Monday, June 18, 2018
“For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Romans 14:10 (KJV)
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NKJV).
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:52-53 (NKJV).
No one will misunderstand that last trumpet sound. Suddenly, without warning, our location will change. No one will ask who that magnificent person is, nor why he is here. Each heart will increase its beating. Some will immediately drop to their knees, sobbing loudly. A day has arrived that some refused to believe. The thought of many will be, “Too late.” It will be.
A preacher is called and steps forward. He begins telling Jesus when he became a Christian. How many sermons he has preached. The many locations where he has presented the good news. He will give a “preacher’s count of the multitudes that responded to the invitation he offered. He will detail the many local congregations he has established in his 65-year ministry. He has been faithful in the proclamation of the gospel. He has memorized and quoted huge portions of scripture. He has defended God’s truth against all who opposed it. Jesus compliments him in all the things he has mentioned. Then he asks the preacher to stand to one side. He informs him that he has done well in many things but is remiss in one.
Another person is called forward. He tells Jesus that since he became a follower he has never missed a meeting the church has called. He has worked with the youth director, with the older adults, taught a Sunday School class, was ordained as a deacon and served twenty years until appointed as an elder. For the past ten years he has served honorably and with integrity in that work. He has been a personal worker for 45 years and seen multiple individuals respond to the gospel like those folks in Acts 2. Due to his business, he has been capable of giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cause of Christ. He has worked in mission efforts in Central and South American as well as in Africa. He has been honored not only by his church, but also his community. He feels that his way of life counts for something. Jesus also compliments him upon his activities and works, but asks him to stand with the preacher, because like the preacher, he is missing one thing.
A third person’s name is called, and he stands before Jesus with his head held low. He confesses that he is a sinner. That anything he has done that was considered good and sacrificial by others, is still like filthy rags. His Savior is Jesus. His faith is in Jesus. His hope is in Jesus. His trust is in Jesus. His assurance of salvation has been and remains in Jesus. Nothing nor anyone can remove his sins except Jesus. So, he comes before his Lord and Savior with nothing to offer in his defense other than Jesus. Jesus stands and commends him because he is not missing that one thing but has expressed it! Jesus paid it all. All to him I owe! Like the tax collector, Jesus blesses him as justified because he puts his faith in Jesus, not in himself!
Jesus states to the man, “Well done my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joys of your Lord.” His announcement is a shock to the preacher and elder. They ask in unison, “Why didn’t you grant us entrance as you did that person. Look at all that we have done in your kingdom!”
Jesus replied, “Yes, you both have a long list of accomplishments. You have put your trust in what you have done and not once mentioned what I did for you upon the cross. Your faith has been centered in your works rather than in my blood. You have believed that your works have put me in debt to you rather than you being in debt to me. You have sidelined my accomplishments for yours and neglected what I did in your desire to prove to me what yours have earned for you. You have bypassed me, so you could present yourselves as saviors.”
Who went from the Temple to his house justified (Luke 18:9-14)?