In modern times many Christians have forgotten certain attributes of God, and even those of us who remember them do not take them as seriously as we ought. The first attribute of God that I am going to address is the attribute of judgment.
Definition (New Oxford Dictionary):
judgment: "a misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment"
Please note that there are many verses which use the word "judgment" according the the more general definition, "the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions." This is not what I'm talking about. The word judgment in this post is synonymous to the word "punishment".
Exodus 12:12 (KJV)-For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
Ezra 7:26 (KJV)- And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
Psalms 7:6 (KJV)- Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
Psalms 9:8 (KJV)- And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.
Psalms 9:16 (KJV)- The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.
Psalms 37:28 (KJV)- For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
Ecclesiastes 11:19 (KJV)- Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
Isaiah 4:4 (KJV)- When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
Isaiah 42:1 (KJV)- Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Matthew 5:21 (KJV)- Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment
Matthew 10:15 (KJV)- Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
John 12:31 (KJV)- Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Romans 1:32 (KJV)- Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Romans 2:3 (KJV)- And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
Alright, now that there are verses on the table, what do these verses say about that God's judgment? Well you'll have to actually read those verses, but they make it clear that:
1. God does pass judgment on the wicked.
2. That God's judgment is righteous.
Both of these things should be fairly obvious. The Bible makes it clear that God cannot stand wickedness and will not have it in His presence, so it makes sense that He eradicates those who are wicked.
It also makes sense that all of God's judgments are righteous. God is omnibenevolent, so all the things that God does are good. Judgment is one of the things God does, therefore judgment is good.
Why, if these two things are so obvious, do many modern Christians forget, water-down, or ignore the judgement of God? There are a few reasons, and one of them is that we as humans are uncomfortable with the idea of judgment. If we recognize our depravity then the knowledge that we will be punished is very disturbing to us.
But many modern Christians go entirely the wrong way after this. Instead of being convicted and repenting some Christians just decide that God doesn't punish us as a way of comforting themselves. The end result of this is that they ignore the perversion, immorality, and obscenity of sin.
One off-shoot of ignoring the wickedness of sin is that when evangelizing we emphasize God's forgiveness and love, and (sometimes very intentionally) ignore God's wrath and judgment. This leads to a very unbalanced view of God, especially for someone who's newly entering the Faith.
There is a website that argues that God actually does not punish us as Christians. It clearly says (in big, blue letters might I add) that "We do not see a God who punishes, but rather a God that seeks to restore us to our full humanity."
Oh goodness. Where do I begin? First of all- Mr. Simmons is absolutely right. God doesn't punish anyone for sin. It's not as though anybody had to die in order to restore our wrecked relationship with God (please note the sarcasm). Second- How can God "restore us to our full humanity" without abolishing our sinful, former selves? In order to unite us (fallen, depraved, disgusting as we are) with Himself, God *has* to deal out punishment for the nauseating sins that we have committed. And Christ was the one who took that punishment for us, though many Christians today take that to mean that there was not punishment.
"Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."