The Judging Process

Error message

  • Deprecated function: unserialize(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($data) of type string is deprecated in css_injector_init() (line 53 of /home/krwester/
  • Deprecated function: unserialize(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($data) of type string is deprecated in css_injector_init() (line 53 of /home/krwester/
(John 5, Matthew 22 & 25, 2 Peter 2, Revelation 20)
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 13

The Judging Process

(John 5, Matthew 22 & 25, 2 Peter 2, Revelation 20)

Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: Why do we have trials and judgments on earth? There are at least three reasons. First, to discover what is the truth in a dispute. Second, to assign fault. And third to impose a remedy to make things right. Is that how you view God’s judgment? If so, you have not fully considered the matter. God knows everything. Nothing you do is hidden from Him. In God’s judgment there is no discovery of the truth. Thus, the assignment of fault and remedy would be greatly simplified. So, why does the Bible speak so much about a final judgment? Why do people speak of an investigative judgment when there is nothing that God needs to investigate? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible to learn more about God’s judgment!

  1. Judgment Confusion
  1. Read Daniel 7:9-10. Is the judgment real? (This text is very clear about a judgment in heaven.)
  1. Read Matthew 25:31-32, Matthew 25:41, and Matthew 25:46. What does Jesus say about a final judgment? (Jesus confirms a final judgment.)
  1. Read John 5:21-22. How does Jesus clarify the nature of the coming judgment? (Jesus says that His Father does not judge, but it is He who will judge.)
  1. Read John 5:24. Does Jesus tell us that some are not subject to the final judgment?
  1. If you answered, “yes,” then on what basis does a person pass from death to life? (This context suggests to us that “judgment” really means “condemnation.” Jesus is making a determination about who “believes Him.”)
  1. Read John 5:28-29. Just a few verses after Jesus tells us that the righteous do not “come into judgment” He talks about an evaluation of “those who have done good” and “those who have done evil.” Can this evaluation be anything other than a judgment?
  1. Notice the last phrase of verse 29, “the resurrection of judgment.” Is judgment being used here to mean condemnation? (Yes. This helps us understand the prior statement about the righteous not coming “into judgment.” Jesus is speaking of condemnation and not evaluation.)
  1. The Standard for Judgment
  1. If we agree that the righteous have some sort of “evaluation” what is it about? Re-read John 5:24. On what are the righteous evaluated? (Whether we believe in God.)
  1. Compare Matthew 25:34-36. This is a much different standard. Can you reconcile them?
  1. Read Matthew 22:1-3. Is this story about the final judgment? (The answer must be “yes,” for Jesus compares this to the Kingdom of Heaven.)
  1. Verse 3 says “they would not come.” How would you compare this to John 5:24? (Passing the evaluation requires first that you respond positively.)
  1. Read Matthew 22:4-7. What is the standard for judgment for the wicked? (They range from paying no attention to deadly hostility.)
  1. Read Matthew 22:8-10. What conclusion should we draw from the fact that “bad” people came to the wedding? And why are they mentioned before the good? I would normally say, “good and bad,” not “bad and good.”
  1. Read Matthew 22:11-12. Why was the man without the wedding garment “speechless?” (He had no excuse. If this were something difficult or complicated he would have had an excuse.)

Read Matthew 22:13. How are the saved in this parable evaluated? What did they have to do to be saved? (Both bad and good came. It required accepting the invitation and wearing the wedding garment. Recall that they were “gathered.”)

  1. Read Matthew 22:14. Doesn’t that seem to be the wrong conclusion? The King did not “choose” the guests, the guests chose to come. What does Jesus mean?
  1. Think back to Matthew 25 and separating the sheep from the goats. Do we have a different standard of judgment for each story? (That seems true on the surface. But consider that in the parable of the wedding feast the largest group of the lost were too busy with their own life to come. The saved group in Matthew 25 are paying attention to the needs of others. The two standards are reconciled by looking at the focus of the life. In both cases they are focused on the call of God.)
  1. Making Sense of the Judgment
  1. Read 2 Peter 2:5. Let’s go back to the question raised in the Introduction about God knowing all - and therefore why a judgment? What does the judgment of the wicked at the time of the Flood teach us about the “Why?” of the judgment? (God wants to end evil. He wants to give everyone the opportunity to “get on the boat.” At the Flood the standard for the judgment was simple: enter the Ark. The standard for the judgment that we have discussed so far has been choosing to come and choosing to wear the robe.)
  1. Since it is obvious that the standard of judgment for the righteous is uncomplicated, what does this teach us about the subject of the judgment? (This suggests that the judgment is really only about the wicked.)
  1. Read 2 Peter 2:9. What additional reason do we find for the judgment? (That it rescues the righteous from the wicked.)
  1. Read 1 Corinthians 6:1-3. We previously learned that Jesus was the Judge. What is this about? How can we judge the world and angels?
  1. Would this explain a slow judgment?
  1. Read Revelation 20:4-6. Who is this judgment for? (Those raised in the first resurrection are involved in a judgment that takes place before the resurrection of the wicked.)
  1. Is this the judgment written about in 1 Corinthians 6:2? (This makes complete sense. The righteous judge the wicked.)
  1. Wait a minute! How did the sheep get sorted from the goats at the first resurrection? Didn’t we previously read that Jesus is the Judge? (Jesus made the first judgment, but this judgment is different.)
  1. Read Revelation 20:11-12. What kinds of books are opened during the judgment? (Books recording what individuals did, and something called the “Book of Life.”)
  1. When does this take place? (Verse 11 starts with the word “then.” Revelation 20:7 tells us that this a after the “thousand years.” Thus, it appears to be after the righteous have judged the wicked.)
  1. Re-read Revelation 20:4. What do you think is the purpose of the righteous passing judgment on the wicked? (So that the righteous will be satisfied with the judgment made by Jesus. This aspect of judgment is to vindicate the justice of God.)
  1. Read Revelation 20:13-15. What does this teach us about the books recording deeds and the Book of Life? (If your name and deeds are written in the books of deeds, you are lost. If your name is written in the Book of Life, you are saved.)
  1. Read Revelation 17:8. Let’s further discuss the Book of Life. Jesus evaluates the righteous before His Second Coming - nothing else makes any logical sense. We have previously discussed the standard for salvation. How does this evaluation operate? How are the righteous named in the Book of Life? (It appears that all of us have our names written in the Book of Life, and that we take our names out. Thus, it is not our deeds that get our names recorded in the Book of Life.)
  1. Let’s explore a couple of other texts on this subject. Read Revelation 13:8, Revelation 3:5, and Revelation 21:27. Those whose names are written in the Book of Life worship God, as opposed to anything else, they “conquered” by choosing righteousness by faith, and their lives reflect what is positive.)
  1. Are you marveling at the idea that you must “opt out” of the Book of Life, out of Heaven? Some argue to me that you must be sincere in your choice, and therefore your deeds are at issue in remaining in the Book of Life. The discussion of judgment and works in 2 Peter 2 is instructive. Read 2 Peter 2:5-8. Both Noah and Lot were saved from judgment by choosing God. Were these perfect men? (No. Genesis 9 records that Noah became drunk and one of his sons (Ham), who was also saved on the Ark, disrespected Noah. Genesis 19 records that after Lot was saved, he got drunk twice and had sex with his daughters.)
  1. What does this suggest is the correct view of your name being written in the Book of Life? Do you need to be perfect in deeds?
  1. Friend, have you answered the call of Jesus and chosen to have your name remain in the Book of Life? If not, why not choose Jesus right now?
  1. Next week: All Things New.