The hour of His judgment has come
Maybe we should write on our calendar: Appointment with God - any day now! For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1 Peter 4:17, 18).
All of us are accountable to God.
Life is passing by. The time of judgment is drawing near. God allowed John to look into the future and see the day of judgment: Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
Every person who has ever lived, will stand before God in judgment. Since Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the Serpent, man has been trying to blame someone or something else for his deeds. But God holds each person accountable for his own actions and words.
Jesus warned: But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned (Matthew 12:36, 37).
This is a sobering thought. We are responsible for every word we speak! Not satisfied with the superabundance of idle words in real life, we have even made talking machines: radios, TVs, computers, DVD and mp3 players, to name a few. Who is responsible for the words spoken by these machines? Those who create the content are, of course, responsible for creating the content. But we who operate the buttons, keys and mouse are responsible for what is actually seen and heard. Since we must give account for every idle word, will not God hold us responsible for the words and images we produce with our machines?
We have an appointment with God: Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth - those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28, 29).
We will be judged by the things written in the books.
And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books (Revelation 20:12). If we are wise, we will be concerned about the content of those books!
Jesus said: If anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him - the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day (John 12:47, 48).
The word of Christ will judge us on the last day! Yet many people spend little time or effort to learn what the Holy Scriptures say. And others who know what the Scriptures teach, reject and ignore the word of God. How unwise this is. We are rushing toward the day of our death, rushing toward the day of judgment when we all must give account to God.
Conscious of the coming judgment, Paul wanted to please God, and he encouraged others to do the same: Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men (2 Corinthians 5:9-11).
The wicked will be punished.
On earth, many who commit atrocities go unpunished, but no one will escape the judgment of God. The righteous judgment of God is coming when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:5-9).
John was shown a vision of eternal punishment: Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name (Revelation 14:9-11).
Political rulers who wade through blood to come to power will not escape the judgment of God.
Dirty politicians, unrighteous judges and crooked police who pervert justice will not escape the judgment of God.
La Casa Nostra Mafia families who corrupt whole nations and destroy millions of lives with drugs and immorality to enhance their own thing will not escape the judgment of God.
Executives who enrich themselves and their companies at the expense of the poor, and have little concern for the welfare of their workers will not escape the judgment of God.
Industrialists who rape the earth and poison the environment to line their pockets, will not escape the judgment of God.
Manufacturers and users of guns, bombs and land mines that maim and destroy men, women and children will not escape the judgment of God.
Shady businessmen and dishonest workmen who cheat customers and employers will not escape the judgment of God.
Men and women who commit fornication and adultery, who destroy families, and make children insecure will not escape the judgment of God.
Abortionists, child molesters, murderers, thieves and liars will not escape the judgment of God.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (Romans 1:18). And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them (Romans 1:28-32).
Now you may be thinking: Im glad Im not a terrible person like that! Since I dont do real bad things, Im ok with God. But any bad things done separate one from God.
All are sinners and can be saved only by Christ.
Some people think that just because they are religious they are saved. That is what the Jewish people thought in the time of Christ. But listen to what He told them: There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:1-5).
Only through Jesus can we escape condemnation on the day of judgment: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith (Romans 3:22-25). For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
We deserve to die because of our sins. Jesus, who was without sin, died in our place to pay the penalty for our sins, so we can be forgiven. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation (Hebrews 9:27, 28).
Jesus said: Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life (John 5:24).
After His resurrection, Jesus told His followers to proclaim this good news to everyone: Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:15, 16). Gospel means good news.
When Peter was asked What must we do? he replied: Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
After being born again of water and the Spirit (John 3:3-5), the redeemed dedicate the rest of their lives to serving God: And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each ones work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:17-23).
Yes, the hour of His judgment has come.
We are all accountable to God for what we have done. One day we must stand before His throne to be evaluated on the basis of what is written in the books. We are all sinners and need salvation that is available only through Christ. To escape condemnation, we must repent, confess our faith in Him and be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins. Then we must dedicate the rest of our lives to serving God.
I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth - to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people - saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water (Revelation 14:6, 7). Amen.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers, unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive