After Life for the Righteous: What?. Kingdom of Heaven Heaven (Paradise) New Heavens, New Earth. After Life for the Unrighteous : What?. Life before Death : Sin Wrath Judgment. The Gospel. 1 Corinthians 15:1–4 ( NIV)
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Kingdom of Heaven
New Heavens, New Earth
Life before Death:
1 Corinthians 15:1–4 (NIV)
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
“to miss the mark”
Judges 20:16 (NIV)
“among all these soldiers there were seven hundred chosen men who were left-handed, each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss”.
Blessed is the one whose rebellion (root פשׁע [pšʿ]) is forgiven, whose sin (root חטא [ḥṭʾ]) is covered! Blessed is the man whose iniquity (root עוה [ʿwh]) Yahweh does not count against him, and in whose spirit there is no deceit
Isaiah 14:12–15 (NKJV)
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
When Adam sinned, he fell from an estate of being good into an estate of being evil. He was created by God as a creature of whom it could be said that he was “very good.” From this estate in which he was created by God he fell into an estate of sin and misery and by his disobedience plunged all men into that same estate of sin and misery.
That is not true of me. My sin has not plunged all men into an estate of sin and misery. Furthermore, by my sin I did not fall from an estate of being “very good” into an estate of evil. I, and all men like me, were born into that miserable estate of sin, and when we sinned we simply showed that we were in such an estate.
By sinning Adam became a sinner; by sinning we do not become sinners, we are already sinners. Sin does not cause us to fall from the estate wherein we were created, for we were born into a fallen estate. With Adam, however, the case was quite different. His sin brought him into a fallen estate. By disobedience he fell; by disobedience we simply show that we are already fallen. (Young 1966, 60-61)
“Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.
Psalm 51:5 (NIV)
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
No One Is Righteous
9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
Humanity, by adopting the fallen nature of the disobedient angels has also inherited their punishment: Adam bought us all free tickets to the Lake of Fire because “divine wrath operates only where sin is”
(Zemek 2005, 94).
“…for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” Genesis 15:16
“because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath”. Romans 2:5
“The theme of divine wrath runs through the entire Bible. Rather than omitting or softening the Old Testament wrath of God, the New Testament complements it, completes it, agrees with it, highlights and quotes it, and sometimes “outdoes” it.”
The picture of Jesus as the coming judge is the central feature of another absolutely vital and non-negotiable Christian belief: that there will indeed be a judgment in which the creator God will set the world right once and for all. The word ‘judgment’ has carried negative overtones for a good many people in our liberal and post-liberal world. We need to remind ourselves that throughout the Bible, not least in the Psalms, God’s coming judgment is a good thing, something to be celebrated, longed for, yearned over.
It causes people to shout for joy, and indeed the trees of the field to clap their hands. In a world of systematic injustice, bullying, violence, arrogance and oppression, the thought that there might be a coming day when the wicked are firmly put in their place and the poor and weak are given their due is the best news there can be. Faced with a world in rebellion, a world full of exploitation and wickedness, a good God must be a God of judgment. (Wright 2007, 150)
“The only satisfying alternative to the injustices of this life is perfect justice in the next one; the only remedy for the present triumph of evil over good is the future triumph of good over evil. In a moral universe all bills must be paid and all accounts settled.”
“As surely as the world is a moral creation, it will come to a moral conclusion. The judgments of God fall often enough in this world to let us know that God judges, but seldom enough to let us know that there must be a judgment to come. God is not always a God of immediate justice, but he is a God of ultimate justice. Nothing less than the character of God is at stake here.”
(Blanchard 1993, 101)
19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
I. God, and God alone, is a righteous judge but
II. God’s wrath now, is redemptive
16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
God’s Wrath Against Mankind
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
“Only he who knows the greatness of wrath will be mastered by the greatness of mercy. The converse is also true: Only he who has experienced the greatness of mercy can measure how great wrath must be. For the wrath of God arises from his love and mercy … In Christ mankind is divided into those who are freed from wrath inasmuch as they are ready to be saved by his mercy, and those who remain under wrath because they despise his mercy.” (Gustav StahlinOrge)
I. God, and God alone, is a righteous judge, and
II. God’s wrath now, is redemptive,
III. God’s wrath has already been satisfied
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
“It is Christ himself who is the actual bearer of the divine orgē [wrath].” The outcome is that the cross of Christ “is the visible, historical manifestation of the orgētoutheou [wrath of God]: it is the supreme revelation of the wrath of God against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (Rom 1:18; cf. 2 Cor 5:21; Mark 15:34).”
(Richardson An Introduction to the Theology of the New Testament 77)
“Christ took our place, bearing our sin, tasting our judgment, dying our death—so that we might share his place, be made his righteousness, taste his vindication, and experience his life.”
(Ferguson Hell Under Fire 229)
For believers, the day of wrath has been shifted from the present into the past (at the cross), so that they may experience mercy now.
47 I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. 48 But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken.