(Avoid The Rush On Judgement Day)
Prophecy Seminar: Lesson 6
It’s a very interesting fact that while much of our society does not believe in God, we actually follow God’s principles without knowing it. We discovered things like the use of animals to represent various countries, our system of law and order, and the weekly cycle are all taken from the Bible. Our subject in this chapter is also like this, because much of our judicial system also comes from the Bible.
Believe it or not, the Scriptures mention the judgement over 1,000 times. That makes it one of the most important topics in the Bible. Surprisingly the subject is seldom taught anymore. The god news is that in the judgement, God is for us. Jesus is out attorney, and we can face it with confidence.
Will there be a judgement day? Notice Acts 17:31, “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.” God has “appointed a day,” now that’s significant! In our next chapter, we will discover how close we are to that “day”. To stir your imagination a bit though, let’s read a fascinating scripture. Revelation 14:6-7, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” In other words, the everlasting gospel which is to be preached to all the world will say God’s judgement is come (present tense) before Jesus comes.
God’s Word has a court summons for all of us as we face this judgement, more serious than any summons we might receive here on earth. 2 Corinthians 5:10, “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.” We all must appear before the judgement seat. No one can escape it.
In the book of Daniel you will find a brief description of the judgement taking place. Daniel 7:9-10, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Revelation gives a similar picture of what will take place. Revelation 20:12-13, “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. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”
At this point there may be a sincere question in your mind. In the last few verses in the Bible states we will be judged according to what we have done, good or bad, and judged according to our “works”. Yet in the last chapter we read that we are saved by grace and it’s not works. How do we reconcile that?
In the Bible there is a simple balance between faith and works. It’s like two oars on a row boat. If you use the left oar of faith only you go in circles. Or if you use the right oar or works you do the same. But use them both and you go in a straight line.
We are not saved by works. We’re saved alone by God’s grace. But if we truly have been saved by grace through faith then God is in control of our life. As we “watch and pray” the Spirit controls us and therefore our works are of God. Our works give evidence that our faith is genuine. So we’re not saved by works, but we are judged by our works. Keep that balance and you are safe. James 2:14,17, 18, 24, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
Here on earth we have courts of law and a process by which we determine the destiny of man. In every trial there are three phases. 1. The investigation of the evidence. 2. The decision or verdict of the court. 3. The punishment or reward. We already discovered that the first part, the “investigation, ” would take place before Jesus comes, because it will be preached “the hour of judgement is come” prior to His coming. Revelation 14:7, “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Revelation 11:18, “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”
Now how is this part of the judgement to be done? We just read in Revelation 20 that “the books” were opened. There are several books used in the judgement. The first one is called the Book of Life. It has the names of all the saved, Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
There is another book called the Book of Remembrance where the saints record. Malachi 3:16-17, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” From these and other books, God begins the judgement. And, the Bible declares that God Himself will judge. Psalm 50:4-6, “He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.”
When the investigating part of the judgement ends in heaven, the second phase of the judgement begins which is the verdict. Christ declares it word-for-word in Revelation 22:11-12, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” In other words, when Jesus comes, every case is decided. All whose names are in the Book of Life have been reviewed. And because their lives have been covered by Jesus’s blood and righteousness, they are worthy of eternal life. This is just before the second coming of Christ. Now that brings us to the obvious question. The saints have been judged, they are saved. Jesus comes at His second coming to take them to heaven. So, when will the wicked who are not in the book of life be judged? Revelation 20:4, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” The wicked will be judged during the 1,000 years which follows. (More on this in chapter 15) Therefore, you and I, if we claim the blood of Jesus and are saved, will be the ones who actually judge the wicked to see if God was fair. Is that surprising? Notice 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” We will judge the fallen angels. Second Peter 2:4, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” God has a reason for doing it this way. Satan has accused God of not being fair, and God is going to say, “Okay, I wont judge, I will let my people judge. Those men and women on the earth, under Satan’s program of sin and rebellion. Those people that went through the temptation and trials of life. Let them check and see if I was just and fair.”
Suppose you get to heaven and a loved one you expected to be there wasn’t. Suppose you went to God and asked where your loved one was. Then suppose that God arbitrarily said “I’m sorry, I determined your loved one a sinner, I couldn’t save that person, they’re lost forever.” It would always leave you wondering if God had been fair and just. So God chooses to put judgement of the world in our hands so we can have peace that He was impartial and honorable.
Revelation paints a beautiful picture of what our testimony will be after the judgement is over. Revelation 15:2-4, “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that God is just. The character of God will be vindicated.
The last part of the judgement will be the reward or punishment. The punishment is found in Revelation 20:15. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” The wicked are cast into a lake of fire.
The reward in beyond imagination. Eternal life, no more sickness, death, pain, poverty, loneliness, or suffering. Perfect health, joy, riches, and an all expense paid vacation to relax and enjoy forever. A city mansion with a clear deed, and all the food you care to eat, and forever in the presence of God’s love. You will praise the Lord.
Here on earth we are judge by certain standard. The law. If I break it and go to court, they will read from the book of the law. By my obedience or disobedience to that law I am guilty or not guilty. In heaven it’s the same, God’s law will also be the standard by which we are judged. James 2:10-12, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” This is God’s ten-commandment law.
Let’s read another text to establish this thought. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man, For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” God will bring all into judgment. Here on earth we can sometimes fool people. We can lie and deceive each other, but we cannot do that to God! There will be a whole lot of people on judgment that day that will beg for mercy, but it will be too late.
It’s like the sign I saw on a Baptist Church down south. It read, “REPENT NOW, AVOID THE RUSH ON JUDGMENT DAY!” Our text says “every secret thing.” Notice also Matthew 12:36-37, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Jesus said, even our words deeds and intents of the heart will be judged and justify or condemn us. Now, after disturbing you with the seriousness of facing the judgment, I realize you may be saying, “I feel so helpless, what must I do to be saved? How can I be sure my name is written in the Book of Life?” Let’s be encouraged from Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” God is able to save to the uttermost! The worst sinner in the world can have his or her name written in the BOOK OF LIFE. Christ says “come unto me all ye who labor and heavy laden,” and John 6:37 says “him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.”
O friend, if Jesus is our friend now, He will confess us before the Father, All you must do today is COME TO JESUS AS YOU ARE, WITHOUT ONE PLEA, BUT THAT CHRIST’S BLOOD WAS SHED FOR ME. God has promised to forgive your sins. First John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The MOMENT He does, that you are justified and your name is written in the BOOK OF LIFE! And as your name comes up in the judgment, God the Father looks at you and standing before you is His Son Jesus. Jesus says, “My blood covers his sin. I present him faultless before your throne!” First John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not, And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Jesus is our “advocate” our lawyer! Christ longs to represent you! And today, while the world goes on in raveling and drunkenness, God is looking for one, just one soul He has created who has the intelligence to make a decision to surrender their life to Him so they might be saved. When we look at OURSELVES we can’t see how we could ever be saved, but when we look at JESUS we can’t see how we could ever be lost!
When the judgment is over, and God comes for you and me, the text of Philippians 2:10-11 will be fulfilled. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Every knee will bow, and all will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD. I invite you today, to confess those words. Today the door of mercy, swinging on the hinges of grace is still open. Jesus lovingly invites you to let Him cover your life of sin, so when your name comes up in judgment, He can confess you before the Father.