Friday, March 13, 2009


The Judge and the Judgment

John 5:22-24

Anyone who's been in a courtroom knows the atmosphere of authority and fear that surrounds the judge as he enters and takes his seat. One day, everyone will stand before the ultimate Judge--the Lord Jesus Christ.

Coming before a judge can be a frightening experience, but knowing that he is good and fair can bring reassurance. When we appear before Jesus, we will be standing before the One who is righteous and just. The Lord is impartial, and He will make decisions with all wisdom and complete knowledge. His standard for justice will be truth, not opinions.

Jesus is the only one qualified to be the judge of all mankind. He has been given this job by His heavenly Father. Being the God-Man, He can sympathize with our weaknesses and understand our temptations. That is because He, too, has suffered and been tempted, and yet He never sinned (Heb. 4:15).

Scripture promises believers that they won't be condemned in the judgment, but will stand before Christ to give an account of their lives (Rom. 14:10-12). God's purpose is not to punish or shame them but to evaluate their lives and reward them for their good works. This will not be a public humiliation, but a private time of revelation with the Lord.

What comfort we have in knowing that our Judge is also our Savior, who loved us enough to die for us. Christ is for us, not against us. May this motivate us to love and live for the one who has delivered us from the fear of punishment (1 John 4:16-18).

The Judgment of Believers

2 Corinthians 5:9-10

The judgment seat of Christ is probably not our primary consideration as we live our daily lives. However, we ought to give it some serious thought, because it could motivate us to live a life that pleases the Lord.

All believers will one day stand before Christ to be evaluated for who they are and what they have done. Jesus will reveal the hidden things of the heart, disclose every motive, and assess all our works for their eternal value (1 Cor. 4:5). Unlike earthly courts, this will not be a time for making a defense; we will have none. Instead, we will be in complete agreement with the Lord's verdict.

God's purpose in this judgment is to repay us for what we have done, whether good or bad (meaning worthless). The deeds which are good will receive a reward, but those that are worthless will not. The Lord will consider three issues in this judgment:

  1. How much truth did you know?
  2. How many opportunities did He give to you?
  3. What did you do with all that He entrusted to you?

We will shed some tears of regret over lost opportunities to serve the Lord, but He will wipe them all away with His great love and forgiveness.

The certainty of our future judgment should affect the way we live now. If we are not careful, the busyness of our culture will steal our motivation to live for that which is of eternal importance. Let us adopt one ambition in life--to be pleasing to the Lord.


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