Class Notes: 10/18/2015
Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; The doctrine of witnessing part 22
In our study of the doctrine of witnessing Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; we are examining the doctrines that undergird the gospel so that we understand how and why it is God alone who made it possible for our so great salvation by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Eph 2:8-9;
Last time we concluded the doctrine of reconciliation that explains how God provided for peace through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. 2Cor 5:21; and as believers in Jesus Christ we are to evangelize others and appeal to them to accept God's initiation of peace by believing in Jesus Christ. 2Cor 5:20;
The next doctrine that motivates our witnessing is the doctrine of the last judgment that reveals what God must do to those who reject His peace offering of salvation by means of grace through faith alone in Christ alone.
The Last Judgment is therefore defined as the alternative to accepting God's offer of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. It is the requirement to face God's judgment in eternity because of refusal to face God's grace provision for judgment in time by believing in Jesus Christ.
Since God is perfect Holiness, the perfect righteous justice of God has no alternative but to dispense judgment on those who choose to reject His provision of Jesus Christ as Savior. This final judgment occurs at the end of the Millennium the Great White Throne.
It is where unbelieving mankind receives what they deserve (eternal condemnation and death) because they have rejected God's offer of grace and demanded to function under a policy of works rather than God's policy of grace where they would have received what they did not deserve (eternal acceptance and eternal life).
It is the final judgment of human history where every unbeliever is judged and sentenced to the lake of fire. They will stand before Jesus Christ who is the judge of the Supreme Court of heaven, John 5:22;
It is also described as the second death or the Great White Throne Judgment, Rev 20:11-15;
From the point of view of God's Holiness the entire human race consists of two classes of individuals. 1Cor 15:22;
The believer in Christ has accepted grace and adjusted to God's justice under God's grace policy in time, John 3:18,36; Acts 4:12;
Unbelievers remain under condemnation in Adam because they have rejected God's love and grace and therefore must face God's judgment in eternity,
A person's attitude toward Jesus Christ determines their classification. Those who never reach the age of accountability or never develop the mental capacity to make an objective informed choice regarding Jesus Christ are automatically saved by God's grace policy that is His policy toward mankind in time.
The Last Judgment is exclusively for unbelievers because they remain under the indictment for their rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior, John 3:18, John 16:9; Rev 20:15.
At the Last Judgment the Book of Life is the list of all believers in Jesus Christ. The unbeliever' name is not found in the Book of Life because of their refusal to believe in Jesus Christ and receive eternal life under God's grace policy in time.
Refusal to believe in Jesus Christ is the only willful and unpardonable sin. It is willful because it is a free volitional choice and it is unpardonable because the only way for God to rescind the penalty of condemnation and judgment of death established in Gen 2:17; and remain Holy is for man to believe in Jesus Christ Rom 8:1; 2Cor 5:21; Rom 5:8;
Rejection of Jesus Christ as savior is the willful rejection of God's love and His grace policy and it leaves God with no alternative if He is to remain Holy and perfect. Heb 10:26-27;
God does not want to condemn anyone (1Tim 2:4;) but He has no alternative if He is to remain Holy because what God's Holy righteousness demands God's Holy justice must execute or God is not God and He is not Holy because He would compromise Himself,
God could not permit His integrity to be compromised. God has absolute and eternal integrity. The Bible calls it holiness. Holiness means absolute virtue and absolute integrity.
Passages that reference God's holiness include: Exod 15:11; and Isa 6:3; "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of the armies. The fullness of the entire earth is His glory."
God's holiness or integrity is maintained by His sovereign will, and therefore holiness is integral to His unchangeable self. Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8;
God exists eternally, unsustained by Himself or any other source. The Hebrew word "Elohim" is used for the essence of God and the word "Jhwh" is used for the individual persons of the Godhead.
God's existence is unalterable. God is the cause of all existence outside of Himself. Since God is eternal, there never was a time and there never will be a time when He did not exist.
Since God is infinite, eternal, and invisible, it is necessary for God to reveal Himself to mankind. He does this in many ways. One example is creation. Psa 19:1; because of this even though arrogant mankind chooses to be agnostic mankind is without excuse. Rom 1:20; 2Cor 13:8;
God's integrity is composed of divine justice and divine righteousness. Divine justice is mankind's point of reference with God after the fall because God can do nothing for mankind that would compromise His divine attributes.
In the garden, prior to mankind's fall, God's love was the point of reference. After the fall, because of condemnation in Adam, the point of reference for all born human beings is God's justice. There was no need for the function of divine justice until sin entered the picture through their disobedience to the single command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Gen 2:17;
In the garden, man did not have to choose between good and evil. The only issue for mankind in the garden was to choose between obedience and disobedience .
This shows us that man's free will coexisted with the God's sovereignty from the beginning of the creation of the human race on the earth and after mankind sinned, God's justice became the point of reference because of disobedience.
God's perfect integrity love initiates through His perfect justice. God is fair so it is impossible for the function of God's justice to be unfair. God's justice administers the system of laws that are compatible with His integrity. Justice is the function of eternal God as the judge of mankind, rendering decisions in the Supreme Court of heaven.
The decisions of the supreme court of heaven are totally compatible with God's perfect righteousness. They are also compatible with the fact that God is omniscient, perfect, fair and incorruptible. James 1:17;
God's perfect justice administers the penalties and decisions that are demanded by His perfect righteousness. Deut 32:4; 2Chron 19:7; Job 37:23; Psa 19:9; Psa 58:11; Psa 89:14; Isa 45:21; Jer 50:7; Rom 3:26; Heb 10:30-31; Heb 12:23;
God the Father's justice was demonstrated very dramatically at the cross, where God the Father called for all the sins committed by all of mankind during the entire course of human history to be imputed to our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and judged.
This was the most difficult thing that God the Father ever did and it demonstrated the power of God's impersonal integrity love. Rom 5:8;
Jesus acceptance of this judgment was also the ultimate demonstration of His personal love for God the Father and the capacity of impersonal love for all mankind.
Impersonal love is so powerful in its capacity and motivation that is derived from personal love for God the Father that, while God the Father was imputing our sins to Jesus Christ on the Cross and judging every sin of human history.
Jesus was screaming, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" and in spite of the pressure He never sinned and in spite of His pain God the Father did not stop until every sin committed in human history was imputed and judged in Him.
Other functions of the administration of God's perfect justice as the residing supreme court justice of heaven include the cycles of discipline on client nations, the judgment of the baptism of fire on all unbelievers at Jesus' second advent, last judgment of human history which is our topic, and the final judgment of all fallen angels.
The second half of God's Holiness is His perfect righteousness. God possesses eternal, unchangeable, perfect divine righteousness, Lev 19:2; 1Sam 2:2; Psa 22:3, Psa 47:8; 119:9; John 17:11; Rev 3:7, Rev 4:8, Rev 6:10;
God is absolute good, Psa 25:8; Psa 34:8; Luke 18:19; God is perfect in person and character. God is totally free from sin, 2Cor 5:21; 1John 1:5;
God is perfect righteousness in attitude and in actions, Deut 32:4; Psa 119:137; Dan 9:14; Rev 19:2;
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