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Questions and Answers | Who Is God?

If all our sins are forgiven, what exactly will our judgment be when we stand before God?

It’s clear in Scripture that, if we believe that the Lord Jesus died as our substitutionary sacrifice and that He was raised from the dead, all of our sins—past, present, and future—are forgiven (1 Cor. 15:1–8). Romans 8:1 says: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Trust in the Lord Jesus establishes for us a forever-forgiven relationship with God. Nevertheless, in this life, we will continue to sin (1 John 1:8, 10) but hopefully less and less as we grow. When we sin, we break fellowship with God, but never our relationship. Therefore, we need to confess our sins directly to God (1 John 1:9) to restore our fellowship with Him. Confession of sin renews our walk with God and restores our lines of communication. Our relationship with God is established when we trust in Jesus, and our fellowship is repeatedly renewed and restored when we confess our sins.

As for our judgment before God, even followers of Jesus who are eternally forgiven will stand before Him at the Bema (Judgment) Seat. Paul writes, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). This refers to the judgment of a genuine believer’s works. When we stand before the Lord at this tribunal, the judgment will be like fire, testing “the quality of each person’s work” (1 Cor. 3:13). If our works endure the fire of judgment, we will receive a reward. But if our works are burned up, we will experience a sense of loss. Paul assures us that this person, whose work is burned up, still “will be saved” (1 Cor. 3:15). Clearly, the Bema Seat of Christ is a judgment of the believer’s works, leading to a reward or loss of reward, not an eternal judgment, leading to salvation or condemnation.

In my opinion, the greatest reward to be received is to one day hear the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matt. 25:21). And should we receive crowns as rewards, we will only cast them at the feet of the Lord Jesus who deserves all the credit, since all we have done or accomplished is of His grace alone.

Is it possible to get a brief outline of Israel's past, present, and future? This will answer a lot of questions for me as well as for a lot of other people who think that Israel has been replaced.

God’s special plan for the Jewish people is clearly laid out in Scripture. In the Old Testament, God chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to establish the unconditional Abrahamic covenant. The Jewish people were given promises of the land of Israel, of offspring with one special messianic descendant, through whom the whole world would be blessed (Gen. 12:1–3; 15:1–21; 17:1–22; 22:15–18; 26:1–6; 35:9–12).

When God redeemed the nation of Israel from Egypt, He brought them to Mt. Sinai and called them to be a nation of priests, mediating the knowledge of God to the rest of the world (Ex. 19:4–6). Because Israel could not keep the Law that God had given them, they needed a Redeemer. God sent the Messiah Jesus. Although many Jewish people believed in Him, most did not (John 1:11). As a result, the Lord Jesus said He would not return until Israel welcomed Him back as the Messiah (Matt. 23:37–39).

The Jewish people remain God’s chosen and beloved nation because of the promises God made to the Patriarchs (Rom. 11:28–29). Nevertheless, despite their status, Jewish people need to trust in Jesus as their Redeemer to experience God’s forever forgiveness (Rom. 10:9–13; John 8:24).

God has begun to fulfill His plan for the Jewish people by restoring them to Israel (Ezek. 37:1–27). A time will come when Jewish people will experience even worse persecution than in the past, “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7). Ultimately, the nations will gather against Jerusalem, attempting to destroy the Jewish nation (Zech. 12:2; 14:2). The Jewish people will finally call out to Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah to save them (Zech. 12:10), leading to the Lord’s return and deliverance of Israel (Zech. 14:3–5). The Jewish people alive at that time, having believed in Yeshua, will be forgiven and delivered, just as Paul wrote, “all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:26). Afterward, the Lord Jesus will establish the throne of David and rule over Israel and the world in Jerusalem (Isa. 2:3–4; 9:7; 11:1–10). In that great messianic kingdom, the true destiny of Israel will be fulfilled: “[T]en people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you’” (Zech. 8:23), leading all the nations to the knowledge of the God of Israel.

BY Dr. Michael Rydelnik

Dr. Michael Rydelnik is a professor of Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute and the host of Moody Radio’s Open Line with Michael Rydelnik. He is the author of 50 Most Important Bible Questions inspired by both his radio show and his columns for Today in the Word. Michael served on the translation team of the Holman CSB Bible and contributed to several other books and study Bibles. Michael also appeared in the Lee Stroebel video The Case for Christ. Michael and his wife, Eva, have two adult sons. The Rydelniks live in Chicago, Ill.

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