Why does God judge His people?

Scripture: Romans 14:10, 1 Peter 4:17
Why does God judge His people? The Bible says all will stand before the seat of Christ. It makes sense that judgment should start with those who say they know God. The Bible speaks of judgment taking place before Christ comes. There are other aspects of judgment that will take place after the coming of Christ.
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Q. Why does God judge His people if they believe in Him? Why must judgment begin with the house of the Lord if we have repented from our sins?

The Bible does say that everyone will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, including church members. Yet those who have accepted Christ need not fear the judgment, because they have accepted Christ and His blood covers them. They are judged as righteous by virtue of His righteousness. But they are still judged.

Now in 1 Peter 4:17, it says, "For the time has come, the judgment must begin at the house of God." Obviously within the church, there are some hypocrites, we would all agree with that. Judas is one example.

And if you are a loving heavenly Father, you would want to begin first judging those who already have had an opportunity to know the truth, and then finish with judging those who don't know because you'd want to give them as much time as possible to find you out.

Of course, all of this hinges on the scriptural belief that one aspect of the judgment takes place before Christ returns, called the pre-advent judgment. This is an area where many people get the various judgments in the Bible confused. The Bible reveals that people will be rewarded according to their works when He comes, which must mean they have been judged before He arrives.

This judgment is actually going on right now, and you can read about it in Daniel 7 when it speaks of the judgment being set and the books being opened. We are judged by the things written in those books, but we are not standing present because it is happening while we're still on the earth. Of course, these books aren't for God, since He knows everything, but rather are for angels and other heavenly beings.

Another and different judgment is the "white throne judgment" that you find in Revelation. That's the final executive judgment when everyone is either allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven or are thrown to annihilation into the lake of fire. This is when Jesus says to the sheep, "Blessed are you," or to the goats, "Cursed are you."

But this does not mean that if you are baptized and then sin again, you are lost all over again. You still must repent of your sins, but you are on a new walk. When you're baptized, you are justified. You have come to the Lord, you've consecrated your life to Him, and your old sins are washed away.

After you leave this Egypt, you begin a wilderness journey on your way to the Promised Land, a process called sanctification. Here you are learning to follow Jesus and be more like Him. That's a process called a walk, like how a baby learns to walk. Of course, if a baby still can't walk when he or she turns five, there's a problem. So I think we must be showing progress and every day becoming more like Christ.

We have two great study guides about the judgment called "God Sets a Date for the Judgment," and "Facing the Judge." If you call Amazing Facts, we'll send these to you for free, or you can fine them online in our free library.

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