The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes paints us a very clear picture concerning the judgment of God. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Our Almighty God has given us His Word, the Bible, so as to enable His children to learn from the mistakes committed by other people in times past as well as to warn us of impending judgment should we fail to take heed to His warnings and change our sinful way of life.
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
Hence, as we consider the judgment of God, we can benefit much from considering the example of the nation of Israel during the period of Jewish history recorded in the Old Testament.
Following the death of King Solomon, we would remember that the kingdom was divided into two separate kingdoms in 931 B.C with King Jeroboam ruling the northern kingdom of Israel while King Rehoboam was appointed as the ruler of the southern kingdom of Judah.
From the beginning of history, the northern kingdom of Israel practiced idolatrous worship and never even had one good king. It is sad to know that all the twenty kings that made up the nine different dynasties of the northern kingdom of Israel were evil and unrighteous in the sight of God.
Despite receiving messages of warnings after warnings from the prophets sent by God, the northern kingdom of Israel was unrepentant and it was eventually overthrown by the nation of Assyria in 722 B.C. God had used the nation of Assyria as His rod of wrath to execute judgment against His own people (Isaiah 10:5-6). The people were carried away captive to Assyria where they were subsequently scattered among the other nations of the world (2 Kgs 17:5-6).
As we ponder on the sad state of the northern kingdom of Israel, we ought to pause for a while and consider this question: “Would the southern kingdom of Judah also suffer the same fate as that experienced by the northern kingdom of Israel?”
Judah had some good kings along with the bad ones who had ruled her. Although idolatry was introduced to Judah, there were many good kings who reversed that trend during their reigns, thus saving Judah from being invaded by the Assyrian army. They attempted to destroy idolatry and restore the worship God had commanded. When Assyria tried to overthrow Judah, God spared her because of the righteousness of King Hezekiah and King Josiah, and the good influence of prominent prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.
Sadly, even though the good kings destroyed the pagan gods, they could not take idolatry out of the people’s hearts and the southern kingdom of Judah was eventually taken captive by the Babylonians with the destruction of the temple of God in 586 B.C (2 Chronicles 36:14-16; 2 Kings 24:3-4).
Certainly, the Old Testament have given us many historical records pertaining to the pronouncement of God’s judgment against His own people due to their disobedience and sinful way of life. Moreover, God has also given mankind many warnings in the New Testament concerning His final judgment on the whole earth. Consider the following Scriptures….
“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)
“He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48)
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
Brethren, as we ponder on the above-mentioned passages of Scriptures, we can know for sure that there is a Day of Judgment coming and God will pronounce His judgment on the entire world through His Word.
The Word of God in Romans 3:23 clearly states that every individual person have sinned against God. As the family of God at Jurong, let us always recognise that Christians still do commit sin in the sight of God even though we have been converted, but we have the assurance of eternity in heaven if we continue to remain faithful to God till our lives on this earth is over (Revelation 2:10).
Let us, therefore, not take our salvation in Christ for granted as the Bible says that God will hold us accountable for how we live our lives on the earth (Romans 14:12; 1 Peter 4:5).