“If there is to be no judgment on us personally at Christ’s return, does that mean that everyone’s sins are forgiven?”
The occasion of our Lord’s return is many things, but it is not a wiping clean of the slate. It will heal the climate, it will remove – at a stroke – the false notion of the “one true religion”, it will be the return toward health for all who are ageing, the start of Divine Nature in the earth, of guidance for all national leaders, and a judgment on our race’s ability to live independently – a judgment we ourselves will have declared – but it will not be the new start in our individual standing before God.
Undeserved KindnessIn this Christian era we have lived under God’s kindness and forgiveness, through our Lord’s sacrifice for the sins of the world, but this is holy and should not be disrespected. The apostle Paul wrote to Corinth:
“...we also entreat YOU not to accept the undeserved kindness of God and miss it’s purpose”
2nd to the Corinthians 6:1
The provision of this forgiveness was not merely to “wipe the slate clean” (Psalm 103:12) but for us to grow accustomed to approaching the Heavens, to grow beyond the earthly outlook which surrounds us. The greater that Divine friendship, the less entrenched our human failings become.
Judgement: The Wages of SinThis is the wages of sin: that the character becomes out of step with the new life ahead of us.
Although everyone will be retained alive at Christ’s return, the fact that many will have disregarded Gods gift of undeserved kindness means it is not "universal salvation"Whereas a lover of God will be walking with a clean conscience toward the Divine Ones he has approached so many times before, an unrepentant soul will be unprepared, approaching a powerful stranger and hesitant because of being conscious of his reliance on worldly-wise ways of living - or perhaps even completely disdainful of reigning Christ. Those who will fight for independence at Armageddon will already know that independence led Mankind to the brink of destruction, yet their rebellious nature will be too ingrained for them to think in any other way.
In a real sense, there is judgement upon them, but it is a consequence of their ingrained manner rather than a rebuke. But recovery is certainly possible. The apostle John – himself a proud and ambitious and fiery-hearted soul in younger days – advised:
“Do not love either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; because everything in the world — the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life — does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. Furthermore the world is passing away and so is it’s desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.”
1st of John 2:15-17
and he was speaking from experience. Such a change of manner makes out expectations for Christ’s return completely different in a marvellous way...
Looking Toward Finer ThingsThe counsel from the Heavens is for us not to be preoccupied with the consequences of sin, but with our growing and maturing with the help of the Divine Ones.
“For God loved the world so much that He gave His only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. For God sent forth His Son into the world, not for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him. He that exercises faith in him is not to be judged.”
Rather than look toward a judgment day, God wants us to enjoy life, and to see how judgment dwindles into nothing
In that day there will doubtless be non-believers who have always cultivated a good heart who will find that their character makes it easy for them to walk along with those who have always loved Godwhen we develop our lives under His care.
That first step can seem difficult, especially if we are aware of a lifetime of using the world to our advantage. But that approach to God is private, unseen by others, unjudged, toward a God Who has long yearned for us to approach Him so that He can ease — rather than emphasise — our burden. Nobody — but nobody! — who approaches the Heavens for friendship and care is ever disappointed (Romans 10:11-13). Whatever we have done, however many times, that first step of turning to the Heavens – tasting to see that Jehovah is Good (Psalm 34:6-8) – will begin to change our future from one of judgment to one that is attractive, safe, and devoid of fear. And once we begin to respect God’s provision for forgiveness and make use of it, our sins will be forgiven!