THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
April 15, 2012
God's Judgment is for Glory
As the church of God, we must not lose sight of the judgment of God. However, at times, from what I
hear coming from the church of our day, it seems that some quarters are ready to move beyond God's
judgment as if we are on the other side of the first resurrection. Another way of stating this is that it
seems some Christian groups are expecting to come into the glory of Christ in this age with little vision
or expectation of the glory of the next age. Part of the problem comes from the emphasis that the
church is going to heaven and a failure to see that heaven, in the form of the Kingdom of Christ, is
coming to the earth; and when it does come, the conquerors of the Body of Christ will rule over the
nations for 1,000 years.
Perhaps, open dialogue about judgment is avoided because it is seen as something terrible, as if God is
so mad that He might torch some in literal fire. What we need to see is that judgment from God is love is
a good thing; it is good and right.
To make the point, let us consider some Scripture.
Early on in the Bible, through Abraham, we are told that God is the Judge of all the earth.
'Far be it from Thee; doth the Judge of all the earth not do justice?' (Genesis 18:25 YLT)
The word Judge is translated from the Hebrew word shaphat , which means "to judge, govern." The word
justice is translated from the Hebrew word mishpat , which means "a verdict, either favorable or
unfavorable." In the English language, justice refers to being "just or fair." These are judicial terms.
Notice that prior to Abraham stating this truth, the Lord spoke of the blessing given to Abraham, which
is what could be called the Abrahamic Covenant . I address this covenant in my new book, The Ultimate
Purpose of God .
(18) Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the
earth shall be blessed in him? (19) For I know him, that he will command his children and his
household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice [right] and judgment
[ mishpat ] ; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. (Genesis 18:18-
Abraham's household was to do justice and judgment, which has carried over to our time for all who are
of the faith of Abraham, meaning those who belong to Christ (Galatians 3:9, 29). Justice and judgment
bring blessing. Does this sound like judgment is a terrible thing if it brings blessing? Hardly!
A similar word appears in Psalm 9 and is quoted in Acts 17.
God's Judgment is for Glory
(7) But the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, (8) and He will judge the
world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity. (Psalm 9:7-8 NASB)
(30) Truly, then, God overlooking the times of ignorance, now strictly commands all men everywhere
to repent, (31) because He set a day in which "He is going to judge the habitable world in
righteousness," by a Man whom He appointed; having given proof to all by raising Him from the dead.
Psa. 9:8 (Acts 17:30-31 LITV)
Jesus will judge the world in righteousness. For what purpose? To bring blessing! But there is more.
(9) At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; for when the earth
experiences Your judgments [ mishpat ] the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. (10) Though
the wicked is shown favor, he does not learn righteousness; he deals unjustly in the land of
uprightness, and does not perceive the majesty of the LORD. (Isaiah 26:9-10 NASB)
For the modern-day church that seems satisfied, at least according to their doctrine, that billions are
destined for an eternal hell (torture), Isaiah gives us a most profound truth that blows out of the water
the tradition of men called hell . God's judgments of the earth have a glorious purpose─so that the
inhabitants of the world learn righteousness, God's righteousness. Judgment is not for punishment like
what man metes out or for destruction or for torture.
When the wicked are left to their own devices, they simply do not learn anything of value. Even when
they are shown favor, they do not turn from their wicked way and do not perceive God's majesty. There
is only one way for them to come into or to learn true righteousness, and that is through the judgment
of God. But, again, the purpose is to learn, not to be destroyed. It is for glory.
When the ancient sons of Israel were in unbelief and the Lord was ready to wipe them out, Moses
pleaded for the Lord's reputation among the nations. The Lord heard his plea, pardoned them, and
made a promise that extends through our age into the age to come.
(19) "Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness, just
as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now." (20) So the LORD said, "I have
pardoned them according to your word; (21) but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the
glory of the LORD. (Numbers 14:19-21 NASB)
The same promise is given to us through other prophets.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the
LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9 NASB)
"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
(Habakkuk 2:14 NASB)
Do you see the greatness of this promise from the Lord? His plan of the ages to achieve His ultimate
purpose of all in all is to flood His creation with His glory, starting with earth. The destiny of all the
nations is to come into the glory of God. Learning righteousness leads to glory. Praise God!