Summary: A Biblical view on God's judgment of the righteous and the wicked including the Reality, the Roles and the Resolution of Judgment.
Every few months, it seems, some celebrity has committed an offense which generates intense media coverage…Ever since the OJ Simpson case from a decade ago, we are bombarded with stories of the transgressions of everyone from Martha Stewart to Paris Hilton.
The interest and attention given to such cases is a reflection of our fascination with the crime & punishment as much as our obsession with the rich and powerful…TV series featuring clever detectives or crafty lawyers have long been favorites in our land.
And while perhaps only a few of us gathered here today have had extensive experience in the courtroom, God's Word assures us that each of us will one day face a trial of our own...Indeed, I wish that we were as concerned about our future judgment as we are in the trials that are publicized on CNN & FOX News.
This morning, we are going to survey a number of Scripture passages as we consider this coming Judgment Day for all humanity.
I. THE REALITY OF JUDGMENT
I want to begin today by emphasizing the certainty of a future judgment.
HEBREWS 9:27 is perhaps the most familiar verse of Scripture which confirms the reality of a day of judgment for all men...In our legal system, there is often a great deal of uncertainty surrounding whether a defendant who has been charged with a crime will even face a judge and jury.
o Will there be enough evidence to bind them over for trial?...Will the person accused of the crime plea bargain?... Will the case be thrown out on a technicality?
I like the way the MESSAGE puts it: Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences
Just as surely as you were born, you will die...And just as surely as you will die, you will be judged...No one released on a technicality... Nobody will be able to plea to a lesser charge in order to escape judgment.
Scripture teaches us, in fact, the reality of several judgments...But two of them are of concern to those of us who are here today:
A. The Great White Throne Judgment
The Great White Throne Judgment is mentioned in REVELATION 20:11-13
This is the judgment faced by those who have rejected Christ...It occurs at the end of the millennium.
PROPHETIC TIMETABLE (Some differences of opinion):
• 7 year tribulation (3 1/2 + 3 1/2).
• Rapture: Beginning, middle, end.
• Return of Christ--Battle of Armageddon...Satan & forces
defeated...Satan bound...Saints resurrected...1000 year reign.
• Beast is loosed for short time...mobilizes army to rebel against
Christ & Saints...Satan's forces are defeated.
Brings us to the White Throne Judgment: REVELATION 20:11-13 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky 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 he had done.
There is most certainly going to be a day of judgment for all who have rejected Christ--great and small...rich and poor...those with status and power as well as those without.
VERSE 12--BOOK OF LIFE = reference to the Lamb's Book of Life containing names of the saved; these people's names were not in that book, so they had to be judged by what they had done as recorded in the books…
• KJV: THE THINGS WHICH WERE WRITTEN IN THE BOOKS, ACCORDING TO THEIR DEEDS.
I sometimes hear people say that they don't need Christ--they live good, clean lives...They think that this will be good enough to save them...WELL my friend, if you want to be judged by your works, you will be....Most assuredly you will.
B. The Judgment Seat of Christ
Over in ROMANS 14, the Apostle Paul addresses the issue of The Judgment Seat of Christ.
Just as the unsaved will stand before a righteous judge, so will those who have been saved… This judgement occurs between the Battle of Armageddon and the Millennial Reign of Christ...Paul makes specific reference to this judgment in
ROMANS 14:10-12 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' "