It is so much easier for us, isn’t it, to look at people who are not believers in Jesus, those who do not profess to be Christian, and say things like,
“Just look at what she is wearing, how (insert negative adjective here).”, or,
“Can you believe what he did, I/we/you would never do that.”
It is so much easier to read of the punishment due to those who are not God’s people, as with the six formulaic judgements yesterday, than it is to read of the judgement against those who, in theory, should be doing it right.
4 Thus says the LORD:
“For three transgressions of Judah, and for four,
I will not revoke the punishment, because they have rejected the law of the LORD, and have not kept his statutes, but their lies have led them astray,
those after which their fathers walked.
5 So I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.
The same formula is used, For three transgressions of…and for four…I will not…I will send a fire…
But these are God’s people, they have the rich history to look back on, to draw hope, strength, and confidence from, these are God’s people, they have the law of the Lord and His statutes, what could go wrong?
The problem is that the law never had the power to change the hearts of sinful man. It simply never could, otherwise it would have, wouldn’t it? Just because these people had the law of the Lord, that didn’t make them righteous by default, did it.
Anyway, the point for us is this; God still judges what His people do.
We should receive with thanksgiving the finished work of Jesus on the cross into our lives as a foundational and fundamental truth, it changes everything about who we are, everything about what we do, and everything about what we think when we live in the light of this glorious truth.
We should receive this, absolutely, but that does not make us instantly fully sanctified, does it? We are a work in progress, meaning we need to keep a watchful eye on ourselves, the sinful human nature is still there.
If we love those in our church family around us, we will keep an eye out for them, too, offering accountability, counsel, and support when it is needed.
Paul encourages us to keep our focus on those in the church family rather than to be running around judging those around us who do not profess Jesus as their Lord and Saviour (1 Corinthians 5.11-13) We should be mindful that we who claim Christ as Lord will stand before Him and give account of what we have done (2 Corinthians 5.10).
All that to say, yes, God still judges His own people.
If anything, the standards are higher because of the wonderful truth you know. The Christian life is lived in community – we are individuals saved into community – so we do not have to do this alone.
Find people who will hold you accountable as you do the same for them, find people to talk with regularly about how things are going, and when it comes to standards of living, keep the focus on His people.