“It Happens Sooner Than We Think”
Have you noticed that 2014 is virtually half-over? Where did all that time go? It seems that just yesterday we were beginning a new year. Now, we're really at the halfway mark. Time does fly! There's an important lesson in this for all of us – we had best be thinking about the future, because it will be here before we know it. The greatest thing we can give our attention to is the end of our lives and whether we'll be prepared to give an answer for the things we have done as we stand before the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10). Before we know it, this world will end and the judgment will be upon us. Let us examine some things about the judgment which will hopefully help us be better prepared for it.
The Judgment Should Cause Fear
Paul writes about the "terror of the Lord" when he speaks about having to stand before God (II Corinthians 5:11). The Bible is very specific: "every knee shall bow" before our God (Romans 14:11). Let us remember that we will bow down to the God who "will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
The Judgment Will Be A Surprise
A host of men have claimed to know when Christ will return. These men are poor students of the Bible. Paul and Peter both wrote about the return of Christ being compared to the coming of a, "Thief in the night" (I Thessalonians 5:2; II Peter 3:10). Even Jesus Himself told us to "watch" because we won't know when the "Son of Man is coming" again (Matthew 25:13). Given the surprising nature of the judgment, we must constantly guard ourselves and continually work to make ourselves better prepared for it.
The Judgment Is For Everyone
All humans will experience the judgment. Each of us will one day stand before our God and will be hear one of two things: "Enter in" or "Depart from Me" (Matthew 25:21, 41). The Hebrew writer was very plain: "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Certainly, all men will die and all men will experience judgment. Given this, let each of us look to the word of God and render obedience to it and in doing so, look forward to our home in heaven for eternity. After all, it will be here sooner than we think!
The Judgment Should Be A Confident Experience
When Paul wrote to Timothy, knowing full well that his life was drawing to a close, he did not dread the judgment nor the future of his soul. Instead, the inspired writer spoke about the afterlife with great confidence (II Timothy 4:7-8). While overconfidence is inappropriate, God has made it so that we, like Paul, can consider the future judgment as an exciting day wherein we'll be able to enter heaven for eternity. What a great thing to ponder as servants of the most high God!