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An Honest Judge

Updated: Feb 3

July 17, 2022—Sometime in 41 A.D., the Roman Emperor, Claudius (Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus) commanded the Jews to depart from Rome. We see this reference in the Holy Bible, specifically in Acts 18:2. Though the Holy Bible does not go into detail about why Claudius came to this decision, early Roman historians wrote about Claudius’s decision and suggest that it was due to the “Jews constantly making disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus” (Divius Cladius 25, Roman Historian Suetonius).


While modern historians and scholars disagree about who or what “Chrestus” is, Chrestus translates to to Christus in Greek from Latin. The word Christus occurs in late Latin and means Christ. Given this translation, I believe that Suetonius was talking about Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the Holy Bible says that Jesus Christ came to cause division and it distressed Him:


I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.


Luke 12:49


Since Claudius told the Jews to depart from Rome, I can’t imagine what other events would cause that division except for the Gentiles and Jews that believed in Jesus as their Messiah, versus the Jews that did not believe in Jesus Christ. Regardless, after Claudius died in 54 A.D., the Jews were able to return to Rome, but they arrived at a much different church. The church suddenly became divided among the Jesus believing Jews and the believing Gentiles. The cultural and religious practices were different among these groups and the church became divided.


Therefore, Paul writes a letter to the church which is in the Holy Bible as the book of Romans to explain salvation through the Scripture of the Gospel. Paul’s letter was intended to unify the church by diving into Scripture and tying passages within the Holy Bible to the events surrounding Jesus Christ. Paul also provides encouragement to these groups.


Encouragement Through God’s Righteousness

The book of Romans starts with Paul’s greeting to members of the church in Rome. It also contains a brief section of his desire to visit them to “impart to you some spiritual gift so that you may be established—that is that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” (Romans 1:11-12). Romans 1 then goes into an explanation of God’s wrath on those who live in unrighteousness. For those that live in unrighteousness “who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18), God allows them to live in sin by their own choice. Look at what Paul says in Romans 1:24-27:


Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.


For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.


Paul continues with this message explaining the sins that people turn to:


And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 1:28-32



People can choose to either live righteously, or in unrighteousness, but if they choose sin, they depart from God, making a path to condemnation. While this is a heavy message, Paul also explains that God judges in truth, “But we know that the judgement of God is according to truth against those who practice such things” (Romans 2:2). Paul forewarns of the pending wrath of God in judgement:


But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God, who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds’[Psalm 62:12 and Proverbs 24:12]: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness— indignation and wrath. tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.

Romans 2:5-11


A judge striking his gavel
Photo Credit: Wix Media

Judgment is Coming

The judgement will be righteous, for God promised salvation and sent His Son to save the world, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17). Beloved, the judgement of the Lord is coming, and if you are not right with God, and do not believe in Jesus Christ as your savior, you will not make it to heaven.


The Gospel of John says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). For judgement will be executed by Jesus Christ, “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given him authority to execute judgement also, because He is the Son of Man” (John 5:26-27). Jesus Christ said that His judgement is righteous because He does the will of His Father (God), “As I hear, I judge; ad My judgement is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the father who sent Me (John 5:30).


In addition, Jesus said that He was coming back, “for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” and told His disciples to keep watch of the signs (Matthew 24:44). The message of Jesus Christ returning is repeated throughout the Holy Bible. In the Gospel of John, Jesus promises not only His return, but a place that He is preparing for believers, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know (John 14:1-4).


Acts 1:9 provides a testimony about Jesus Christ coming back, “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’ ” Finally, according to the Book of Revelation, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:7).


When Jesus returns, will you be condemned? The Holy Bible tells us to examine ourselves, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” (2nd Corinthians 13:5). Examine yourself now by answering these questions: do you believe in Jesus Christ as your savior? If so, are you living in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ? If not, are you ready to accept Jesus in your life?


Accepting Jesus

Are you ready to accept Jesus Christ as your savior? Say this prayer:

God, I confess that Jesus came in the flesh and blood, paid the price for my sins, died on the cross, rose on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and sent the Holy Spirit to help me understand Your ways. For that, I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord, and I welcome the Holy Spirit in my life. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen!

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