Judgment (Matthew 12:36-37)

Photo by Chris Brignola on Unsplash

It is not just unbelievers who stand before judgment after death. All humankind has   sinned, ipso facto all humankind has committed treason against God Most High. Do not be fooled into thinking that the evil one has not laid an accusation against you in God’s court. You have been accused of sin, and you will be brought to God’s court on your death and judged for that sin. As Jesus said, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” 

Jesus says that for the Christian there is hope. A firm hope – even a solid expectation – of acquittal. For the Christian has confessed Christ, and the Word of God says, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” You are saved when you confess Christ, because the records will show it. Better yet, Jesus will confess you to the Father just as you witnessed of Him to others, “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.” 

Every soul will stand in the courtroom of God and before the assembly of the angels. With the Father presiding, they will have to give account of the words they spoke over creation. They will have to give account for the words they spoke as they looked at those made in the image of God Most High. For the words said in love, and also the words said in anger, and especially for the careless things said when your guard was down and your heart was revealed. 

Yet for the Christian there is a defence. For those who have believed on Jesus as Lord and so communicated that belief to others made in His image will find they have a defender in that court. Jesus will rise and confess that they belong to Him – that He has bought them with the sacrifice of His own blood. They belong to Him and so are no longer bound by the law of sin and death. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” On account of His ownership, they have upon them a righteousness that is above the law. “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Consequently, for the Christian there will be acquittal. But for those who have not believed and so have not acknowledged Christ before others, there will be no such acquittal. They will stand accused with nothing but their own record of sin to speak for them.

Wherever we turn in the Bible, we find that Judgement Day is coming. The authors of the Bible lived with constant and keen awareness of the reality of that day, and, to live well, we must do the same.

Roger Ellsworth

APPLICATION: Intentionality

Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ, who not only forgives us and testifies that we belong to Him, but receives all who call upon Him until that last day! Christian, who are you bringing that glad news to today?