The Righteous Judgment of God

2Thessalonians 1:5-6 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you

‘Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God.’ Two effects of tribulation: A guarantee of the righteous judgment of God in punishing persecutors for their rebellion against Him and His people (1:5-6) and a guarantee of the rewards of those who endure persecution.

‘Righteous judgment of God.’ All God’s judgments are righteous and based upon the law of sowing and reaping (1:5-6; Gal. 6:7-8; Deut. 32:4). God demands justice of man in judgment (Lev. 19:15, 35; Deut. 1:17; 16:18-19; 24:17).

‘Counted worthy of the kingdom of God.’ From Luke 21:36; Acts 5:41 and Hebrews 3:3 we see that we must be worthy, that is to have or show the qualities that deserve the specified regard.

‘Righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you.’ Righteous for God to trouble troublemakers and give rest to the troubled when the Messiah comes (1:6-7). At this time all persecutors will be dealt with; all who are persecuted will be given rest and be allowed to enter the eternal kingdom (Matt. 16:27; 25:31-46; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 19:1-21).

Righteous Judgment

Romans 2:5-11 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasures up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of 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, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that does evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. 

‘Hardness’ caused by a long course of rebellion (Ps. 81:11-15; 2Cor. 3:14; Heb. 3:8-19). ‘Impenitent heart’ caused by the hardness of heart (Eph. 4:18-19). ‘Treasures up’ [Greek: thesaurizo] increase or store up – here it is storing up things that will call for the wrath of God. The treasure of wrath is varied to the extent one rejects the goodness of God and punishment will be according to its contents (2:6; Matt. 11:22-24; 23:14; Rev. 20:11-15).

‘The day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God’ Paul no doubt refers here to the final judgment when all rebels will receive full retribution for their sins (2:16; Acts 17:31; Rev. 20:11-15). It is called “the wrath to come” (Matt. 3:7; 1Thess. 1:10). All rebels are “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3; 5:6). Many days of wrath have come upon people locally and in this life because of rebellion (Num. 11:33; 16:46; Deut. 9:7-8; Luke 21:23; 1Thess. 2:16; etc.). One more great day of wrath is coming upon people on earth (Rev. 6:16-17; 14:19; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19; 18:3; 19:15), but the great day of wrath is that of the final judgment and eternal hell (Rev. 14:9-11; 20:11-15; 21:8).

‘Render to every man according to his deeds’ repay every man reward or punishment.

‘Patient continuance in well doing’ a must for all (John 6:27; 10:28; 1Tim. 6:12, 19). We are commanded to “do good” to those who hate us (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27; Gal. 6:10; Heb. 13:16).

‘Seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life’ four things to seek: Glory (2:7, 10; 8:18; 2Pet. 1:3); honour (2:7, 10; John 12:26; 1Thess. 4:4); immortality (1Pet. 3:4), and eternal life (John 6:27; 10:28).

These are given on conditions of seeking them (2:7) and by “continuance in well doing” and “working good” (2:7, 10). Acts of obedience do not merit such blessings, which are already provided for by grace, but they demonstrate acceptance of them by man and proof to God of conformity to His will (Php. 2:12; Jas. 1:21-27).

‘Indignation and wrath’ note the contrasted destinies of two classes – good and evil (2:7-11). They care clearly described in Matthew 7:13; 25:46; John 5:28-29; Galatians 6:7-8. Up to physical death, destruction can be cancelled by repentance (Luke 13:1-5; John 3:16-20; Acts 3:19; 1Jn. 1:9) and life can be cancelled by sin (Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 8:12-13).

‘No respect of persons with God’ God cannot be anything but infinitely impartial in His dealings with all men. He cannot prefer one above another nor bless one above another when all meet the same terms and love Him with all the heart. The seeming preference of God between two men is based upon the attitude and disposition of the men toward God and conformity to His plan. Naturally, God cannot bless two men the same when one is in obedience and the other in rebellion. God will bless the ones more who conform more fully to His holiness.

Knowing the Judgment of God Part 2

Romans 1:29-32 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. 

‘Backbiters’ [Greek: katalalos] evil speakers; false accusers; slanderers of absent people. ‘Haters of God’ [Greek: theostuges] hateful to God; atheists; condemners of sacred things; despisers of providence; scorners of good. ‘Despiteful’ [Greek: hubristes] insolent; stormy; boisterous; abusing the characters and persons of those under them; scornful; hateful. ‘Proud’ [Greek: huperephanos] to indulge in pride or self-gratulation; be exalted; elated; glory in self; display or strut self before others; an undue sense of superiority; unnatural self-esteem; arrogance; wishing all people to receive their sayings as oracles. ‘Boasters’ [Greek: alazon] self-exalted, vain, and arrogant braggarts. ‘Inventors of evil things’ [Greek: epheuretes] originators of wicked, immoral, and sinful customs, rites, and fashions; inventors of the abominable religious orgies of Bacchus, and every other form of entertainment rooted in horror, cruelty and base immorality. ‘Disobedient to parents’ rebellious against parents; indifferent to rule and order; irreverent.

‘Without understanding’ ignorant and destitute of capacity for spiritual things; stubborn. ‘Covenant-breakers’ [Greek: asunthetos] not morally bound to any agreement; not dependable; treacherous to covenants; faithless to promises; false to trusts. ‘Without natural affection’ destitute of natural affection; that is, filled with desire for unnatural affection experiences and other sexual deviation sins of Romans 1:24-28.

‘Implacable’ [Greek: aspondos] without libation (which accompanied a treaty). Greeks used it to appease the angry gods and reconcile them to the contracting parties. A person who would not pour libation was at deadly enmity with the other one and showed the highest pitch of an unforgiving spirit. He could not be placated, appeased, or pacified by God. ‘Unmerciful’ [Greek: aneleemon] pitiless; destitute of all benevolence to the needy; cruel; merciless; irreconcilable; severe; unappeasable; unforgiving; unyielding.

‘Not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them’ giving approval and or acceptance to the noted sins of Romans 1:24-28 in the lives of others make one just as guilty as the partakers thereof. Even though it’s not our duty to reprove others of their sin, but the Holy Spirit’s (John 16:8), we are to withdraw from those who sin, lest we fall into the same temptation (Ps. 1:1; 1Cor. 5:9-13; 2Cor. 6:17 – 7:1; 2Jn. 1:10-11).

The Wrath of God

Romans 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse

‘For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven’ – the wrath of God is also revealed in the gospel as part of God’s righteousness.

‘Wrath of God’ this phrase is found ten times in Scripture (1:18; Ps. 78:31; John 3:36; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6; Rev. 14:10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1).

‘Against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men’ this is what God’s wrath is against. In Romans 1:18-32, Paul proves the utter ungodliness of the Gentile world and its deserving God’s wrath. In Romans 2:1-3:8 he proves that the Jews are also ungodly and deserving of God’s wrath. In Romans 3:9-20 he sums up the case of both Jews and Gentiles, proving the whole world guilty.

‘Ungodliness’ [Greek: asebeia] impiety; no reverence for God or sacred things; irreligious (2Tim. 2:16; Tit. 2:12; Jude 1:18). ‘Unrighteousness’ [Greek: adikia] all wrongdoing; immorality; wickedness of heart and life (1:18, 29; 2:8; 6:13; Luke 18:6). ‘Hold the truth in unrighteousness’ hold down, suppress; imprison or bridle.

‘For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made’ Romans 1:20 explains 1:19. All invisible things, even the eternal power and Godhead, are clearly seen by the visible things of creation. Deuteronomy 29:29 says: “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

‘Eternal’ [Greek: aidios] ever-during (forward and back-ward, or forward only): – eternal, everlasting. ‘Godhead’ [Greek: theiotes] Deity. ‘Without excuse’ no excuse for people to be ignorant of the invisible things.

The Nobleman

John 4:46-54 …And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heals his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe. The nobleman say unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son live. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son live. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son live: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee. 

The nobleman was either an officer or prince, (Acts 12:20-21; Jas. 2:8) one of the royal family or an officer of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. This was not the same miracle like that of the centurion’s servant in Matthew 8:5-12 and Luke 7:1-10. The two miracles differ as to time, place, plea, the Lord’s answer, and the man’s faith, as can be seen from a comparison.

‘Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe’ – a statement showing the lack of absolute faith that the centurion of Matthew 8 demonstrated. Signs and wonders are given to make believers (Mark 16:15-20; John 5:20-36; 9:3-4; 10:25-38; 14:10-15). This is why Jesus went with him. If he did not at first believe, he did after Jesus gave him the promise of verse 50. Wanting to see works is nowhere condemned. It is when they are done and men still reject God that judgment will fall (Mat. 11:20-23; Luke 10:13).

‘Thy son lives’ – is the seventh New Testament prophecy fulfilled in John. ‘And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him and he went his way.’ – This, after all, is faith (Rom. 4:17; 10:17; Heb. 11:1). When faith is truly exercised one can go his way in absolute assurance that the work is done. Note that no definite prayer was given; merely a prophecy and a promise.

‘Began to amend’ – One of the most used scriptures today by certain ones who pray for the sick. It is said that Jesus did not always heal instantly, but sometimes gradually, so we are not always to expect an instantaneous healing. This is not the truth. It not only belittles the work of Christ but demonstrates that some teachers have no faith for an instantaneous miracle. This boy was healed the very hour Jesus said he would live (John 4:53) without medicine. If men today can get healing this quickly it will be like that which Jesus gave.

‘Whole house’ – If whole houses are saved, then they must all believe and be prepared to serve God. God saves no one on the faith of others.

Many Masters

James 3:1-2  My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 

When we ‘master’ others – teach – from the Word of God and we cannot contain our tongues (Jas. 1:26) and offend others by telling them what to do or how to live, we do more damage and no good whatsoever.  Our lives, not our words, should set the correct example, that is why our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15) not our mouths. When we teach or reprove those who disrespect or dislike God’s Word, we bring shame on our testimony as followers of Christ (Pro. 9:7-9; Mat. 7:6) and cause others to stumble.  The Holy Spirit is the one to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8).  Matthew 23:10 says that we have one Master, Jesus Christ, and we must learn from Him – the Word (John 1:1, 14). Study the Word, not what others say about it, read your Bible so that you can develop faith, which comes through hearing (Rom. 10:17).  It is through prayer that we can contribute to change in others lives, and by walking in Christ’s footsteps: the life He lived while on earth (1Pet. 2:21-23) by setting a Christ-like example and not one we think is correct because of our own interpretations of the Word (2 Tim. 2:15).

The Parable of the Faithful and Evil Servants

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mat 24:45-51 KJV (Luke 12:42-48)

This parable begins by the words “Who then,” that is, in view of the suddenness of Christ’s coming at a time unexpected, who will not be faithful in the things that have been committed to him during the absence of the Lord? This parable illustrates faithfulness in view of the coming of Christ to the Earth to judge everyone according to the deeds done in the body. This judgment is the same as the judgment of the nations of Matthew 25:31-46. It is not the same as the judgment of the saints before the return of Christ:

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1Cor. 3:11-15 KJV

The Parable of the Pounds

And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.  But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.  Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.  And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.  (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.  But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.  Luk. 19:11-27 KJV

The story actually fits the experience of Herod who left Jericho to go to Rome to obtain the kingdom of Judea (Josephus, Antiquities, 14:9-15; 17:3-4; 18:7,21), facts of which were well known. Whether this is what Jesus used is not stated, but there is no doubt that all of Christ’s illustrations were true happenings of life that His hearers knew about or would recognize as factual and true.

This parable illustrates the postponement of the kingdom of God, or literally the “Kingdom of Heaven” aspect of the kingdom of God. Jesus offered Himself as the King of the Jews and had announced the kingdom of Heaven was at hand. Mt. 4:17 He was rejected by the Jews; so it became necessary to postpone the kingdom until His Second Coming. Mt. 11:20-24; 23:37-39; 27:25

The other point illustrated beside the postponement of the kingdom of God is that of the action of the servants and citizens. In the parable the servants would be the king’s personal attendants and the citizens the subjects of the king. As applied to the kingdom of God, the servants would be the ministers and true believers who are to propagate the gospel of the kingdom, and the citizens would be the Jews who rejected Christ and the gospel. Jn. 1:11; 15:18-25; Mt. 27:21-25

The occasion of this parable of the pounds was that some thought Christ would immediately set up His kingdom. Lk. 19:11 The nobleman illustrates Christ, who was going into a far country to receive for Himself a kingdom and to return. Lk. 19:12; Dan. 7:13-14  The nobleman giving pounds to his servants, saying, “Occupy till I come,” illustrates the responsibility Christ places upon His servants until His Second Coming. Lk. 19:13; Mt. 16:28; 28:19-20  The subjects of the nobleman rejecting him illustrates the rejection of Christ by the Jews. Lk. 19:14; Mt. 23:37-39; 27:25  The nobleman returning with power to reign illustrates Christ’s return in glory to set up His kingdom and deal with His enemies. Lk. 19:15, 27; Mt. 24:37-51; 25:31-46

The judgment of the servants by the nobleman illustrates Christ’s judging and rewarding His servants at the Second Coming. Some servants are going to have greater authority in the kingdom of Heaven than others, and this will be determined upon the basis of faithfulness and work accomplished for God. Lk. 19:15-19; Mt. 16:28; 25:31-46

A pound is equal to 100 drachme, or $65 each for the ten servants. “Thy pound hath gained five pounds” The $65 had gained $325, so the servant was given authority over 5 cities. “Thy pound hath gained ten poundsThe $65 had gained $650. This showed much ability, so he was given authority over ten cities.

The rejection of the servant that did not gain anything for his lord illustrates the rejection of the wicked and slothful servants. Lk. 19:20-25; Mt. 24:37-51 “Thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkinA handkerchief, or sweat cloth is used here and this man lost out through fear of consequences should he lose the money in seeking to gain more. He was not worthy of further trust.

The pound taken from the wicked servant and given to a faithful servant illustrates the law of increase – that which is used increases. Lk. 19:26; 6:38; 2 Cor. 9:6-10

That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him” In the East it was a custom to give presents to the rich, but a poor man received none and was an easy victim of others to take what little he had. This is spoken by the nobleman of Luke 19:12, which is the same principle as that of Jesus in Matthew 13:12; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18. It illustrates that worthy ones will be rewarded and others will not. Mt. 16:27; 25:29; 2Cor. 5:9-10

“Mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me” The nobleman Lk. 19:12 is still speaking, but it illustrates that Christ will also come again and will set up a kingdom and punish His enemies. Mt. 25:31-46; 2Th. 1:7-10; Jude 1:14; Rev. 19:11-21; Zech. 14

May I be found true, tried and trusted and always represent my God in a manner that will allow others to also want to follow Him.