Does talk of the judgment send shivers up and down your spine?
by Colin D. Standish
If you are afraid of the judgment, you are no different from many other Christians I know. I want to share some reasons why the judgments of God are meaningful to me. It might help you to appreciate them.
God’s judgments were made necessary because man himself made a tragic choice in the Garden of Eden. There “by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” Romans 5:18. With Adam’s decision, sin and tragedy entered this world, but now God secures the universe against sin. By God’s judgment “…He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum 1:9.
The first judgment took place at the cross where Christ took on Himself the condemnation, or judgment, that man deserved. By this judgment, we are reconciled to God by Christ. And now, Christ draws men to Himself. “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” John 12:31, 32.
In the second judgment, Christ is working as our High Priest and Judge, reviewing the records of each person whose name is in the book of life. At this time, the angels are also given the opportunity to review all the records of God so that they can have no doubt as to His justice. “Thousand thousands, ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:10; cf Revelation 5:11.
The beauty of the judgment is that my Judge, Jesus, has been through everything before me. “For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15.
I love the judgment because Christ is able to save every one of us. “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him.” Hebrews 7:25. Not only is Jesus able to save, but He is even more anxious that we should repent and be saved than we are ourselves. Jesus is “longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.
Jesus is calling us away from sin to a life of freedom in holiness. “…He hath chosen us in him…, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:4.
He has compassion upon those who do not have the opportunity to know all the truth that God has presented. “Who can have compassion on the ignorant [not negligent—see Hebrews 2:3], and on them that are out of the way; for that He Himself also is compassed with infirmity.” Hebrews 5:2.
In the third judgment, God gives the redeemed saints the opportunity to review His justice. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them [the redeemed saints].” Revelation 20:4. Through the judgment, the tempter will be completely overthrown. Thus we will be able to live without the constant threat of Satan’s cruel deceptions and destruction. Jesus died that “He might destroy him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil.” Hebrews 2:14. “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are.” Revelation 20:10.
Today, God is calling us to repentance in the investigative judgment which is taking place now. He lovingly invites us to make our calling and election sure. You see, we could not be saved if it were not for God’s judgment. Jesus’ work in each judgment is essential to our salvation. I hope you feel as I do. I cannot resist such a loving and wonderful Savior. I want to be with Him for eternity. Please join me in responding to His wonderful call.