God shall judge the secrets of men

By Robert Oliver - Contributing columnist
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There are so many passages of scripture that foretell of the day of judgment that it is needless to even discuss the reality of the day of judgment to any who are even slightly knowledgeable of the scriptures.

However, there are some that are not, so we will provide just a few. When the apostle Paul was in Athens and spoke on Mars Hill, he told those Athenians, “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 17:3031).

The account of the great judgment day scene that Jesus presented and as is recorded in Matthew 25:31-46 is another passages that clearly shows the reality of the judgment. We might add that the apostle Paul told the Corinthians that , “…we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ…” (II Cor. 5:10).

It is important that we also consider the seriousness of the day of judgment. We are talking about an extremely serious matter. It is a serious matter because of the scope of it. No one will be left out. As noted above Paul told the Corinthians that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (II Cor. 5:10).

The word “all” does not leave much room for any of us to escape the judgment. The Hebrew writer stated that it is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment (Heb. 9:27). Another reason it is so serious is that it will determine our eternal destiny, life or death. Jesus referred to the left hand and the right hand, the sheep and the goats and then entering into the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world and being cursed, cast into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:32-34, 41).

It would appear from this alone that this is a matter serious enough that we should be very concerned about whether we are ready for that day to come or not. We might also add a couple more truths that make this a serious matter. The finality of the judgment makes it a serious matter. Once one has passed from life on earth and through the day of judgment, his or her fate is sealed for eternity. There will be no more chances to correct their past wrong doing, no moving from one side to the other, it will be final.

Though the judgment had not yet taken place, Abraham told the rich man who wanted him to send Lazarus to his brothers on earth, “And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence” (Luke 16:26). And just one more. This is a serious matter because the decision will be absolute. There will be no debate.

Those mentioned by Christ began such a plea to the Lord, but were simply told, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:23). There will be no plea bargaining such as takes place in our courts of law. Each will receive that which corresponds to the life he lived on this earth. David said in the long ago, “…for thou renderest to every man according to his work” (Psalm 62:12). One might also note II Cor. 5:10 and Revelation 20:12 in reference to one’s judgment being based upon what that person has done in this life.

We will be judged by our actions in this life as compared to the commands and teachings of the gospel of Christ. Paul stated that God would judge the world by Jesus Christ according to the gospel (Rom. 2:16). Jesus said that, “…the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). For this reason, it is all important that we know what the gospel of Christ teaches and that we then strive to do all that it commands, leaving nothing out and adding nothing.

Now we come to the part of this article that gave birth to our title. Paul wrote, “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Rom. 2:16). There will be no secrets withheld from God at the judgment. Solomon said, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecc. 12:14). Other passages could be cited, but these should suffice to get our point across.

We might commit sins in this life that we keep hidden from even those who are closest to us. Many a spouse has been unfaithful without their spouse ever being aware of it, but God knew and still knows. Many have told lies that the person being lied to never knew, but God knew and still knows. People have gotten divorces and remarried for reasons other than the one the Lord provided (Matt. 19:9) and lied to others, but God knew and still knows that said couple are living in adultery. On and on the list can go. Included in all this that God knows that others may not know is the fact that God knows the very thoughts of man. Even our thoughts are naked and open to him (Heb. 4:13). On the day of judgment, those secrets will all be brought out. Now, are you ready for the judgment day?

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By Robert Oliver

Contributing columnist

Send any questions or comments to: [email protected]

Send any questions or comments to: [email protected]