Christians believe God is the lawgiver and the judge of humanity. He sets these laws to protect us from otherwise damage and can therefore judge when we have trespassed. Christian belief is held that God will reward or punish us accordingly to his judgement of the individual.
Theologically, Christians believe in Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats-that God on the last day will separate the saints from the sinners according to his judgement. This serves the purpose of giving us an incentive to follow God- a loving direction in which he leads.
Biblically, the idea of God as a judge is supported by Jesus’ sermons “Do not judge lest ye be judged” “My father in heaven will be the judge”. However this causes the question of whether an omnibenevolent being can engage in judgement. From one angle it seems unlikely how if judgement is forbidden for us how it could be contextually good for God. However, form the Xian viewpoint God has the right to judge everything to his perfect standard and as he creates the laws for us to follow judging in no way lessens his perfect love. This is in accordance with the parable of the plank “Remove the plank in your own eye before you judge the speck of sawdust in your brother’s” in Jesus’ words. God being perfect himself, he is free to judge.
However, an objection to this can be made by the fact that we know how to sin-which God did not factor out of our being by allowing us free will. Surely any judgement that God makes is therefore a judgement of him as he did not make us perfect and infallible?
In response to this a Xian entertains the notion that God is exalted in giving us the gift of free will-to allow us to freely choose to be like him and avoid a race of unloving robots. But resulting sin requires judgement-which is still possible as God is in the clear having given us free will.
A theological problem is also raised by the parable of the sheep and the goats. Surely God can judge and give verdict and be sufficient without having to punish? Xian’s would agree that the idea of a punishing judge is in coexistence with the idea of god as a loving parent with a vested interest in his children’s long term health. Arguably any punishment has the intention of teaching and therefore creating a positive outcome. This righteous anger is demonstrated when Jesus overturned tables in Jerusalem -violence to prove a point and have a lasting effect.
However, it is arguable that God’s actions in the sheep and the goats would have no teaching impact on the sinners concerned and so would only serve a vengeful purpose. This does not take into account the idea of separation of the wicked via hell as a last resort and a peaceful separation; the logical consequence of God’s shining gift of free will.