LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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Lesson 12 The Judgment and the End of the World

 

Devotional Reading:   Psalm 94:1Ė10

 

Memory Verse:           2 Peter 3:10

 

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

 

LESSON TEXT

 

Ecclesiastes 12:13Ė14. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

 

Acts 17:31. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

 

Acts 10:42. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

 

Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

 

Romans 2:12, 16. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law . . . 16In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

 

Revelation 20:11Ė13. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

 

Matthew 13:49. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.

 

COMMENTS ON THE LESSON TEXT

 

Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. The judgment shall deal with manís deeds and thought of the heart shall come within its scope.

Acts 17:30. The judge is appointed by God and his jurisdiction includes the whole world. We are assured of a just judgment. This will take place at an appointed time, hence is not a present continuous process.

Romans 14:10. All shall be included in the judgment. Christ is the judge.

Romans 10:42. Both living and dead are included in the judgment.

Romans 2:12, 16. A standard is fixed by which we shall be judgedóthe standard under which each lived. It may be the gospel, the Law, or another standard.

Revelation 20:11, 13. The destruction of the earth and the judgment will occur together. The deeds are to be resurrected and judged. The judgment will include all grades of people who shall be judged by the way they have lived.

Matthew 13:49. The judgment will be at the end of the world and will include the separation of righteous and wicked.

 

LESSON TOPIC: THE JUDGMENT AND THE END OF THE WORLD

 

I. THE JUDGMENT

 

1. There shall be a judgment.

 

A) It is universally believed. The conscience of man warns of a day of justice when he shall receive his just dues. Men feel instinctively that there is a future reckoning for his present deeds. Reason also calls for such a judgment. We know that justice is not fully meted out in this life and if there be no future reckoning our faith in the justice of God is shaken. B) The Bible clearly teaches it. The lesson text, and many other scriptures, speak in plain terms of such a day. The facts given cannot be understood in any way except that there shall be a general judgment of all, both living and dead.

 

2. The purpose of the judgment.

 

A) Not to determine whether or not the individual is guilty. This fact will be fully settled at death. The sinner is now guilty and if he dies without repentance he must remain guilty forever. Not only does God already know this, but the person usually knows also in life and will be sure to know immediately after death. The fact that all receive a reward at death proves this. B) Not to determine the degree of guilt. The examination of the records as pictured in Revelation 20 can scarcely be taken literally. The idea of an investigative judgment, covering decades, to determine the degree of guild of each sinner, is entirely inconsistent with the omniscience of God. C) It will manifest each manís deeds. It will be a public manifestation of each manís standing. Things now covered shall be revealed and justice will be publicly demonstrated. D) It will reveal the justice of God. The righteousness of the sentences will be clearly vindicated. Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess. This will not be a forced acknowledgment, but all men will be constrained to admit the justice of Godís dealings with them.

 

3. The manner of the judgment.

 

A) Christ will sit as judge. He is appointed to be the judge of all men. He is eminently fitted for this because of his human experience and his deity. B) The judgment shall not be prolonged. It is not to be a process consuming much time as we may judge from the picture of the meeting in the air. The entire matter could be, and probably will be, instantaneous. C) The descriptions given are not exact pictures. The purpose is not to tell the exact process of the judgment but to impress the solemn fact and to show its moral character. It is not probably that the conversations described will literally take place. This would prolong time considerably.

 

4. The standard of judgment.

 

A) The revealed will of God. To those acquainted with the gospel it becomes the standard of judgment. Christ told his hearers they should be judged by his words. All men who have opportunity are responsible to know and to obey the gospel. Those who lived under the Law will be judged by the Law. Those who have no revelation of Godís will are amenable to the highest law known to them. In each instance the law of right and wrong found in human nature will be accorded its place. B) The degree of knowledge of the individual. Not all persons under the gospel are equally responsible. The comprehension of duty varies. Some have more complete understanding of Godís will than others so are more responsible. C) The judgment will be perfectly just. Godís justice assures us that he will take into consideration all mitigating circumstances such as human limitations, insufficient opportunity, deficient understanding, and whatever else may make perfect obedience impossible. There shall be no spite but only justice.

 

II. THE END OF THE WORLD

 

1. The world shall come to an end.

 

A) This is not contrary to science. The world has had a beginning and can have an end. Everything in nature reaches its maturity and dies. We are told of dead planets. The destruction of this earth, due to its continuous changes, is held by some to be not only probable but inevitable. B) The Bible teaches it. Besides mention made in the lesson text, several other scriptures speak of the end of the world. C) This to occur at Christís coming and the judgment. John saw the earth flee from his presenceóand Peter says it will occur at the judgment. This locates the event.

 

2. Nature of the event.

 

A) The earth will be destroyed. It will burn up and be dissolved. The heavens will pass away with a great noise. This means more than a changed condition. The earth will be made entirely nothing. B) The heavens shall pass away. Some hold this to mean destruction of the entire universe. To think that all the world will be destroyed at once id to give a magnitude and awfulness to the event beyond imagination. It is hard to think that all worlds are so connected with manís probation as to require their destruction at the end of that period. Whatever the extent of this event man will be left with no earthly home but must make his eternal abode in the place for which he is now preparing himself.