"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path". Ps 119:105
The Day of Judgement
God has in His wisdom entrusted all judgement to Jesus. This authority has been given to the one who bore our nature and was tempted in all the ways that we are and yet was without sin. Therefore Jesus will be an understanding and sympathetic judge. Isaiah records:
"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him--the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked." Isaiah 11:1-4
So how will Jesus carry out judgement? It is a fallacy to assume that there will be no judgement for obedient believers as some do. All who are responsible to judgement, both the faithful and unfaithful must give an account of their lives to Jesus, Paul writes:
"So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." 2 Cor 5:9-10.
So we see very clearly that all must come before Jesus, good and bad, there is no exception. Paul, a man we would consider as righteous and zealous for God. A man appointed by Christ as an Apostle to preach to the Gentiles did not consider himself above facing judgement:
"My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God." 1Cor 4:4-5
Paul indeed acknowledges the possibility of rejection and the need to live in obedience to the just commandments of God:
"No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1Cor 9:27
Indeed Jesus himself said:
"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done." Matt 16:27
So we see that all aspects of our lives will come under scrutiny, all the true motives of the heart being laid bare before Jesus. We will be able to hide nothing. He will quickly discern if our thoughts and aspirations have been centered upon him or upon selfish pursuits. Paul mentioned judging 'our brother' and Jesus warned "For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." [Matt 7:2] As Paul remarked, our conscience can convince us that we are doing right, but that does not make us innocent. We can easily deceive ourselves and justify what we do to ourselves and others, yet the truth will lie in how we have endeavored to obey the word of God, putting it into practice in our lives. We must compare everything with the word of God which as we read "judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Heb 4v12
Thus we read:
"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Matt 12:36-37
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." Gal 6:7-8
So again we see that all must stand before Jesus - the righteous being found worthy by what they have said and done, the unrighteous rejected for what they have said and done. Our words express what is in our mind and heart. We can easily deceive other men and women even ourselves, but God sees the truth of a matter. If we have only paid 'lip service' to God and his ways and had our aspirations and ambitions centered around our present lives; jobs, pleasures, anything that comes before God, then we shall be rewarded accordingly - God is not mocked. But if we diligently seek God first, striving despite our failures and weakness to do His will then we shall be rewarded with life in His Kingdom. All will be made plain at the judgement seat of Christ.
For the those forget him, Jesus said:
"But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, `My master is staying away a long time,' and he then begins to beat his fellow-servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matt 24:48-51
However in our thoughts of judgement we must never forget the mercy and justice of Jesus. We can have a certain and wonderful hope if we as Paul puts it "hold fast to that which is good" - that is sound doctrine.
"And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him." 1John 2v28-29
Other prophecies to consider:
John 12:48; 1Corinthians 3:13-15; 1Peter 1:1, 4:3-5; Revelation 11:18.