As Christians, we are God’s beloved children in the gospel of Jesus Christ! He has graciously and mercifully saved us from the wrath of God and the penalty of sin. This, however, does not exempt us from God’s final judgment seat where we will give account for how we lived our lives unto the glory of God. When was the last time you thought about the reality of that moment?
“And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 (NASB)
You may be wondering what God judges since Christ has already paid the penalty for sin. The Apostle Paul said:
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NASB)
God judges our every deed, whether good or bad, and will reward us accordingly. And as believers, we should already have a desire to please, honor, and glorify Him in all things (Col. 3:22).
What is the basis of God’s judgment? Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes.
“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (NASB)
Confidence at Judgment
God will judge each of us based on actual fidelity to His Word. Do we dare say at the judgment: “Well I thought that…” or “I didn’t think it was my responsibility…” or “I assumed my pastor was right about…” or “I didn’t look into it…” or “my brother seemed to know…”
No, those explanations aren’t going to be enough when we stand before the One True God, the Creator of the universe. God is the judge – according to what His Word says. Good feelings are not the judge. What you assumed and guessed are not the judge. Niceness is not the judge. How others in the church think is not the judge. Whether you are liked or not liked is not the judge. God’s Word is the only opinion that matters! In this you can have great assurance!
So, we must fully submit ourselves to God’s Word. We must take the time to read and study Scripture, and then live according to that Word. This is a life-long process, but we have the Holy Spirit to help, guide, and comfort us! Like the Psalmist said:
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11 (NKJV).
Having submitted ourselves to God’s standard, we can discern teachings. We are less likely to be led astray. The Apostle Paul gave us a solemn warning when he said:
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
There are lots of opinions out there; lots of philosophies and empty deceptions. We even see this within the confines of many churches where some believe and act as if truth is subjective. (Read The Church’s New Agenda) But Jesus said:
“Sanctify them in truth. Your Word is truth.” John 17:17
The only way we can avoid being subject to falsehood and doublemindedness is to love, embrace, and grow in the truth that we find in God’s Word!
So, are you living according to God’s standard – the basis for your judgment? Is your confidence earthly or heavenly? Do not fear what your answer will be someday! Instead, right now, fear God who told us to love, fear, enjoy, suffer for and obey Him according to His Word. Believing and obeying Him brings us confidence toward that day!