Written by one of the world’s judges
Travis B Bryan III
God the Father “judgeth no man.” John 5:22. This means that God judges no man like the world’s judges judge people. Jesus Christ judges no man in this way either. John 8:15. Neither Jesus nor His Father judge retributively as the world’s judges do. The world’s kind of judgment is an “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” type of judgment. Matt 5:38. The punishment must fit the crime.
But the Bible teaches that Jesus does judge people but in a different way from the world. The world’s judges declare a burglar guilty and sentence him to a term of incarceration. This is RETRIBUTIVE or law justice. On the other hand, Jesus dies for the burglar and frees him from the prison of sin, self, the law and the world. We see this in John 8:1-10 where Jesus declines to judge or condemn according to Moses’ law but forgives and frees the woman caught in adultery. This is RESTORATIVE or grace justice. It is a “turn the other cheek” type of justice. It is Judgment By The Cross.
So you may ask, “Then how then are the evil ever punished?” The answer is that they are allowed to destroy themselves. They SELF-DESTRUCT. They are caught in the very snare that they have hidden.
The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made; in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. THE LORD IS KNOWN BY THE JUDGMENT WHICH HE EXECUTETH: THE WICKED IS SNARED IN THE WORK OF HIS OWN HANDS. Ps 9:15-16. See also Ps 7:15-16.
Evil people destroy themselves by rejecting Christ crucified. They reject the truth of the cross. Jesus judges these people by dying for them. They refuse the word of the cross and destroy themselves. It is the Word, Christ and His cross, that saves believers but allows unbelievers to destroy themselves. The cross is God’s only way of judging. He allows people to judge themselves. The Word (Christ and His cross) judges them. John 12:48.
We also are told not to judge others in the way of the world. “Judge not that ye be not judged.” Matt 7:2; Rom 2:1-4; Luke 6:37. These verses are further proof that God does not judge in the world’s way. God would never ask us to “judge not” in a way in which He Himself does judge. He would not prohibit us from doing something that He Himself does do. He does not judge people in the world’s way and neither should we. We should judge people as He does by dying for them, by dying to self and loving them self-sacrificially. Christ judges people by loving them through us. Loving someone who hates you, through the principle of the cross, heaps burning coals of judgment and conviction on the guilty party. Rom 12:17-21. But it allows the “enemy of the cross” the opportunity to make a profound free will decision to either convert to our loving Christ and be saved OR reject Him and be destroyed.
NOW (the eve of the Jesus’ crucifixion) is the judgment of this world. John 12:31. The cross and its principle of self-sacrificial love are the “judgment of this world.”
And, yes, the end-time judgment will be done in exactly the same way. The cross and the principle of the cross will always be God’s only way of judging!