"God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained"—"Jesus Christ the righteous." "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." (Acts 17:31. John 5:22.)
The word judgment sometimes signifies merely the execution of a verdict, or decision reached, but it means in a fuller sense the process of trial, including also the decision or result of trial. The human race represented in its head, Adam, once stood on trial before God. It failed to prove itself worthy of life, and in Adam all were condemned, the penalty or verdict being death.—"Dying thou shalt die." (Gen. 2:17—margin.)
Seemingly, Jehovah had forever sealed the final doom of his creatures, the trial being ended and they all condemned to death. But not so; he had thus condemned all through one representative (Adam), that he might have mercy upon all through another representative—Christ Jesus (Rom. 5:19).
In due time Jesus was placed on trial as a second representative man. He was in all points tempted (tried) like as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). In his trial Jesus was a victor; he was thus proved [R408 : page 6] worthy of life according to his Father's law. Then by giving himself (his humanity) a ransom for all (1 Tim. 2:6), he purchased all of the fallen race from, or out of death. The object of the ransom was not to justify sin, nor to bring back the sinner to continue a life of sin, but to afford each an individual trial for life in hope that all, having had a taste of the bitterness of sin, might return to harmony and communion with God through Jesus, and live. It is for this reason that the world is to be judged again. They were tried and condemned once already through Adam, as we have shown, and a second chance for life comes to all the race through Christ Jesus—an individual chance.
The second judgment or trial of the race, unlike the first, will be an individual trial, when every man who dies shall die for his own sin and not for Adam's (Jer. 31:29,30). This individual trial will be under the most favorable circumstances, and will decide their final everlasting destiny. But before they can have such a trial, they must first be redeemed from the consequences of the first trial.
It should be remembered that the church selected from the world during this Gospel age is not reckoned as a part of the World. Jesus said, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:16.) This Gospel age, has not been the World's day of trial or judgment, but the church's only. Only a small part of mankind have yet been blessed with knowledge sufficient for a full, fair trial as individuals. But we thank God that he has "appointed a day (period) in the which he will judge the World in righteousness"—fully and fairly, as our text affirms.
Our hearts rejoice with gratitude and praise as we realize the blessings to come to all mankind, when the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth, for all must have full knowledge in order to a full and righteous trial. God could have had the World's trial-day begin where ours did, (the church's) at Pentecost, but it pleased him to permit six days of evil (six thousand years) to pass, and then to bring in a seventh day of rest from the dominion of evil (the millennium, or seventh thousand years), in which the World should have a more favorable individual trial under the reign of Jesus. All who will, may then have back all that was lost through Adam's sin—human perfection [R409 : page 6] of life and happiness.
As heretofore shown, the trial of the church, now in progress, is not a trial of men to see whether they are worthy of human life and perfection eternally, but it is a trial of new creatures. Certain ones, justified from sin by faith in Christ, have presented themselves as human sacrifices to death—the death of all human aims and hopes and being. Their trial is to see whether they will fulfill this their covenant. If they do it, they will be doing with their humanity what Jesus did with his, and such shall share with Jesus, their Lord, the glory and honor of the divine nature.
The trial of the World when Satan and evil are bound (Rev. 20:2) will be less severe and the prize for which they will be running (a right to existence as perfected human, or earthly beings) will be less glorious than that for which we run. Theirs will be a gloriously satisfying portion, however, since the natural man cannot receive the things of the spirit, for they are spiritually discerned. What a loving and wise provision! All will be perfectly satisfied—they on the earthly plane, we on the heavenly.
When the World is on trial (during the millennial age), not only Jesus will be their Judge, but his Bride—the overcomers now being selected, then made one with him, will sit with him in the throne and judge the world, as we read: "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" (1 Cor. 6:2.)