The Judgment Day
The Bible speaks of a day of judgment when we will all appear before God to give an account of our lives. It is easy for us to forget that. We tend to live for the moment, encouraging ourselves with the thought that “to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant” (Isa.56:12). We quickly dismiss thoughts of eternity – yet the day of judgment is coming!
A judgment is passed on us when we die, in that our soul returns to God and will either be admitted into heaven or cast down into hell. But that judgment is a private one: the world is not a witness to it. We may have an opinion concerning the departed we have known but we cannot tell their final destiny with full certainty. “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after” (1Tim.5:24).
The day of judgment will be a public occasion. All the angels, holy and wicked, will be there, for Scripture says, “Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” (1Cor.6:3). All mankind, good and evil, will be there, for “every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom.14:12). God will reveal many secrets on that day. Writing to the Romans, the apostle Paul teaches us three great truths about the day of judgment.
The judgment day will show that God is impartial in His dealings. “For there is no respect of persons with God” (Rom.2:11). The things which impress men have no influence upon the Lord. Status and rank will count for nothing. Wealth and power will not matter. The Jew will gain no advantage from his jewishness, neither will those who have been baptised and brought up within the church be treated with favour for that reason.
The judgment day will show that men are accountable to God for their actions. “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law” (v.12). All of mankind has had some measure of divine revelation – some knowledge of God and His will for us. Under the Old Testament the Gentile nations had only the light of nature, but they were still accountable to God. The Jewish nation had Scripture too, containing the moral law, so their accountability was greater (Psa.147:19,20). We are more privileged yet, in that we have the New Testament also. We ought to note Luke 12:47,48.
The judgment day will show that we were aware of God’s standard and that we failed to reach it. Paul says: “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified” (v.13). Let the Jew who puts his hope in the law know that he must keep it perfectly – which he cannot do! Then Paul says. “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” (vv.14,15). Let the Gentile who is ignorant of the Scriptures heed his own conscience, by means of which God convicts him every time he transgresses His law!
At the last day the Lord Jesus Christ will return and sit on His judgment seat. He will do what is right. We should be so thankful for the gospel of our salvation! In the wonder of divine grace, the very One who is our Judge is also an Advocate with the Father for believers, even on the day of judgment. Go to Christ, confessing your sins, and His precious blood will wash them all away, giving you a sure hope of acquittal on that day.