God is love.
He doesn’t judge me.
He accepts me how I am.
This is the mantra of 21st century narcissistic individualism. Because we elevate and glorify “unity in diversity” and tolerance, we neutralize God to our own individual ideas of love because He says,
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
– 1 John 4.7-8
We have come to believe that love means leaving one another to our own devices. We are beginning to see tendencies of a shame based society where we are making it illegal to speak ill of someone or an idea. Tolerance no longer means allow to exist, but respect as true.
Is that how God loves us? Does Jesus judge us for our sin?
John the Baptist, when Jesus came to him to be baptized, declared Jesus as the “Lamb of God” (John 1.29, 36). This title was prophetic in that a lamb is a sacrificial animal and Jesus came to be the final and perfect sacrifice for our sins.
When we look at the book of Revelation, the prophecy of what is still yet to come, we see a very ominous picture:
Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
– Rev 6.15-17
In the end, the Lamb of God – Jesus – will return in wrath and judgment. He came in love the first time, to offer Himself as the sacrifice for sinners. He shed His blood, taking the punishment that we deserve for our sins, so that we can stand before Him with the verdict, “Time Served”. When we are saved, we do not stand guiltless but we stand redeemed. We stand as one whose time has been served, but not by us. And it is in this redeemed state that we will be able to stand when He comes in wrath. His wrath will condemn the un-redeemed to Hell.
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
– Rev 20.11-15
Jesus will judge our sins at the end. And not only that, but He judges our sins now. The very fact that Jesus died for us should cause us to stop and think. Why did Jesus die? He died because we deserve to die physically and spend eternity in Hell. He judges and despises sin. But because He loves us, He took the punishment for us to offer us eternity with Him. Sin, even though we all do it, is not trivial. It required Jesus’ blood and will require ours if we do not repent.
When He was on the Earth, Jesus never once met someone in their sin. Jesus did not go to the brothels and the bars. Jesus did not condone people for sinning. Rather, Jesus drew the sinners out and ate with them in people’s homes and He boldly proclaimed that their faith had saved them and instructed them to “Go and sin no more” (John 8.11). Jesus loves us enough to save us and transform us, not to excuse us and leave us in our wickedness.
Does Jesus judge us? Yes. We will all give an account one day for every careless word that came out of our mouths and every single action that we preform (Matt 12.36, Rom 14.12). And Jesus also loves us and offered Himself as the sacrifice and punishment for our sins (John 15.13). If we want to be saved, we must believe and repent. We are not left to our sins, we are instructed for holiness.