Judgment is Near (Part 2)

Ezekiel displayed some unusual activity during his ministry as a prophet.  God told him to pack up his belongings for captivity before the captivity occurred.  Each day he would act out his part as the exile by leaving his home and going to another place under the watchful eye of the people of Judah.  The hope would be that they would think about what was playing out in front of them, but their rebellion indicated that that was not a promising outcome. 

The prophet dug through the wall in the full view of his countryman.  He carried his belongings through it.  He covered his face so that he could not see the ground.  People wondered what about what Ezekiel was doing.  He was to tell them that this was a sign for Israel (12.6, 11).  The people would be carried away into exile in just this way.  They would get what they deserved:  future judgment for sin. 

Do we have signs of future judgment of sin in our modern setting?  They are diminishing to be sure.  People do all they can to forget about the fact that they are not going to live forever.  A recent memorial I conducted for a dear friend is an indicator of future judgement for sin.  His faithfulness to the Lord Jesus meant he died well and was well prepared for future judgement.  Funerals and memorials tell us that the days are at hand.  Every word of God will come to pass and not one word shall fail! 

Time is relentless in its march toward being swallowed up by eternity and future judgment.  All from the great and powerful and rich and famous to the seemingly insignificant and poor and downtrodden shall die.  All will succumb and be ushered into the presence of God.  It matters not if they are prepared to go.  They shall go to the One before whom all things are naked and open.  All who die become a sign to the living that life is tenuous and judgement is coming.   

“It may be that they will consider, though they are a rebellious house.”   

Patiently and humbly, believers must correct the course of rebellious people in our generation.  It may be that God will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.  They may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will (cf. 2 Timothy 2.25-26).   

  1. Those who will consider the words and warnings of God:  Those who place their trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ shall have life.  The glories of Heaven await those who have had their future judgement satisfied by the atonement of Jesus Christ.  Jesus absorbed the wrath of God for us.  He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might have the righteousness of God in Him.  
  2. Those who won’t consider the words and warnings of God:  Very few people hear this message.  But the exile for those who don’t is eternal.  It is the second death.  It is separation, pain, torment, and misery in the Lake of Fire.  It is deserved.  And each time a rebellious person hears and rejects God’s saving message, their perdition intensifies.  

“And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will He do evil.’ (Zephaniah 1:12)  My hope and prayer for you is that it will not be too late one day.  Do not remain captive to do the will of the devil one moment longer.  Be wise and consider the end of your life and the future judgment to come!

Judgment Is Near – Part 1

Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will lay this proverb to rest, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.” But say to them, “The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision. (Ezekiel 12:23) 

The proverb concerns the land of Israel.  It read:  “The days are prolonged, and every vision fails” (12.22).  God had a variety of ways by which He communicated His Word to Israel.  An audible voice, tablets of stone with His written word, the Urim and Thummim, dreams, visions, and the breathing out of His words through even the limitations of human beings.  Ezekiel had many visions which were at times communicated in quite extraordinary object lessons.   

When it seemed that the visions of Ezekiel were not coming to pass like he said they would, many in Jerusalem foolishly believed that the end was not near and the every vision had failed.  The LORD told Israel to had Ezekiel to utilize an object lesson to teach Judah that Judgment had not been postponed.  He would eat bread while quaking and drink water with trembling anxiety (12.18).  This indicated a future in which Israel would do the same and the city and its homes became desolate (12.20). 

The days were indeed at hand.  When you hear “Thus says the Lord God”, it is important to listen, because He will fulfill every vision, dream, and word.  The judgment concerning Jerusalem involved the inhabitants being carried away to exile for their sin.  But future judgement awaits all mankind.

Future Judgement for Sin

All believers know that God hates sin.  He will by no means clear the guilty; He must punish sin.  The Bible is the Word of God.  As such, it clearly tells us that it is appointed unto man to die once.  When he does, he shall be carried into the presence of God to face judgment.  Those who are believers experience mercy but unbelievers horrific judgement.  The spiritual state in which you die will be forever fixed.  

Many simply do not believe this will ever happen.  These words will fail and never happen.  Others not as bold and arrogant to contradict God claim that words about future judgement for sin apply to another people at another time.  They have no bearing on us.  Still others believe that such a judgement is way down the road.  

If the FBI broke down the door of your home in the middle of the night and charged you with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, you’d pay close attention to what they were saying.  And yet God speaks of future judgment and charges mankind of sin against their Creator.  Are they listening?  Are they concerned about their sin?  Many in our country seem no more concerned about future judgement for sin than they are for countless Christians being persecuted the world over because they proclaim the only hope to shield their countrymen from that judgment.