They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 1 Peter 4:5
Its a fearful thing to think about a day when the books will be opened and you find yourself standing in the grand courtroom of the universe. On the judgement seat will sit the Judge of all the earth in all His splendor. All around will be peering eyes and complete silence. The book will be opened, and the events of your life, that you thought had been forgotten, will be read before you. In your resurrected state you will have a clear memory of what had happened. Every detail will race through your mind. Every point at which you made a decision will be brought to your memory. A booming voice will then thunder through the courtroom, “Explain yourself.” But you will have no answer. The inner knowledge of your guilt will condemn you. Excuses will escape you. Eyes will stare as you shake with fear. Then the gavel will fall, and the voice will say, “cast him into the outer darkness.” A deaf ear will be turned as you plead, and the hands of creatures stronger than yourself will take hold of you. Your cries of agony will be the only thing to accompany you to your eternal place of torment.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the the living God. Hebrews 10:31
I don’t really like being the type of person who always brings up the judgement of God. But I am like Paul when he says, “knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” How awful that day will be for so many.
The whole bible can be briefly summed up like this: God has commanded us to do what’s right for His glory and for the common good of man; if we don’t, we are to be punished and made an example so that others may fear. However, Jesus died as an example of God’s judgement, and therefore will extend pardons to all who identify themselves with Him, and who embrace His commands.
Recently, I watched a documentary on Wyatt Earp. In the documentary there were certain cowboys that robbed a stagecoach and murdered the driver, along with another man. The town of Tombstone was outraged and wanted these murderers caught and made examples. Why? Well, the stagecoach was the life line of the town. Without the stagecoach, the town would suffer; thus the well being of the town would be in jeopardy. If these man were caught and punished, then others would see and fear. Would be robbers would think twice about robbing a stage coach.
But what if there was a kind, fool-hearted judge who took pity on them? What if that judge heard their pleas for mercy and let them go? Would that deter would-be robbers? I don’t think so. They would be emboldened and worry little of being caught. Only a tear-filled plea would grant their freedom. Such a judge would be worse than the criminals themselves. He would foster a community full of crime.
This world and this time is only a speck of what is to come. A new heavens and a new earth will replace the one that now is. Everything will be brand-new and old pains will be forgotten. What won’t be forgotten, though, is the fierce judgement that will be brought upon the wicked. Look what the Lord says that those in God’s new creation will see:
And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh. Isa 66:24
All those who rejected righteousness will serve as eternal examples to those who inhabit the new heavens and earth. The deterrent to sin will be great, and will bring great peace to the new earth.
But, thanks be to God, we don’t have to be that example. We can embrace the cross and have our sins blotted out.
God will not jeopardize the well being of the universe by being soft in His judgement. He will judge with a fierceness unlike any earthly judge. Woe to him who puts himself on the receiving end of that judgment. It would be better for that man never to have been born. Don’t be that person. Now, as the window of life remains open, you can escape the danger of that judgement. This loving God has provided a way of escape. Forsake your sin and believe the message of the cross. Make Jesus the master of your life. In doing so, your sins will be erased and remembered no more. No record will be kept of them in heaven, and all traces of them will be burnt up on the earth. The day you stand before Christ in judgement will not be a fearful day for you; your eternal destiny will have been determined. You will rejoice in that day with joy that is unfathomable. All earthly pain that you suffered because of the cross will have been worth it. The eternal joys that will await you will be many.