Judgment and Salvation go Hand in Hand

judgment and salvation 1

Jesus’s coming in AD 70 was cataclysmic judgment of the wicked; however, it was also a time of salvation for the righteous. Regarding this event, Jesus said in approximately AD 33:

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:25–27). Note: Jesus said this event would happen within a generation (v. 32), which the Bible defines as forty years.[1]

This part of the passage is describing the judgment of the wicked. But Jesus goes on to say in the next verse: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads [disciples], because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). This is describing salvation for the righteous.

Judgment and salvation go hand in hand!

This is how it had always been during God’s judgments. Back in the judgment in Noah’s day, the wicked were destroyed in the flood…yet Noah and his family were saved in the ark. Judgment and salvation. In fact, Jesus compared his second coming to this very event: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:37).

The second coming would be cataclysmic judgment on the wicked (Luke 21:22; Matt. 21:41–43, 22:7, 23:33–36, 24:2–34, 25:41), yet the righteous would receive salvation (Heb. 9:28), redemption (Luke 21:28), the kingdom of God (Luke 21:31–32; Matt. 16:28, 25:34), rewards (Matt. 16:27–28, Rev. 22:12), and all the other “already/not yet” new covenant realities discussed throughout the New Testament (see my article The Already and Not Yet).

In yet another prophecy about the second coming, this time from the Old Testament, the Lord said he would come “with a strong hand” against his enemies…yet he would “feed His flock like a shepherd [and] gather the lambs with His arm” (Isa. 40:10). Judgment and salvation!

In still another Old Testament oracle about the second coming, Isaiah said God would destroy Jerusalem and make it a ruin (Isa. 25:2)…yet at the same time “swallow up death forever” and “wipe away every tear” (Isa. 25:8). Judgment and salvation.

In another Old Testament prophecy about the second coming, Zechariah foretold a terrible judgment of the city of Jerusalem (Zech. 12:12) in which two-thirds of the citizens would be slaughtered (13:8–9) and people would eat one another’s flesh (9:9)…yet there would be living water flowing from New Jerusalem for the saints (14:8). Judgment and salvation.

The second coming was a cataclysmic judgment of the wicked…yet glorious salvation for the righteous!

For more about this topic, see my article Salvation and the Cross.

Alex Polyak, The Bible Fulfilled 9/29/23

Watch for my book The End Is Here, coming summer 2024!

[1] See Hebrews 3:8–10, Numbers 14:30–34 and Nehemiah 9:21