Thanks for returning to this series on “Judge Judge Judge” and my feeble attempt to understand a believers responsibility and right to make judgments.
Another purpose of this series hopefully is to understand the believers restriction on judgement.
What can a Christian judge? How is he to judge? What is prohibited in the Christian life to judge. So many questions and concerns.
Our tenth greek word related to judging is…
δίκη – dikē – vengeance, judgment, punish
This word is found 3 times in 3 verses within the New Testament. A full listing of all verses will be included in this study.
This word (along with some of our following studies) carries the meaning that most in our society associate with the term judge. Synonyms for this word include vengeance, judgment and punish.
When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.”
This verse is a recounting of the natives of Malta, as Paul and Barnabas were seeking to minister to the people. The Maltan’s were a kind people, having begun a fire for Paul and Barnabas. As Paul helped with the fire, a venomous snake bit him.
First he was a murderer, deserving the justice of death at the teeth of a venomous snake. Moments later, he was considered a god, escaping the death of the snake bite!
Each of these responses showed the Maltans understanding of the rightful demands of justice. These folk, like us, had an innate sense of justice, that this is a world that cries out for justice. Yet how often are injustices and wrongs allowed to exist in this world, causing us a yearning for a world of righteousness and truth. And yet…
For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Since God has judged us with mercy, we also, following the character of the Master, should also express mercy to those we meet and associate with. Let us display the mercy of God in our relationships, walking humbly, seeking to be a blessing and not a curse.
2 Thessalonians 1:9
They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
Who will suffer? Who is Paul referring to in this passage, that will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction?
I am going to leave this as a self study for the reader, but will assist by directing you to Acts 17:1-9, and 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16. Let me know what you find out, or if there are additional passages that bring light to this particular topic.
The punishment of eternal destruction. Justice that results in eternal destruction. It is interesting that my initial assumption of this judgement is the lake of fire, the burning of hell. I am not arguing for or against the teaching of eternal torment in this study, but regarding this verse, the passage does not say
“They will suffer the punishment of eternal suffering“
So what is this verse trying to say? In regards to the term we are studying, the justice declared results in an eternal condition. I have supplied a post on the Greek term Apollumi, sometimes translated as “perish” in the New Testament, and may assist you in considering the intent of the Apostle Paul’s message in 1 Thessalonians.
just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
This verse also defines an eternal state of judgment / punishment.
When Jude wrote this passage, I assume the actual physical(?) fires of Sodom and Gomorrah, along with the surrounding cities had been extinguished. The question I have is with the term “eternal” fire.
Since the punishment is eternal, does that imply eternal suffering? Or might the effects of this judgement be eternal. Notice that the phrase is “punishment of eternal fire”, not “eternal punishing/suffering in fire”.
As may be obvious by now for those paying attention, I am unsure how to understand the New Testament teaching on hell. One thing is for sure – Judgment and a day of reckoning is coming, and we all need to prepare.
Flee to the Savior for He is the only place of refuge available.
Thanks for joining me in this study. Hope to visit with you in our next post as we look at the Greek term κρίμα which is commonly translated judgment, damnation, condemnation, be condemned, go to law, avenge in the New Testament.
I look forward to comments and discussion. May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.
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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.