by Truth Encounter Ministries


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If Jesus Rose from the Dead, then (#35) He Will Judge the World

My guess is that few would connect the resurrection of Jesus with the judgment of the world. I wouldn’t have either, prior to this study. But, Paul, while preaching to the Athenians on Mars Hill, clearly does so. In fact, he says that the resurrection of Jesus is the proof that God will judge the world:

Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead. Acts 17:30-31

God calls—no commands—everyone, everywhere to repent. Why? 

Because His judgment is coming. The day is set. It is not a possibility, nor is it an idle threat. The day of judgment of the world is fixed and is a surety. And He has provided the proof that this will take place by raising Jesus from the dead. 

It is also important to note that God says that this judgement will be carried out by Jesus and that it will be done in “righteousness”. It will not be done in retaliation. It will not be done out of spite or hatred or evil intents. It will not be a judgment to prove who is the most powerful or to “settle a score”. 

It will be done in righteousness.

And, the proof that this will happen is because Jesus rose from the dead. He has crushed Satan’s head. He has defeated death. And He will judge the world in righteousness and make all things new; the curse conquered. All will be made right. The lion will lie down with the lamb and the cobra will not strike the child. The dead in Christ will be raised with a new, spiritual body and the saints and loved ones will all be together again with the Lord forever.

I suppose some would say that this is the negative element in our long list of positive things connected to the resurrection. Yet, even so, the righteous in the Scripture cry out for all of this to come about. These petitions are referred to as “imprecatory” prayers. The Psalms are quite full of them. They are the ones we skip over when reading from the Psalms in church. They are quite difficult. It is the plea of the martyrs in Revelation 6:10.

But the longing for God to judge the world in righteousness is a longing for God to make everything right again. It is the longing for the new heavens and the new earth. This is a difficult thing to accept for a culture of “homo deus”, where the notion of God and absolute truth is waning and evil is called good and good evil; where any sort of “judgment” associated with right and wrong from God’s perspective is labelled as hatred.

But reality is quite different. God is holy and just and there will come a day when those outside of Christ will face His righteous judgement. Hard words, yet true. Remember the verse we looked at some time ago from Jesus:

 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. John 5:28-29

Some have stated that their reason for rejecting God is bound up in all of this “judgment” talk. For sure the saints have sometimes, if not often, been less than wise in how this truth has been handled. God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked and yet righteousness and justice will prevail. The day of judgment will come. That day is set and it will come like a thief in the night.

Let’s look at our verse again:

Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead. Acts 17:30-31

Notice, again, the declaration that God has given us proof that judgment is coming by raising Jesus from the dead. Is it any wonder why the resurrection of Christ has had such pushback? Is there any wonder why the resurrection should, therefore, be the primary basis of our apologetic?

And, what is this proof

Well, we have systematically walked through a lot of it. We may not have done it perfectly, but nevertheless the proof is there and God has “provided proof of this to everyone”.

Wait”, you might say. “That proof hasn’t been provided to everyone! Think of those who haven’t heard!

Ah, but God did not say that He “delivered” it to everyone. That is our job. It was the job of the apostles to deliver it, who preached it everywhere, and it is our job to deliver it still today. 

Instead, God has “provided” the proof. 

He has given us the records of the events of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. He has given us the personal, eye-witness testimonies. He has provided an empty tomb and the undisturbed grave clothes. He provided the guards and the angels and the earthquake. He provided the saints who came out of their tombs on that resurrection morning. He has provided us with the record of the bribing of the guards and the broken seal and the rolled away stone. He has provided the radically changed lives of those brothers and sisters who saw and heard and touched the risen Lord. He has provided the myriad of saints whose lives have been transformed by the resurrected Jesus. 

And He has provided you with the same metamorphed, reborn life as well. This is our testimony and our witness. 

Judgment is coming and the proof of that is the resurrected Jesus who is alive today.

He is risen. 

He is risen, indeed.

 

Comments

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  • Kimberly Dunbar

    Kimberly Dunbar

    Praise God ! I know churches that never speak about this day of judgement or sin and it must be spoken or they are doing their congregation a great disservice. They want to be seeker friendly yet they skip over the most important part of Christianity . Fortunately I belong to a church that does speak these words over the flock. I'm so grateful for this

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