There is much said about the second coming of Christ, with much of it being nothing but idle speculation that is not based on what the scriptures teach. Some of what will occur at that time is still unknown to us, but much is revealed in the New Testament. Of the things the Bible clearly reveals occurring at that time, we wish to note four great truths about just one of those things, the great judgment. Our understating of these four great truths can and should have a great bearing upon each of us in what we do now, in this present life, but even more important, such understanding of these four truths will have a real bearing upon where we will be for eternity.
Our first great truth concerning the judgment is the surety of it! There are many who scoff at or openly deny the existence of God, that we have an eternal soul and that one day we will be judged by an omnipotent Judge.
If it were true that none of these things exist or will occur, then our actions in this life on earth could and would be greatly affected. Why would there be any need to hold back in any way, just go for it. Do whatever feels best to you. One could safely take the position of the rich fool Jesus spoke of, saying to himself, “…take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:19). However, “…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Paul warned those of Athens, Greece saying, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). To those who scoffed at the return of the Lord that would precede the judgment, Peter stated, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…” (II Pet. 3:10). There is no doubt whatsoever that the judgment will take place.
Our second great truth concerning this subject is the scope of it! If by some manner one could excuse himself from this judgment, slip through the cracks and sort of watch from a distance while others were judged, then others could do so as well. But the fact is none will be excused from the judgment. Recall that the Hebrew writer stated that, it is “appointed” unto men once to die and after that the judgment. This is not an appointment that one can be excused from. Paul wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Cor. 5:10). Not only is the scope of the judgment great in relation to the number of people judged, but also in the scope of the acts to be judged. The wise man Solomon stated, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil” (Ecc. 12:14). The writer of the book of Hebrews stated, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:13). You will be at the judgment and you will keep no secrets that day.
The third great truth concerns the standard of the judgment. If we were to be judged by our opinion of what is right or wrong, then all would be well for everyone has an opinion and one is just as good as another. Even conscience or sincerity would be pretty easy to deal with as a standard for judgment. However, we will be judged by an objective standard and that standard will be the gospel of Christ. Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48”). The apostle Paul wrote, “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Rom. 2:16). John recorded, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Rev. 20:12). In other words we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be judged by our actions in this life as they are compared with the actual commands of God.
The fourth and final great truth of the great and final judgment is that it will indeed be a final separation. In the judgment day scene that Jesus presented, He stated, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:34, 41).
With the truth of the above four points it would seem all important that we have prepared ourselves for that great day of judgment. There is no doubt it will come, you and I will surely be judged, not by our opinions but by what God has said and it will be final!
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