God’s Righteous Judgment

by Mike Ratliff

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20 WEB)

It seems that the default theology of Man is “Justification by Death.” Justification is a legal term where a person is declared “not guilty” by a judge. No one seems to have a problem with the concept of all people being sinners. However, our culture says that all people will be sent to Heaven when they die regardless of how they lived their lives. Once there, they will receive rewards or lose rewards based on the quality of their character. This is why the Doctrine of Hell is seen as “judgmental” and “Pharisaical” by those of the “New Evangelism.”

Universalism says that everyone is saved and it is wrong to preach and teach the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ about that place called Hell. For example: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:27-28 KJV) Is everyone saved? How about this one from our Lord:

“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’ “The King will answer them, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. ’Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’ “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me. ’These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46 WEB)

This is Judgment folks. Jesus is going to return in His glory. He is going to send the ungodly into eternal punishment. Universalism is a fallacy that may make people “feel good,” but it is deadly to people’s Souls.

What does the Bible tell us about God’s righteous judgment?

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse. Because, knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error. Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:18-32 WEB)

“Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judge. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things. We know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. Do you think this, O man who judges those who practice such things, and do the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of his goodness, forbearance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God; who “will pay back to everyone according to their works:” to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruptibility, eternal life; but to those who are self-seeking, and don’t obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrath and indignation, oppression and anguish, on every soul of man who works evil, on the Jew first, and also on the Greek. But glory and honor and peace to every man who works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”
(Romans 2:1-11 WEB)

That’s pretty clear isn’t it? Did Paul leave anything out? No one is free from the guilt of these things. He even lists self-will there. Those who reject Doctrine as being essential claiming that “God is Love” so he wouldn’t send anyone to Hell, are in darkness according the hardness of their unrepentant hearts. Paul says that they are treasuring up for themselves wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God; who “will pay back to everyone according to their works.” Scary! Paul divides people here into two groups. The first group is those who by patience in well doing, seek for glory and honor and incorruptibility. They have eternal life. The other group practices self-seeking, and don’t obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness. They do not have eternal life, but will inherit wrath and indignation, oppression and anguish. These are the ones who work evil. However, those who have eternal life will inherit glory and honor and peace.

False teachers who preach Universalism deny the necessity of the atonement through the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. They are saying there was no need for the cross and we need to be teaching people to be good citizens instead of preaching Jesus to them. To do this, they must also deny the Bible is our only source of God’s Truth as the rule of our lives. When we use scripture to show the fallacy of what they teach they simply ignore us, claiming we are legalistic, pharisaical, arrogant, and hypocritical. They tell us we don’t know the real Jesus and are actually driving people away from our churches by being divisive.

One of the rules for comments on this blog is that debate requires biblical proof. That is why debates with these folks never last very long online because they can’t or won’t do it. Therefore, they are working overtime to justify what they teach while denying what we teach by separating Jesus from the Bible. That’s right. They have their own but he is another Jesus. Theirs is Jesus the Universalist. He judges no one. He does not demand anything from us other than that we have unity despite our theological differences. Is this the Jesus we read of in the Bible? The Universalist Jesus would not separate the sheep from the goats nor ever mention that we are to fear God who can destroy Souls in Hell. However, the biblical Jesus says those very things.

My brethren, I would much rather write things about learning to be Spirit-filled or presenting the Gospel or teaching about the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. However, God will not let me get past this. Every time I prepare to move on, I receive an email or comment from someone condemning me for teaching things such as genuine disciples must deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Jesus. (Matthew 16:24-27) Jesus Christ is Lord and those who are genuine Christians are surrendered to Him as their Lord. They have the Holy Spirit, have been regenerated or quickened by God and are New Creations. Universalists viciously attack these teachings. Why?

SDG

23 thoughts on “God’s Righteous Judgment

  1. “Universalists viciously attack these teachings. Why?”

    For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

    Need I say more?

    Paul, the ole goat

  2. Matthew 7:13

    13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

  3. One of my brothers is a former J.W. who is now a little new age. I don’t think he believes there is a Hell either. I rarely talk to him because he thinks I’m narrow minded and hates talking about Christianity. He also claims the Bible isn’t accurate.

  4. Concern yourself not with debate, Mike.(If I may say, brother.) Just keep proclaiming Truth in response to false teaching (in humility and love)
    and feed the spiritual food to the suffering church.

  5. Mike:One of the greatest tragedies for the “professing” church and one of the greatest triumphs for Satan is the downgrade of biblical authority. I get so frustrated over the fact that those who claim Christ no longer regard His Word as 1) knowable and thus 2) authoritative. In fact, I have lost countless relationships in my life over this very issue. Supposed Christians justify all manner of sin and demonic doctrine because they lack a deep conviction of the truth of God’s Word and thus the need to see it as just that–the VERY WORD OF GOD….Marantha Lord Jesus…!
    Grateful for His Grace, Wendy

  6. We live in a day in which anything distasteful or even inconvenient must be explained away or at least downplayed. I heard a sermon by Rob Bell who verse by verse taught that ever, EVERY mind you, reference to hell in the New Testament refered to suffering on earth and not eternal judgment. And professing Christians sat there and received that as truth. There is no accountability and no challenge anymore, preachers can say anything they want and it passes as truth.

    You never hear a cult believe in hell and deny heaven, they all deny hell. That is transparent, no? To deny hell is to deny the cross, let’s not forget that. And to arbitrarily assign redemption to everyone is to deny God’s Word and to discount faith, without which God cannot be pleased. There always were heretics who denied hell in church history, but never before was that doctrine mainstream and gaining widespread acceptance.

    I find no joy in hell, but we must speak God’s truth regardless of what we think.

  7. I answer your rhetorical question, in the confidence that God will use His Word to accomplish His work; to further sanctify HIS own and to confirm judgement on the wicked.

    John 3:18-21
    18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

    They attack because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God, the LORD Jesus Christ, as He reveals Himself in His Word. They have made up their own jesus and insist we must join their delusion and self-deception.

    They attack because they love the darkness, their own self made god and self determined ways. They hate the light (Jesus and HIS Truth). They do not want to be exposed to their own wickedness. So they supress the Truth in unrighteousness, so not to know it; so not to know that their deeds are evil.

    Psalm 138:1-2
    I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
    2 I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted above all things
    your name and your word.

  8. Also, praying for you my brother. The LORD has used the ministry He has given you powerfully in my life. Kim

  9. Thanks Loretta. I debate only when it is forced on me. However, lately it seems as if God is using these things. I would prefer to have others step up and take these people on because I do not feel adequate at all to do this. However, God has given some to proclaim the truth to people who WILL NOT LISTEN. I fear that that is what I do much of the time.:-)

  10. Tony,

    My wife was gone to visit our daughter and son-in-law over the weekend so I had loads of time. :-) Thanks for the encouragement brother.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  11. Amen, well said Wendy! I was thinking just this morning about the great Downgrade Controversy that Spurgeon was involved in in the 1800′s. That downgrade is still going on isn’t it? Well, let us agree to never back down and always proclaim the truth in love. Perhaps some of these people will have their hearts opened by God unto eternal life.

  12. I find no joy in Hell either Rick. That is why we must warn everyone about it and then give them the good news. So simple, yet our enemy has clouded the reason of these people to severely that truth sounds as nothing but foolishness to them while heresy, like Rob Bell’s false teaching on Hell, is sweet as honey to them. If this is isn’t a case of God giving people over to their reprobate minds then I don’t know what is.

  13. I just want to praise God because if it weren’t for people on the internet, I might still be in darkness as there isn’t enough truth out in the world were I live. Thank you Father for people like Ken and Mike! Mike your really a blessing to me and I love truth no matter what it is. Truth convicts us of our sins so we can repent of them.

  14. I say, “Ditto” to Deborah’s last comment! My prayers for you are said every time I come to your site, Mike. We live in an age where everyone is into positive thinking, looking on the bright side. But those who love the Lord and fear Him and believe His every word is truth do better than looking on the bright side, we look on the Light side. Truth shines brighter than the noonday sun. No amount of denying hell will make hell less tormenting. Those who say there is no hell are actually more concerned about living in their sin than revealing their Jesus as loving and filling up their pews. Let the glorious Light shine! Come, Lord Jesus, come! ( If only I could counsel God then I would say to Him, “This would be the perfect day for Your Son to come!” :) )

  15. Wow! What a great post!

    As you are aware Mike (the article I emailed you from L.Ray Smith) I stumbled upon that teaching awhile back – and for some reason it hit me hard. I didn’t understand at the time, but I think now that hit me so hard because it was a lie.

    Thanks for bringing us the TRUTH.

  16. Sherry,

    Thanks Sherry!

    L.Ray Smith is a deceiver and a poor biblical scholar. His methods remind me of some of those Word-Faith guys who look for loopholes in the Word to preserve their doctrines. Jesus taught more on Hell than anyone else in the Bible. Since He is God I believe we need to take His Word for the veracity of the Doctrine of Hell rather than mere men with a agenda.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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