Summary: How to prepare for Judgment Day.
“Here Comes the Judge”
September 4, 2011
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.”
Last week I spent two and a half days of my life in a jury pool. Every day I had to get up early, put everything I had planned for the day on hold, and drive to the courthouse in Yreka. We started with over a hundred people. I was the third one selected to sit in the jury book from a random drawing. I was asked a number of questions like: “Would your religion influence the way you voted on the jury?” I said, “No. I would have to look at the evidence and respond accordingly.” I probably should have said, “Yes. It helps me to be fair and impartial.” Maybe I should have quoted Scripture like – 1 Corinthians 6:1-3
“If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!”
So according to that Scripture I think I am more than qualified to sit on a jury of my peers. But it didn’t matter. Being a chaplain with the sheriff’s department and knowing most of the officers involved with the case ensured they would never select me – and they didn’t. I was dismissed after 2 ½ days. I felt it was my civic duty to go through the process and a small price to pay for the privilege of being an American. But, truth be told, I was relieved that I didn’t have to spend 4 to 6 weeks immersed in the negativity of a child molestation case. I was willing to make that sacrifice – but relieved when I didn’t have to.
This experience brought up some thoughts of judgment in the bible. I want to share with you some of those thoughts this morning.
First of all, Judgment Day is coming. Make no mistake – there is a day of judgment coming. That is both frightening and reassuring at the same time. It is frightening to us to think we are going to stand before the Court and be judged one day – but it is, also, reassuring to me to realize that Judgment Day is coming because it means that all wrongs don’t have to be righted in this lifetime. It means that nobody gets away with anything. O.J. didn’t get away with murder; Politicians aren’t getting away with lying and stealing; Hugh Heffner and homosexual deviates aren’t getting away with sexual sin. Judgment Day is coming. Jesus said,
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” Matthew 25:31-33
“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10
“God will repay each person according to what they have done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.” Romans 2:6-10