:10: Jeremiah 31:34; Habakkuk 2:14.
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(9) The word judge as used in the Scriptures does not mean merely to sentence, but includes -1- instruction (Psalm 19:7-11; 25:8,9: 106:3; 119:108; Isaiah 33:5; 56:1; 59:4,8-15; Ezekiel 22:2; Matthew 12:18-20; 23:23; Colossians 2:16), -2- testing (Psalm 26:1-3, compare 139:23,24; Jeremiah 11:20, compare 20:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:4,5), -3- chastisement for correction (Isaiah 26:9; 1 Corinthians 11:31,32 -- compare Luke 12:47,48; Hebrews 12:5-11; Revelation 3:19), and -4- passing a sentence. -- Matthew 7:1,2; John 7:24; Deuteronomy 1:16; Psalm 17:2.
(10) Jesus "will judge (by these four processes) the living and the dead at (during) his appearing and his kingdom." "He must reign [in his thousand-year reign] until he has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death." -- 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Psalm 72:1-4; Isaiah 11:1-6; 32:1; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Hosea 13:14; Revelation 20:11-15.
(11) The saints [dedicated ones] will rule with him over the earth in 1,000-year judgment day and assist in judging the world, offering to them "the water of life freely." -- Daniel 7:22,27; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Obadiah 1:21; Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:29,30; Romans 8:16-21; 2 Timothy 2:11,12; Revelation 3:21; 5:9,10; 20:4,6; 22:17.
(12) According to Jehovah's oath-bound promise, Abraham's seed, that is, Christ and all the "sons of God" of this age, will bless "all the families of the earth." This blessing will come to the world during the 1,000-year reign. -- Genesis 12:3; 22:16-18; Galatians 3:7-9,16,29; Hebrews 6:13-20; Acts 3:19-25.
(13) Those who are to be blessed include the dead as well as the living -- the dead will be awakened from their "sleep" in death (Psalm 6:5; 146:4; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28,29 NASV; 11:11-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; 2 Peter 3:4) and will then be given an exact knowledge of the truth and a full opportunity to live eternally.
(14) Eventually "God will wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there will be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither will there be any more pain; for the former things [things of Satan's reign, including the curse of sin and death] are passed away." -- Revelation 21:1-4; 22:1-3; Isaiah 35:10; 65:17-25.
(15) "When the Son of man will come in his glory . . . then he will sit on the throne of his glory: and all nations [the unbelieving heathen of this age - Psalm 46:10; 67; 72:1,11,17; 96:3,10; Isaiah 2:2-4; Ezekiel 37:28; 38:16; 39:7] will be gathered [from hades and death -- Revelation 20:12,13] before him. He will separate them [under the testings of that great judgment day] one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats." Those whom he finds to be righteous, pictured as sheep (those who become sheep in the next age, not Christ's sheep of this present age -- John 10:14-15), will be given everlasting life and will "inherit the kingdom" on earth (the meek will inherit it -- Matthew 5:5), whereas those who will not have proved worthy, pictured as goats, will "go away into everlasting punishment [Greek, kolasincutting-off]" in the second death, never to live again. "All the wicked he will destroy." -- Matthew 25:31-46; Psalm 145:20; Revelation 20:9,15; 21:8.
(16) The destruction of the wicked is symbolized by their being cast into the "lake of fire," "which is the second death," into "everlasting fire [fire is an apt symbol, not of preservation, but of destruction], prepared for the devil [who is to be destroyed, annihilated -- Hebrews 2:14; Ezekiel 28:19] and his angels" ; the wicked will be no more. -- Revelation 20:14,15; 21:8; Matthew 25:41; Psalm 37:10,20 .
(17) "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ." "The soul that is sinning, it will die." Eventually "every soul who will not hear [obey] that prophet [Christ] will be destroyed from among the people." -- Romans 6:21,23; John 3:36; 1 John 5:12; Psalm 37:38; Ezekiel 18:4,20; Acts 3:19-23.
(18) Therefore, the Bible shows that the world's judgment day is not Doomsday, but Salvation Day, when God's kingdom will rule over the earth. So we should rejoice greatly as we see it approaching! "Let the earth be glad . . . for he [Jehovah] comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the people with truth." "All the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God," and will fear [reverence] Him. -- Psalm 96; 98; 67; Isaiah 26:9; Numbers 14:21.
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