"THE JUDGMENT OF THE LORD"
I. THE CERTAINTY OF THE JUDGMENT.
A. The wheels of justice grind slowly but exceedingly fine.
1. One of the characteristics of God is His patience or long-suffering.
2. James exhorts us to have patience as we wait for the coming of the Lord, for the Lord is waiting for the complete fruit of harvest, and has long patience for it.
3. Some have mistakenly misinterpreted this patience for blindness and think that they are getting by with their evil. Others have thought it to be a sign that God is dead, or that He is so far removed from the scene, that His judgment will never come.
B. Examples of the certainty of judgment.
1. The flood in the days of Noah. Noah was called a preacher of righteousness, and we know that he was a hundred years in the construction of the Ark.
2. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He waited until the s became so aggressive that they paraded openly in the streets, and began to rape other men.
3. The nation of Israel is an example, here in the text we find God sending forth His angels for judgment, and He had been patiently waiting for hundreds of years for Israel to turn to Him in repentance.
4. When Peter was declaring that in the last days, that men would begin to scoff at the idea of the Lord's coming for the church and His subsequent judgment of the earth, he said that men would begin to expose the idea of universalism declaring that all things have continued as they have been from the beginning. He said that they were willfully ignorant of the fact that God once destroyed the earth with a flood, and that the same world is being readied for the day of judgment which will come as a thief in the night.
5. These earthquakes that have been shaking California lately are just a subtle reminder of the big one that is coming. Not just to California, but to the whole world, as God has declared that everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and only that which cannot be shaken will remain. Jesus said that earthquakes would be one of the signs of His imminent return.
II. GOD'S DISCRIMINATION IN JUDGMENT.
A. The angel clothed in linen with the inkhorn was told to go through the city and set a mark in the foreheads of the men that sigh and are weeping over the abominations that fill the city. These are to be spared when the slaughter begins.
B. Again examples in history.
1. When God destroyed the earth with the flood, He spared Noah and his family.
2. When the angels of the Lord were on the way to destroy Sodom, and Gomorrah, they met with Abraham and informed him of their mission. Abraham questioned the Lord saying, "Shall not the Lord of the earth be just? Will you destroy the righteous with the wicked?"
3. When the children of Israel were being delivered from the conditions of slavery in Egypt, in the final plagues we see how God discriminated. When the time came to slay all of the firstborn of the land, God commanded the Israelites to take a lamb from their flocks, and slay it and place the blood of the lintels and the door posts of their homes, and that as He passed through the land to slay all of the firstborn, when He saw the blood, He would Passover that house.
III. THE REASONS FOR THE JUDGMENT. VS. 9
A. The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, the land is full of blood, and the city is full of perverseness.
1. They had been worshipping their gods of pleasure by throwing their unwanted babies into the bonfires.
2. According to Josephus, roving gangs were ruling the streets indiscrimanently robbing and killing.
B. The attitude of the people was that God had forsaken the earth, and that He didn't see what was going on. It doesn't matter to God.
1. This is the attitude that people have in America concerning abortion today. Over 25,000,000 innocent lives have been killed in the abortion mills today.
2. We even have a man running for president who openly declares his approval of this slaughter of innocent babies.
3. I would never vote for a person that believed in abortion.
4. God doesn't see and God doesn't care is also the prevailing attitude in America concerning the practice of [...]
IV. THE COMING JUDGMENT.
A. In the future judgment of God that is to come upon the earth which is commonly known as the great tribulation, God will spare His church by delivering them out of the world in an event that we call the rapture, but He will take Israel through this period of judgment sealing 144,000 of them in their foreheads just as in our text He set His mark on those that were to be spared.
B. Even as in our text, as God ordered that the judgment to begin at His sanctuary, so in the future Peter declared that the time is come for judgment to begin at the house of God, and if it begins at us, what will the end be of those that obey not the gospel of God. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?
1. Many of the churches in America today have ministers who deny the Bible as being the innerrant Word of God.
2. Some churches have gone so far as to have marriage ceremonies for homosexual couples.
3. Ministers have become the spokesmen for liberal causes.
C. Judgment must come, judgment will come. Where will you be when the wrath of God begins to be poured out?
1. Do you sigh for all of the iniquity that fills our land?
a. The violence, murder, adultery, the blasphemous language.
b. Or do you watch it on T.V. and rather enjoy seeing it portrayed?
2. Have you been crying out to God because of all of the abominations that fill the land?
a. Have you been on your face before the Lord weeping because of the iniquity in the land, or has your pursuit of your own pleasure given you a careless disregard of the abounding evil?
3. Those who sighed over the conditions, and cried out to God because of their great concern over the abominations, were the ones that the Lord marked for protection from the judgment of the Lord.
D. In speaking of His return to the earth to take His church before the great day of judgment and wrath, Jesus said to pray always that you would be accounted worthy to escape the things that were going to come to pass, and to be careful that you not be so busy with eating and drinking and the cares of the this life that you would not be ready for His coming.