Summary: We Will Stand Before God’s Judgment Throne 1) Are you ready for what you’ll see? 2) Are you ready for what He’ll see?
The Internet is a handy tool, don’t you think? For example now, before you go on a trip, you can see whether or not that lodge described as “rustic” is a comfy place with oversized chairs and fireplace, or whether it’s nothing more than a bunkhouse that lacks indoor plumbing. You would want to know which one it was so you could plan accordingly.
Like a website that helps us prepare for a place we’re thinking of going, our sermon text gives us a preview of Judgment Day. With vivid pictures it gets us ready for what we’ll see as we stand before God’s judgment throne, and it also sheds light on what God will see as we stand before him.
The prophet Daniel was the first one to see this preview of Judgment Day. The vision he received began with four terrifying beasts coming out of the ocean. Each beast represented a different world power starting with the Babylonians and ending with the Romans (Daniel 7:1-8). This vision may have made Daniel think that evil governments control world events. That of course is not the case. God made that clear when the reign of the beasts abruptly came to an end and in their place countless thrones were set up in heaven and on one of those thrones the “Ancient of Days” took a seat (Daniel 7:9).
The Ancient of Days is, of course, God. Does that title make God sound like some guy stooped with age? Isn’t that how many people picture God? They see him as a kindly grandfather who really doesn’t care or know what’s going on among his grandchildren. Others think that God doesn’t have the power to control events in the universe. Is that the impression we’ll get as we stand before God’s judgment throne? Not at all! Listen to how Daniel went on to describe God. “His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. 10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him” (Daniel 7:9b, 10a).
Although the white hair may further the impression that God is old and the wheels on his throne may make it sound like he’s sitting in a wheelchair, the fire consuming his throne and the river of fire emanating from his being tell us that God is no weakling. He is the authority in the universe. Sure he looks old but that’s because he is. He’s been around forever, literally. That means that there’s no chance of fooling him, of pulling the wool over his eyes when we stand before his judgment throne. He’s seen all the tricks. He knows what we’ve all been up to. And his throne, by the way, is not a wheelchair; it’s a chariot. So there’s no running from God.
All in all that’s a pretty scary vision of God - especially the fire surrounding and coming out of the Ancient of Days! What effect will that fire have on us when we stand before God’s judgment throne? To answer that question let’s find out what God will see when we stand before his throne. Daniel reports: “Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:10b).