Sep 23, 2009, 5:50 AM
"The Lord will execute judgement." (Isaiah 66:16) Whilst it is said of God that He is merciful and kind, He also is a just God that will pass all of humanity's actions under judgement.
Christ as Judge
In our last study it was established that it is God who judges the world. As long as we do what is right, we are not to be afraid of any man or woman, for judgement belongs to God. (Deuteronomy 1: 17) He is the One we are accountable to. "I thought in my heart, remarked king Solomon; God will bring to judgement both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed." (Ecclesiastes 3:17) God in His supreme sovereignty has however chosen to give the power to judge humanity to His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. "Moreover the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgement to the Son."(John 5:22)
What this means is that what really counts is what the Lord Jesus would have to say about the life we have lived on earth and not that of our peers, family members and friends. So start brushing off or stop paying heed to those remarks you hear around you or directed at you even though they may pierce your heart. God has the final say.
Jesus declares that the process will begin by separating the sheep from the goats. "All nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." (Matthew 25:32) Thus a major selection exercise will be conducted with a view to separating those who are eligible for the kingdom from those who will not enter it. Those who have been obedient to the Word of God have nothing to fear.
Judgement according to works
When our Lord Jesus - who is presently seated at the right hand of the Father (Colossians 3:1) - will judge the world, He will start with our actions; the things we should have done but never did or the things we have done and were not supposed to do. Yes, God will test every action. Paul compares our works to elements such as "gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw" and concludes that our works will be brought to light. "It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work." (1 Corinthians 3:13).
We are reminded also that our actions are already written in the Book of Life; "Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books." (Revelation 20:12)
Needless to say that the life we live matters a great deal, as the things we do in secret, 'every hidden or wicked deed' will be made public before everyone on that Day - the Day of Judgement. On the day of reckoning 'the dead, great and small' will stand before the judgement seat to account for their deeds.
Such knowledge should instil the fear of God in us and push us to consider doing things that glorify God. ".whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable . (Philippians 4:8) God wants us to act responsibly and to be accountable for our every deed. Therefore we must endeavour to sow only what is acceptable in God's eyes that we might receive the ultimate reward, which is life everlasting.
When our Lord Jesus returns ".He will reward each person according to what he has done." (Matthew 16:27) Fair enough! In the parable of the talents recounted by our Lord Jesus Himself, the three servants were rewarded according to their performance or output. Two out of the three that had worked hard were rewarded whereas the servant that did not do his best, the little he had was confiscated and given to the other two. What kind of seeds have you sown lately? Remember a man reaps what he has sown. We cannot sow mangoes and reap oranges.
The Last Judgement
The Bible states categorically that after death it is judgement. (Hebrews 9:27) And the wicked will not be spared from such judgement for their evil deeds. ".therefore the wicked will not stand in judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous." (Psalm 1:5) There is no escaping judgement.
The twin cities of
Before God's judgement seat
When the trumpet shall sound announcing the Lord's return in all His splendour and glory what would be His verdict regarding our status - eternal damnation or everlasting bliss and happiness? Time is not on our side, because God does not promise us tomorrow. Paul invites us as he did to the Philippians of his day to ". continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." (Philippians 2:12)
His grace is sufficient for us all. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Let us therefore take advantage of this era of grace that we have been given before the axe falls.
"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done." (Revelation 22:12)