The Righteous Judgment of God!
Nothing causes more emotional pain, mental anguish and instability than the expectation of retribution and impending punishment, especially when it comes to the wrath and judgment of God!
Many people believe they have committed some unforgivable sin, invoking God’s anger and impending judgment!
Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might … make of no effect him who had the power of death–the devil– And also that He might … completely set free all those who through the [HAUNTING] FEAR OF DEATH … were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives. —Hebrews 2:14-15 (AMPC)
The good news is that Jesus has destroyed the enemy and made the power of death of no effect, delivering us from the haunting fear of death through the impending judgment of God!
The Judgment Seat of Christ
Paul speaks about us all appearing before the judgment seat of Christ!
For we must ALL APPEAR before the JUDGMENT SEAT of Christ; that every one may receive THE THINGS DONE in his body, according to that HE hath done, whether it be GOOD or BAD. KNOWING therefore the TERROR of the Lord, we PERSUADE men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. —2 Corinthians 5:10-11 (KJV)
This passage is not a self-defining scripture, and we must never interpret it as if it stands by itself! It must be interpreted in context.
The Hope of Eternal Life!
In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul is addressing what interests and sometimes haunts every man—the mystery of physical death and the afterlife! He addresses the anticipated hope that we all face in death—the hope of eternal life! Judgement for the believer is not a place of scrutiny, condemnation, shame or fear, but a place of great joy, peace and gratitude in the presence of God. Judgment for the believer is not a place of scrutiny, condemnation, shame or fear, but a place of great joy, peace and gratitude in the presence of God.
For we know that if our earthly house … is destroyed, we have a building from God … in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, … having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. … that mortality may be swallowed up by life. —2 Corinthians 5:1-4 (NKJV)
God Has Prepared Us for Eternal Life!
Then Paul gives us the good news in the hope of eternal life! In 2 Corinthians 5:5 he tells us God has prepared us and “given us the Spirit as a GUARANTEE.” In facing death, God is the one who has prepared us and made us ready to face it without fear by giving us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee!
Then in verses 6-8 Paul speaks of the boldness and confidence we can have in the performance, accomplishment and achievement of God through Christ on our behalf!
The Judgment Seat of Christ!
Paul is using this to contrast the difference between the TERROR of the Lord, as in (the angry God portrayed by religion), with the good news of the Gospel of Christ!
Knowing the Terror, We Persuade Men!
KNOWING, therefore, the TERROR of the Lord, we PERSUADE men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. —2 Corinthians 5:11 (NKJV)
“To persuade” means to be (wax) content, to make friends, or persuade to trust!
One Died for All!
We can now JUDGE that one man (Jesus) died for all, therefore all are dead, and we regard no man after the flesh! Paul makes it abundantly clear God is the one who prepared us for eternal life, not we ourselves! He ends this portion of his letter by saying that he is a representative of Christ, as if God Himself is pleading with you. Don’t be fearful of impending judgment because God has made His peace with you. Now you make your peace with Him!