Few people think about why we need the Day of Judgment. Many do not think about the Day of Judgment at all – it scares them too much. They just make science fiction films about the Apocalypse.
So why do we need a general judgment? Briefly, because people cannot secure justice in our wicked age.
We now live an age of fake news and of claim and counter-claim. It is difficult to arrive at the truth of a matter. Peter Hitchens is on a campaign against a dubious report, which has trashed the life-long reputation of a Church of England cleric almost forty years after his death. This report has led to “a Soviet-style process …in which George Bell’s name is removed from schools and other places that were once named after him”. In order to stop this process, a group of distinguished persons has been formed, representing “a concentration of experience in public life, in the fields of law, policing, politics, journalism, academic research and church affairs”, which “began to meet in response to the 22 October statement issued by the Church of England about Bishop George Bell.”
Peter Hitchens asks: “Who is not vulnerable now? And it is a threat to every one of us. Who is not vulnerable to an accusation, made after his or her death when no defence is possible?“
The current hypersensitivity about all things sexual is a result of the backlash from the 1960s sexual revolution, and the ‘free love’ of that generation is now being reinterpreted as sexual abuse. We are only halfway through the sexual revolution.
It is now obvious why God will have a General Judgment at the last day. Justice needs to be settled publicly. ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad’ 2Cor 5:10.
There are many reasons why there will be a General Assize, but injustice at the hands of men is one of them. Besides, it is not possible to have justice in this world. Even the justice system is unequal. The Westminster Assembly Shorter Catechism expounds the third commandment saying: ‘however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape His righteous judgment.’
Peter Hitchens also demonstrates the biblical truth in Jam 2:10 that if we break one commandment we have broken the whole law, just as breaking one link in a chain breaks the chain. Although most people think that their good works will make up for their bad works, this posthumous treatment of George Bell shows that many people don’t actually believe this. Hitchens says: ‘If this charge is true, with its horrible selfish, lying exploitation of a defenceless child, with the name of God greasily profaned (in the alleged words allegedly said to the alleged victim ‘This is just our little secret, because God loves you’), none of George Bell’s reputation as pastor, statesman, scholar or man survives.’ Whether this is a wish or simply a fact makes little practical difference. Such sentiments show that no number of good deeds will out-weigh some bad deeds in the popular sentiment. Make way for divine and just Judgment.
The Great Assize awaits us all.
We need more than our personal ‘good works’, which cannot even survive man’s judgment, far less God’s judgment.
We need the righteousness of Christ imputed to us in order to acquit us at the Day of Judgment –
‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be reconciled to God, because He has made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin, in order that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him’ 2Cor 5:19-21.
The good news of the Gospel is the divine revelation of the justice of ‘counter-imputation’ – the imputation of the guilt of His people to Jesus Christ clears the way in justice for the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to them, so that He becomes ‘the Lord our Righteousness’ Jer 23:6 and Jer 33:16 to those who trust in Him. They are saved by Christ and not by their ‘good’ works.
1 Dec 2017: Peter Hitchens on the silence from the Church of England: he asks for signatures to a petition calling for the publication of the report.
14 Dec 2017: the Church of England will publish the report tomorrow explaining that with ‘all independent reviews, there is a period of a few months between receiving the first draft and final publication’. Seasoned journalist Peter Hitchens acknowledges ‘the long struggle for justice’. This being so, what hope can the average person have who is struggling against prejudiced social workers who produce reports that are actually judgments, a role for which they are neither trained nor competent.
15 Dec 2017: the report by Lord Carlile has been published today and criticises the Church’s actions, describing its processes as “deficient”. The BBC news has carried brief news reports about the deficient processes in the church’s investigation but has said almost nothing about the effect of trashing a person’s reputation. Christian Today reports that the “Church was bracing itself for criticism over processes in the report.” The process we should now notice is this ‘damage limitation’ wherein ‘bad news is buried’ deep in the BBC website in UK>England>Local News>Regions>Sussex and is not available on its main news page.
15 Dec 2017: If the Church of England’s investigative procedures can trash the reputation of well-known figures, what guarantee can we have that social workers’ reports about ordinary people are even-handed?
15 Dec 2017: the Metropolitan Police have been accused of failing to disclose vital evidence in a rape case. The prosecution barrister Jerry Hayes accused the police of “pure incompetence”. Do we need must more evidence for the need and the justice of the Day of Judgment?
Jesus said: ‘I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you’ Mat 11:24.
1 Jan 2018: Peter Hitchens goes for Justin Welby’s jugular, or is it lack of spine, or grey matter, or perspective, or what? Is it all of the above?
2 Jan 2018: the ineptitude of ecclesiastical authorities rumbles on …
16 Jan 2018: Kyle Stephen, one of the victims of a multiple sexual predator who abused over 100 young girls, said to Larry Nassar, the former USA gymnastics sports doctor, at his sentencing hearing: “Perhaps you have figured it out by now that little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.”
The judge told him that “it may take them (his victims) a lifetime of healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars thinking about what you did in taking away their childhood.”
Many people forget that the time will come when they must give account of themselves to God. They will have an eternity to figure it out.
1 Apr 2019: another example of Church of England ineptitude.
20 Feb 2023: on leaving the Church of England.