”And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people” (Isaiah 2:4).
As in ancient Israel, when the heathen assembled themselves in the vicinity of the valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2, 12), located immediately to the east of Jerusalem, God did “sit to judge all the heathen round about” (Joel 3:12) [The word Jehoshaphat means literally, “Jehovah will judge”], likewise, at the end of the world, God will judge the nations righteously “O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth” (Ps. 67:4).
Not all of the people of earth would be willing to obey the word of the Lord (Isaiah 2: 3). And those who refused to submit to the authority of God, exercised through His chosen people, would band together to secure by force of arms that which they were unwilling to gain by bringing their characters into harmony with the law of God (Jer. 25:32; Eze. 38:8–12; Joel 3:1, 12; Zech. 12:2–9; 14:2).
At the last chapter of earth’s history, the wicked will discover to their dismay that they had entered into conflict with the God of heaven (Jer. 25:31–33) and then He would judge (Joel 3:9–17) and destroy them there (Isa. 34:1–8; 60:12; 63:1–6; 66:15–18).
God is a God of both mercy and justice. When we look at the Cross, we see God’s mercy and justice fully displayed. In mercy, God offered His only begotten Son to carry the penalty of man’s sin in His body (John 3:16) and thus redeem humanity from death “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). But those that reject God’s free gift of love will have to pay the penalty for their own sins by death.
In His service,
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