The judgement to come

18) Will God allow our disobedience and idolatry to go unpunished?

No, every sin is against the sovereignty, holiness and goodness of God, and against His righteous law, and God is righteously angry with our sins and will punish them in His just judgement both in this life, and in the life to come.

“For of this you can be sure: no immoral, impure or greedy person – such a person is an idolater – has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no-one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” (Ephesians 5:5,6)

Judgement is not a nice subject to think about, and most of us avoid doing so if at all possible. And yet it cannot be avoided (Acts 24:25).

We all want justice, both for ourselves and for other people. The distinction between good and evil, right and wrong, must be upheld in the end – otherwise God would not be just. Throughout the Bible, the justice and righteousness of God is portrayed as something good and desirable. It is something that the world longs for and will celebrate when it comes (e.g. Psalm 98:7-9).

But there can be no justice without judgement. And that means the condemnation of all sin. “God will repay each person according to what they have done.” (Romans 2:6) He will not ignore or overlook our sins; justice demands that they be punished. And that will happen after we die. “People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement.” (Hebrews 9:27. Whether we are believers or unbelievers, “we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due to us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (II Corinthians 5:10)

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil,
And grant us peace in our day.
In Your mercy keep us free from sin
And protect us from all anxiety
As we wait in joyful hope
For the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
                  (from Celtic Daily Prayer: Holy Communion)

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