What Do We Do with Judgment?
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
The scene in Revelation, chapter five, opens in the heavenly throne room. The apostle John had come to the throne room by the Spirit to testify to all that he would see. Almighty God was seated on his throne with a scroll in his right hand, which was sealed seven times. A mighty angel then proclaimed, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals” (v. 2). NO ONE stepped forward. At this turn of events, John began to “weep greatly” (v. 4). The apostle sobbed his guts out in anguish.
What was at stake regarding opening the scroll that would cause John such deep despair? It was nothing less than the eternal condition of God’s creation. Would it remain under Satan’s sway as the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2)? Would death, sin, sickness, and sorrow continue on earth forever? Would the world always be just as it was? If you and I were to assume that life as we currently know it is all there is and that eternal life, goodness, and mercy would never prevail over sin and death, we would probably weep our hearts out, too.
Would death, sin, sickness, and sorrow continue on
But the story in Revelation 5 doesn’t stop there. John then records, “One of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals’” (v. 5). Then John saw a Lamb amid the celestial scene take the scroll from him who sits on the throne (v. 6-7). At this momentous event, those in the throne room, and "every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea” sang and praised in a loud voice proclaiming the worthiness, honor, and glory of God and the Lamb!
Though the scroll contained judgments that would soon be poured out against ungodliness, that the Lamb was worthy to open it was the best possible news. The source of John’s lament was resolved. The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, was WORTHY to dispense judgment against unrighteousness, thereby ushering in an eternity of life, joy, and peace. There was rejoicing in the throne room because Christ had redeemed those who turned to him (v. 9). The redemption of creation will come through Christ’s righteous judgment—bringing forth a forever reality free of “death... mourning or crying or pain” (Rev. 21:4).
The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, was WORTHY to
dispense judgment against unrighteousness,
thereby ushering in an eternity of life, joy, and peace.
Can you and I celebrate that because Christ is worthy, he has “ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9)? What’s more, can we like those in the throne room scene in Revelation 5 praise him because he will come again to judge unrighteousness? Through future judgment, God’s will in heaven shall be done on earth…bringing forth a new heaven and earth. God’s judgment is holy, righteous, and true. It is part of the unfolding of the consummation of God’s plan for righting his creation. Because he is perfect in all his ways, let’s worship and trust him even with “judgment” as part of his plan.
Study the book of Revelation: Come Lord Jesus: A Woman's Walk—Spirit, Body & Soul—Through the Book of Revelation