We all know there is a final day of judgement for all, where those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation. However, we don’t talk much about the day of judgement for everyone including homes, towns and cities, apart from the final day of Judgement. In this post, we will explore these non-final judgements of God upon all.
Judgements for Everyone
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.Matthew 5:21-22a
When Jesus was referring to the danger of judgement for being angry without a cause, He wasn’t referring to the final judgement for all mankind.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.Matthew 7:1-2
Jesus was referring to a judgement that we will be judged with for our wrong doings while on this world apart from the final judgement. Hence, it is important to differentiate immediate judgement and a final judgement.
Judgements for Households, Towns and Cities
“And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. “Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city! … “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. “But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.Matthew 10:14-15, 21-22
All the cities Jesus mentioned are long destroyed or do not exist as per their former state. Sodom and Gomorrah, and Tyre and Sidon were destroyed on the day of their judgements. Similarly, Chorazin and Bethsaida were also destroyed long ago. So does the houses the disciples shook the dust off. Jesus wasn’t saying about reviving the cities to former glory and then destroying them on the final day of Judgement. These are a reminder for us even today that we all who reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ will suffer the same fate.
How soon are these non-final Judgements?
“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”Matthew 12:36-37
For some, judgements are instant as in the Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:20-22).
Within a Generation
‘For you did [it] secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ … So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.2 Samuel 12:12, 16:22
In David’s case, the judgement rendered to him was within a generation. We can also see God’s judgement on the entire world using the Flood, and on Sodom and Gomorrah was also within a generation.
Until we reconcile
… If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.Matthew 5:23-26
How soon will the judgement be for something we did to someone, and they are against us for which we haven’t reconciled? The answer is given by Jesus in the above passage. It is important to note that God doesn’t even want us any gift from us unless we reconcile with those we wronged — those who ask forgiveness from God but without reconciliation will still be judged. Hence, we will still be judged anytime during the time we didn’t reconcile.
Until the fulfilment of prophetic conditions
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both [the number of] their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they [were,] was completed. … “For true and righteous [are] His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants [shed] by her.Revelation 6:10-11, 19:2
Some judgements have specific prophetic conditions. The judgement for those who dwell on the earth during the days of the city called Mystery Babylon isn’t the final judgement either — since the final Judgement is the White Throne Judgement as mentioned in Revelation 20:11-15. We have seen similar judgements on nations in the past. E.g., Exodus (Genesis 15:14).
There is a final White Throne Judgement for all mankind. There are also individual judgements for each of our actions before the final judgements. While many Christians give more focus to the final judgement, it is also important to understand that the judgements can also happen to individuals during their lifetime, households, towns, cities and nations apart from the final judgement. These judgements could be instant, within a generation, until we reconcile, or until a prophetic fulfilment. Therefore, we must be very careful to not fall into judgement by not sinning.