Introduction: Most people I know, including lawyers, are not anxious
to appear before a judge. There is the pressure, the worry, the
uncertainty of how things will turn out. Sometimes a lot of money is
at stake. Sometimes a person’s future freedom is in question. Those
before the court always have something to lose. One of the promises
of the Bible is a final judgment. Is that something to fear? Or
something to desire? Let’s jump in and find out!
- A Jubilant Judgment
- Read Psalms 96:11-13. Is this a happy time?
- Who, exactly, is happy?
- The heavens, the earth, the sea, fields, trees and
fish are all having a great time. How come no people
are listed here?
- Are the trees, the sea, the fields, the earth
subject to a moral judgment from God? (No.)
- Is this like driving your friend to the
courthouse? You are having a great time because
you are just a spectator.
- Read Psalms 94:1-3. Who is happy in these verses? (The
wicked are jubilant.)
- What are the righteous seeking? (Payback.)
- Does payback make you happy? (It is the theme of
a number of movies!)
- Read Psalms 94:4-7. What kind of people are being injured
by the wicked? (Those who have a hard time defending
themselves. The most vulnerable are being hurt.)
- Why do the wicked hurt these defenseless people?
(Verse 7: They think God is not paying attention to
what is going on in the earth.)
- How do you feel about “payback” for people who take
advantage of the defenseless?
- Read Psalms 94:9-10. What logical argument is being made
here about God’s ability to notice evil-doing? (The
Psalmist says if God creates eyes and ears, He certainly
knows how to pay attention. If God teaches us what to do,
He knows what is proper conduct. The suggestion is that
God is the ultimate in “paying attention.”)
- Read Psalms 94:14-15. On what basis will God judge? Why
should God judge? (If God simply allows evil to continue,
then He has abandoned those who are faithful to Him. The
righteous seek a judgment.)
- Read Psalms 94:16-17. Is judgment necessary? (The Psalmist
tells us that unless God intervened with His judgment, the
righteous would be killed by the wicked.)
- Is your life endangered by the wicked?
- Read Psalms 95:1-3. What is the source of all of this joy?
(These three Psalms (chapters 94, 95 and 96) are all
linked. Psalms 94 discusses the reason why the righteous
are desperately seeking God to intervene as Judge. Psalms
95 is the joyful reaction to God judging – and a warning
to be on the side of the righteous. Psalms 96 tells us
that all creation will rejoice in the judgment. Taken
together, these three Psalms tell us that the time of
judgment will be a joyous time for the righteous!)
- Daniel 7 and Judgment
- Remember last week we studied the great prophecies of
Daniel 2 and 7 which lay out the history of the world from
the time of Babylon to the Second Coming of Jesus? Let’s
pick up just after the fourth empire, the “iron” Roman
Empire. Read Daniel 7:7-8. How is this little horn like
the wicked in Psalms 94:4? (They both “pour out” arrogant,
- What is wrong with boasting? Is this one of your
sins? (This has long been one of my problems.
Everything, every talent we possess comes from God.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:31 “Let him who
boasts, boast in the Lord.” This is a paraphrase of
- What is this “little horn?” (Read Daniel 7:20, 24-25.
There has been great discussion among Christians on
this point. Early commentators such as Albert Barnes
(1798-1870) in Barnes Notes indicate that this may
refer to the Papacy. This is consistent with
traditional Adventist teaching. It is interesting to
note that Matthew Henry, in his commentary published
in 1712, raises the possibility that this refers to
the “Turkish empire,” which was the leading Moslem
power. Notice that Daniel 7:25 says that this power
will “try to change the set times and the laws.”
Moslems worship God on Friday. Is it possible that
two powers who have changed times “fit” this
- What does Daniel 7:25 mean when it says the saints
“will be handed over” to this little horn power?
(They will be persecuted.)
- Let’s read Daniel 7:9-11. What happens to the power that
boasts against God and persecutes God’s people?
- Is this a time for rejoicing?
- Read Daniel 7:12. If these “beasts,” as we learned last
week are the Babylonian, Persian, Grecian and Roman
Empires, then how can they still live? (Remnants of each
exist. My (poor) understanding of history is that Iraq is
what is left of Babylon, Iran what is left of Persia, and
Greece and Italy what is left of the Greek and Roman
- Read Daniel 7:13-14. What does this suggest is the
sequence of the judgment and the Second Coming of Jesus?
(That the judgment takes place before the Second Coming of
- Jesus Our Judge
- Read Acts 10:40-42. Who is our judge? (Jesus)
- How does that make you feel?
- Read Acts 10:43. What is the standard for Jesus’ judgment?
(This is cause for rejoicing!)
- Remember the problem with the “little horn” and
boasting? What role does boasting have in the
standard for judgment? (There is no room for personal
boasting when we are saved by the forgiveness of our
sins through the name of Jesus.)
- How do the worlds religions fit into this standard
for judgment? Do they agree with the Bible?
(Buddhism teaches perfection through works and has no
Savior, Islam has no Savior, Judaism has no Savior.
Evolutionists/pagans are works oriented beliefs and
have no Savior. In fact some “Christian” religions
are essentially works oriented. When the state of
your spirituality turns on your own works, then you
(presumably)have something to boast about. However,
you do not have anything that will cause you to
“pass” in the final judgment.)
- The Extent of Judgment
- So far we have seen that the judgment is “payback” time
for the wicked who have hurt the defenseless. These wicked
would have killed the righteous if they had not been
stopped. We also learned that the standard for judgment is
repenting and receiving forgiveness of sins through faith
- What happens to those people “in the middle?” All
those “essentially good” people who do not really
know Jesus, but who have been on “the path” of daily
improving their life through hard work, grit and
- Do these “good” people get destroyed too?
- If harmless people get destroyed in the judgment, how
can that make people happy? (Read Romans 3:20. This
idea of “essentially good” people deserving to be
saved reveals the extent of our devotion to the idea
that we can “earn” salvation. No amount of good works
will save anyone — as this text says. Romans 3:23
tells us that all have sinned. Thus, we all deserve
to die. There is no injustice in denying the unsaved
eternal life. Indeed, Romans 3:20 suggests that those
who truly battle to be good will be conscious of the
sin problem. Jesus says in John 14:6 “I am the way
and the truth and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through me.” Those who realize their
sinfulness and obtain eternal life by faith in Jesus
– the only way to eternal life — accept a gift.
Those who do not realize the sinfulness of sin, and
do not accept the gift, have no grounds for
- Can you think of any reasons why “good,” (but
unsaved) people should be barred from heaven? (The
sin problem is so immense, you do not want anyone in
heaven who could begin the sin problem again. Only
those who understand the conflict, and realize that
Jesus is the only way out of the sin problem, are
safe to save.)
- What is your obligation to those around you who do
not understand the way to be saved? If you traded
places with them, would you want to know about how to
obtain eternal life?
- Friend, the time of judgment is at hand. It begins before
Jesus comes again and it looks forward to a time when evil
and evil-doers will come to an end. Do you want to spend
eternity where there is no sin, sadness or death? Jesus
offers eternal life as a free gift. A gift you cannot
earn. It requires only two things, repentance and faith in
- Next Week: Daniel 8: The Prince of the Heavenly Host