Part 4 – I No Longer Believe in the God of the Bible

Angry God

This is part 4 to the series I No Longer Believe in the God of the Bible.  See Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. This started when an old acquaintance of mine I met in church told me that He no longer believes in the God of the Bible. He said he no longer believes Jesus rose from the dead and he said he de-converted from Christianity.

He has also written a book about what led him to his new way of thinking.  He and I are still in conversation about how he came to be where he is and he is aware that I am using his materials in a Bible class I lead and in this blog.  Part 1 of this series was from a chapter in his book.  Part 2 is the beginning to my response to his chapter.  Part 3 is a continuation and talks about the purpose of sin and how God is developing us. Part four is about the role of the Judgment.

I have decided at this time not to use my acquaintances real name. We call him Billy.

One thing we have yet to discuss is The Judgment.  I believe that we will be able to observe God’s wisdom and His love and witness this much talked about future event.  I think many Christians have it all wrong about the Judgment or at least I believe my early concept of The Judgment was all wrong.

Early on, I envisioned God the Father on the throne with what was in essence my report card.  He was the final authority and the one who would determine my future.

I now believe The Judgment too was determined before the creation.  Not that he predetermined who would make it and who didn’t, but the outcome of the Judgment was pre determined. Let me explain what I mean.

The Bible says a very unusual thing.  It says,

Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, John 5:22

So, at least we know by this verse, that God will not be sitting in Judgment on my life. He is not the one sending me to Hell or Heaven.  So by this verse we might assume that God is leaving it all up to Jesus right?

Then Jesus makes an unusual statement to the adulterous woman.  Jesus said,

“I do not [set Myself up to] judge or condemn or sentence anyone. John 8:15

When I saw these two verses at first I was confused and amazed they were in the Bible.  They did not fit into what I thought I knew about The Judgment Day.

I realized that my vision of Judgment Day came from Revelations 20: 11-15.  It reads like this.

11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.15Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

The part here that I missed was that I didn’t realize who the dead are.  The dead are those who did not make the cut and receive the spark of life that made them alive again or as Jesus said “born again.” Now that is good news. This judgment is not for me or any true believer.

When I realized this, I realized how that neither God the Father nor Jesus had to judge anyone.  The unbeliever who was not born again, judged himself. The Bible says it like this…

but he who does not believe is judged already because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

So if the non believer judges himself, then what about me the believer.  The first part of John 3:18 says it this way in the Amplified version.

“He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation–he incurs no damnation];

Now that is really good news, but should come as no surprise if you think about it.  We already made the cut by becoming “In Christ” through faith and born again with the life of God put in us.  We already died the first death and he raised us to be with Him at the marriage feast of the lamb.  We came back with Him as His army. We reigned with Him for a thousand years.

Honestly, it would be quite odd for us to now come before Him in Judgment.  There is no need for Judgment.  We have already passed the tests and He has invested a tremendous amount in our development.  He knows by now He can trust us and that we will always be committed to Him.

Now, I know there are some scriptures that must be dealt with regarding judgment.  I will have to do a little back tracking to do it.  The Bible says that every man must give an account of himself before God.  I believe this, but I also believe the scripture that says that the true believer will not face a condemning judgment.

How can both be true? There is more than one judgment and they happen at different times.  The judgment for the believer is not what we usually think of as judgment. This judgment is not a judgment regarding where we will spend eternity, that is already settled, but a judgment regarding our works upon the earth and is called The Judgment Seat of Christ. II Cor. 5:10 Here, Jesus will hand out our rewards and the responsibilities we will have during the millennial reign.  II Tim. 4:2-7, Luke 19:11-27, Romans 2:6-7, I Cor. 3:10-14, Rev. 5:10

As far as timing is concerned, that is difficult to measure since we will be in a realm where there is no time.  But for the sake of our minds, the timing will be sometime after the rapture of the saints and my best guess is before the marriage supper of the lamb.  At any rate, we know that Jesus has already judged us because we will come back with him to fill certain roles during the millennial reign based on his judgment of our previous life. Again, being a witness to all this is going to have an amazing impact on who we are becoming.

There is one more judgment called the Great White Throne Judgment.  (Rev. 20:11)  This happens at the very end of the millennium when all the dead are raised to stand before Him for their day in court.  The Father will be upon the throne.  Jesus will be there and the Father will ask Jesus if he knows each one.  He will say they denied Him and that he never knew them.

They have judged themselves, yet God will allow them to testify on their behalf to see if they merit so great a salvation by examining the totality of their works upon the earth.  We already know the answer to this, but to be fair He allows their argument, and at the end their testimony, they too bow their knee and confess Jesus as Lord.  This will be their last time in the presence of their creator before he metes out their punishment based on how they have wronged God and other people.

Jesus took this punishment called the sin debt for the true believer, but the non believer must pay the debt himself. God’s last instruction will be for them to depart from his sight and they do.

The Bible paints a sobering picture of the future, but the good news is that if you are breathing and reading this you still have time.  If it were me, I would stop, get on my knees, look to heaven and say I confess that Jesus is Lord and I want Him to be my Lord.  Then go tell someone what you have done. Next go find another true believer and tell them that you want to make this public and submit yourself to water baptism as a demonstration of your new faith. This will be the beginning of a new adventure as a disciple of Jesus.

This is the end of part 4.  The final part 5 will conclude my response and include another rational reason to believe in Jesus.

  • jl

    Thank you for sharing this, Clay.Jeff Pennington.

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