Eternal Judgment 1

The aim of this devotional study is to grow in understanding of Biblical concept of judgment.

Scripture

Romans 14:1-23

1  Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.  2  For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.  3  Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.

Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

5  One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6  He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.  7  For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8  For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9  For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

10  But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11  For it is written: “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD.” 12  So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

13  Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

14  I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15  Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16  Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

18  For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19  Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.   20  Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21  It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

22  Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.  23  But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Observations

  1. What does Paul teach about “judging one another”?
  2. Why does Paul argue we should not judge the religious (dietary) observance of another believer?
  3. What does Paul teach here concerning eternal judgment? (v10-12)
  4. Who will judge us one day? (v11-12)
  5. What does Paul write here about judgment and the conscience towards God? (v14-23)
  6. In one sentence summarize this chapter’s teaching on judgment.

Reflection and Application

  1. Do you have the inclination to find fault with the religious observation or beliefs of other Christians? What does the Lord say to your to you in this chapter?  Is there someone you must apologize to?  Send a message now to make an appointment.
  2. “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” How do these words make you feel?  [Picture yourself before God the Judge].  What do you think God will say to you about your life in all its aspects? What will he judge?  Write some thoughts down.

Prayer

Do you have confidence in your eternal salvation?  Why / why not?  Settle that in prayer now with God, and perhaps make an appointment with a counsellor or pastor now if you feel uncertain.

Then bring every judgmental tendency and thought before God as you reflect on the truth “Who are you to judge another’s servant?”  If needs be, repent to God for judging his children and servants – confess that he is your judge and their judge.

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