JUDGMENT DAY IS COMING! Perhaps you’ve seen someone on the street holding up this message on a sign. Perhaps you’ve seen it ridiculed in a cartoon or made light of in the media. While it may be true that some who speak or write these words appear to be weird the fact is this: it is true. Judgment day is coming for all of us.
God is the judge and the Bible is very clear that there is a reckoning day coming for every person ever born. This divine reckoning will come upon the two categories of people described in the Bible as the saved, those who have trusted in Christ and follow Him as their Lord and Savior and the lost, those who have not trusted in Christ and do not follow Him. Every person is in one of these two categories. The judgment of the lost is called the Great White Throne judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15. The judgment of the saved is called the Judgment Seat of Christ and it is described in 1 Corinthians 3:5-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:9-11.
At the Great White Throne judgment God will show the lost why they will be put away from the presence of God forever. “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (vs. 15). An old hymn asks, “Is your name written there?” The Book of Life is simply the record of all who repented of their sin and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 12 says they will be “judged according to their works” which have also been recorded in “the books”. This record will clearly show that all of them, every single one, have sinned and as sinners can have no place in heaven with a holy God. Sobering, no? It would behoove you to answer the question, “Is your name written there?” Only as you acknowledge your sin before God and trust completely in the shed blood of Christ for you on the cross can you move from the category of the lost to the category of the saved. For “it is not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5).
The Judgment Seat of Christ is not about the believer’s sins for they were judged at the cross of Christ to which I say again, “Thank You Jesus!” The grace of God is enormous! The Judgment Seat of Christ is the evaluation of the believer’s works. On that day the question, “What did you do with the life God gave you?” will be answered. Both our works and our motives will be judged. No wonder Paul described this judgment by saying, “Knowing therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Cor. 5:11).
I find it interesting that in the context of his (and all believers) judgment he says, “we persuade men.” The New Living Translation reads, “Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others.” Persuade others of what? Clearly Paul is speaking of persuading the lost to be saved for in the verses immediately following he says God, “has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself...and committed to us the word of reconciliation...we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:18-20). God has given to every believer the ministry of reconciliation, that is, the ministry of bringing the lost to Christ through the proclamation of the gospel.
I wonder, will we as believers be present at the judgment of the lost? Will we see the judgment of the Great White Throne? Could it be that part of our judgment will be seeing people we knew and worked with and lived beside being cast away from the presence of God? Could it be that we will be faced with the sobering question on that day, “Did I persuade them to come to Christ?” And could it be that some of those we know who will enter eternity without Christ might look at us and ask, “Why didn’t you tell me about Christ?”