Christ’s Olivet Discourse on the End of the Age Part VII: The Judgment of the Nations -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 129:516 (Oct 1972)
Article: Christ’s Olivet Discourse on the End of the Age Part VII: The Judgment of the Nations
Author: John F. Walvoord


Christ’s Olivet Discourse on the End of the Age
Part VII:
The Judgment of the Nations

John F. Walvoord

[John F. Walvoord, President, Dallas Theological Seminary, Editor, Bibliotheca Sacra.]

The disciples had asked in Matthew 24:3 what the signs would be for the end of the age and the coming of the Lord. This question was answered in the section Matthew 24:4–31. The principal sign was the great tribulation which would begin three and one-half years before the second coming of Christ to the earth. Following this prophetic passage, Jesus gave to His disciples a series of applications and interpretations. In Matthew 24:3125:30 Jesus answered their questions and applied the truth. Jesus then gave the disciples more than they asked for in detailing, in Matthew 25:31–36, the judgment of the nations which will follow the second coming.

While conservative expositors have been in general agreement that the passage deals with a final judgment, considerable disagreement exists concerning the exact nature of the judgment and its relation to the total prophetic plan of the Scriptures. Generally speaking, amillenarians, who believe the second coming of Christ ushers in the eternal state, hold that this is the judgment of all men. Lenski for instance states, “The whole human race will be assembled for the final judgment.”1 R. V. G. Tasker likewise states, “The Son of Man is pictured enthroned in glory as King (34) in exercising His divine prerogative as Judge of all nations (32 ).”2 Postmillenarians likewise generally make this a final judgment of all men.

Even Alford, a premillenarian, states, “We now come to the great and universal judgment at the end of this period, also prophesied distinctly in order in Rev. xx.11–15 —in which all the dead, small and great shall stand before God.”3 Liberal writers like A. H. M’Neile while raising questions on the genuineness of the passage usually do not dispute that it teaches a judgment which includes “all human beings, those placed on the right hand as well as those on the left.”4

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