38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
Here Jesus says He has come into this world for judgment. Elsewhere he says that He ‘judges no one’. Both of course are true. And we can understand it in this way. Jesus’ presence exposes what is in everyone. He judges in the sense He causes evil in man to react, and He causes the good in man to respond. No one is neutral to Jesus, and and no one can be neutral to the divine truth. Jesus is divine truth embodied, and the only one who is so. Divine truth from Him is a sword that cuts through and reveals all. No one can hide from him, no one can outsmart him; every time they try to do so they merely expose them self. While on earth people get away with nefarious activities for a while, sometimes it seems like a long time, but they are only ‘getting away with it’ externally. By what they are doing they are forming and determining their end state of being. The will of the Lord is never less than love, and while we are on earth Jesus seeks to reform everyone at all times and bring them back to the fold. While on earth He is not so much punishing people but seeking to heal them and reform them of their evils. In the spiritual world, in the world of spirits, which is between heaven and hell, and preparatory for heaven and hell, the process of reformation continues – only many times more refined and acute in the spiritual world. It is also different in the sense that at a certain point it becomes clear that a person is heading to heaven or hell, and the process continues in order to cleanse out of them everything that is not homogenous to their heaven, or homogenous to their hell. This is called vastation.
The Lord uses angels, spirits, and demons to achieve all of these processes, but under the guidance of the Lord. When a person dies angels approach them and they begin to help them to adjust being in the spiritual world; with all their heart they want nothing more then to show the new person how to be with them in the wonders of heaven. If a persons inner state of being resonates with this and seeks it they come into that place, but if it rejects it, then they are passed on to lower spirits, and if the person rejects these they are passed on again, until they find their place. This can go all the way down to the demons of hell.
No one gets away with anything, ever, in the least degree in the end. The state of being we cultivate internally is its own reward, or its own punishment. The Lord and his angels do everything possible to teach us, and put us through experiences for us to learn, and to bring us home to the kingdom – but freedom of will cannot be violated. God himself will not violate freedom of will. The reason is is that without freedom we have no self whatsoever, and we cannot be saved. It must be that we act from our own will in order to from the bond with God that saves. The relationship between God and man is mutual and reciprocal like it is between humans, except with God it is the highest.
Jesus also said to leave judgment to Him. This is because He knows our hearts all the way through and we do not. We don’t know what He is working in a person, and how he is using good and evil people and circumstances for His purpose. This doesn’t mean that we can’t discern principle. The more we love the Word He gave us and understand its principles, the more our perception is elevated. In the same way, the more we approach the Lord with humility the more we come to know our self and the gifts He has given us. Nevertheless, all humans have good and evil in their will and body, and the selfish part of this is known as proprium. All good comes from God. Proprium is the life and will that comes from our self, not the Lord, and it cannot perceive past itself. So we follow civil law and principle to the best of our ability, and submit judgment to the Lord.
For those who are in hell it can be accurately said that God punishes them, for with them their is not hope of reformation, but the goal of providence is to keep them from sinking deeper into hell.