The Judgment Seat of Christ

 

The Bible talks of a great and terrible day in which God will judge the nations, both their leaders and their individual citizens. Yourself, myself, and every person who has ever walked this earth, will stand before Him and answer for what we have said and done. In fact, this is a major theme throughout the Scriptures. Jesus Christ refers to it frequently in His teachings. We are told plainly that God, “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.’” (Acts 17:30-31). The command has gone forth, the day and hour has been set, and all of history races toward this climax. We read Jesus’ own words:

 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

John 5:25-29

 

Consider, for a moment, this awesome event when, at the call of the LORD Jesus Christ, all of humanity rise out of the graves and are gathered in one place, at one time, to receive a resurrection of either life or of condemnation. Make no mistake about it; “ For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Let us now look at three great passages of Scripture that discuss the final judgment.

1. The great white throne judgment

The Apostle John was allowed to see this fearful vision:

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

 

Revelation 20:11-15

 

Who can imagine the terror of those who had no reverence for God in their lifetime, as they are suddenly standing at the foot of God’s great throne, as His books are opened, revealing His judgments? Then all of their works are judged according to what is written in the books, and the great Book of Life is searched for their names. Men and women whose names are not written in it are cast into the lake of fire. On that day, all that will matter to you will be whether your name is in that Book.

2. The sheep and the goats

Jesus Christ described the Day of Judgment in this parable:


But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

Matthew 25:31-46

 

Dear reader, know for certain that the same Jesus who walked the earth, healed the masses and taught the people, will come again with His holy angels, this time to judge the earth. We will be judged, not only for what we have done but, also, for what we have not done and, then separated as either righteous or unrighteous.

3. Lord, Lord, open the door

Scripture records that one of Jesus’ disciples asked Him; “ … , ‘Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?’ … ” (Luke 13:23). Jesus responded with this answer:

‘Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.’

 

Luke 13:24-30

Dear reader, perhaps you are thinking or have even said; “I don’t believe in a God who judges in this way.” Think back to the second of the Ten Commandments. Could it be that you have created your own god, in your own mind, rather than receiving the true God as He has revealed Himself in holy Scripture? What if the true God is altogether different from what you imagine?

The LORD says in the Bible; “… I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:24).

Scripture also says; “But the Lord abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment,” (Psalm 9:7).

Make no mistake about it. God has commanded that all men, everywhere, repent and He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world.  In this life, it is possible to deaden our conscience by acting against our conscience the many times it speaks to us. On that day, it will be awakened to maximum sensitivity. Not only what we have done or said but, also, what we have not done, yet should have done, will be judged.

How does a man or woman gain the assurance that their name is, in fact, recorded in the Book of Life? He or she must come to Jesus Christ and receive this assurance from Him. Friend, if you have not done this, call out to Christ. Call out to Him. Cry out to Him, that your spiritual ears would be opened. Cry out to Him, that your heart would be cleansed and forgiven. Cry out to Him, and commit your life to follow Him and His ways.

God is a forgiving God and He receives those who come to Him in repentance and faith. He redeems them. The Scriptures say; “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5). To “redeem” means to “purchase back, to ransom, to liberate from slavery, captivity or death by the payment of a price.”1

Jesus paid the price so that our sins may be forgiven.

The price was His own life being put to death on the cross. The price was tremendous. Jesus was willing to pay it that we might be forgiven, redeemed and set free. Jesus died for our sins and, three days later, rose from the dead.


Friend, if you do not know the forgiveness of God, call out to Him. Turn to Him now. Be reconciled to God. The Apostle Paul wrote; “And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5:11). This could be your experience and testimony as well. You could find joy in God through Jesus Christ. You could receive the reconciliation.

To have your name written in the Book of Life is joy beyond words.

Again, how do you receive this reconciliation? You must come to Jesus in faith. The Bible calls Him “… , the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). We will all, one day, stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. If you have not done so already, make things right with God before that day. Call out to Jesus and ask Him to take away your sins. Commit to follow and obey Him for the rest of your life. God bless you.

I want to pray for you also:

Lord Jesus, one day You will judge all of humanity. One day, we will stand before Your great throne. We want to be ready for that moment. We want to stand before You with our sins forgiven and in relationship with You. We want to hear You say; “ … ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you… ”. Lord, we want our names to be found in the Book of Life. I pray for this one who is reading now, that You would help them make the great crossover from the kingdom of darkness to Your kingdom of light and love. You paid the price. You died for our sins. You rose from the dead. Now help this one call out to You in repentance and faith. Help them to surrender their life to You. Adopt them into Your spiritual family. May they receive adoption and redemption. May they receive reconciliation. May they know in their hearts the joy of reconciliation and the assurance of salvation. Amen.

Shawn Stevens

ENDNOTES

1. John Miley, D.D., LL.D., Systematic Theology, Vol. 2 (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1989), 84.

Systematic Theology, Vol. 2. by John Miley, D.D., LL.D., copyright 1989 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

REFERENCES

 

Miley, John, D.D., LL.D., Systematic Theology, Vol. 2. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1989.

Systematic Theology, Vol. 2. by John Miley, D.D., LL.D., copyright 1989 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

“Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>