What If UR Wrong

“The best moment for a Christian’s life is his last moment because it is the one that is nearest to Heaven; it is then that he begins to strike the keynote of the song which he shall sing to all eternity.”

Charles Spurgeon

The Day You Face God

 

by Mark Karapetyan

If this were your last day on earth, and you went on to meet God face to face, what would you tell Him?

If you stood before God in Heaven and He asked you “why should I let you into Heaven?” what would you say to Him?

Most people, when asked this question, say something like: “God should let me in because I’m a good person,” “I help others,” or “I haven’t done really bad things.” These people are greatly mistaken in thinking that God will somehow be impressed by their goodness or by their good deeds.

On earth, we meet different people from different places, different backgrounds, different countries, and different classes. We meet laborers, teachers, doctors, presidents, artists, locals, foreigners, celebrities, poor, rich and athletes. In many cases, we even become good friends with many of them, but often without revealing to them the skeletons and the secrets from the past that we have hidden and buried in our closets. We successfully conceal from them many details about us and our deeds.

The world is filled with people who live as though they have no sin. They live as though God does not exist. They live as though they will never face God in judgment. How greatly they’re misguided…

When we meet God, whether as believers or unbelievers, EVERY secret will be revealed. Good or bad, happy or painful, every thought, every deed, every word will be exposed before our eyes. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”   (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

The sad reality is that most people, including many Christians, fail to understand that meeting God face to face is not the same as meeting other people. Meeting the mighty, powerful, eternal creator is not the same as meeting their acquaintances to dialogue with. You will be standing before the all knowing, all present, infinite maker of this universe.

Let me remind you that, biblically speaking, after death, there will be two separate judgments: The Judgment Seat of Christ for believers, and the Great White Throne for unbelievers.

The first judgment is when believers are judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, or “Bema” in Greek. Every believer will give an account of himself, and the Lord will judge the decisions he/she made especially those concerning issues of conscience. “For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11-12).

This judgment is confirmed in the New Testament: “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 we have done whether good or bad.”  (2 Corinthians 5:10)

It is crucial to understand that this judgment is NOT a judgment to determine whether or not believers will enter Heaven. The Bema Seat is for believers whose salvation has already been secured by faith in Jesus Christ. The sins of believers will not be an issue at the Judgment Seat of Christ – they have already been forgiven. The purpose of the Judgment Seat of Christ is to examine a Christian’s life in its entirety. We will be recompensed for the deeds we have done, whether good or bad. The Bible says:

“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:10-12)

The Apostle Paul tells us that there is no judgment for believers in Christ. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  (Romans 8:1).

At the Bema, no believer goes to Hell; some lose rewards, but they are still saved.

Jesus said there would be two kinds of saints in the last days: those who are faithful like Noah and those who are slothful like Lot (Luke 17:26, 28). Just as “one star differs from another star in glory”(I Cor. 15:41), one Christian will differ from another in Heaven in regards to earned rewards.

There are debates as to the exact timing of the Bema Seat. Some understand it to occur at the moment of death for each believer. Others believe the Bema Seat to occur during the end times, with all believers being judged at that time. It does not truly matter when the Bema Seat occurs. It is far more important that we be prepared for the Bema Seat than worry about its timing.

The second judgment is at the Great White Throne for unbelievers.

The Great White Throne Judgment is described in Revelation 20:11-15 and is the final judgment prior to the lost being cast into the Lake of Fire.

Let’s see how the John the apostle describes it: “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence, earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books,  according to what they had done.  And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.  Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.  And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Notice that it’s called “the great” due to its ultimate, mighty power. It is the highest court of supremacy and authority in the universe. There is no chance of appealing a judgment passed to a higher court because there is no court higher than this court. Once a judgment is rendered, it is final and eternal. No one can reverse the ruling.

At this judgment, Jesus is sitting on the throne because God has “committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22). Jesus is now the judge of all the unredeemed. His throne is great, majestic, and being white, signifies His holy justice and impartiality.

It is also called “white” because of its purity and uncorrupted holiness.  All human courts are stained by sin and infected with fallibility. Not this court! This court is virtuous, and perfect in every sense. The judge who sits on the throne of this court is infinitely knowing, just, uncorrupted, and renders judgments in perfect righteousness and fairness. In this court, every single person will receive what they deserve in full fairness and perfection. No one will cry out: “unfairness, bias, or corruption.” All will receive perfect judgment by a perfect judge.

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant once wondered about ethics and its meaning in life. At the end, he concluded that for humanity to have true ethics, there must be true justice. Moreover, for true justice to be real, there must be life after death for justice to be served. He reasoned that only a perfect, just judge that has all knowledge is able to judge righteously. The all-knowing and righteous judge, Kant said, must also be in a position where there is no force that can oppose his action and ruling. He must have unlimited power and nothing must be able to resist him, so that he can ensure justice is done.

Kant was inadvertently and unknowingly describing the God of the Bible and the Great White Throne Judgment.

In the end, the Great White Throne Judgment underscores the fact that God’s justice will be done and that, outside of Christ, that justice will be terrifying, sure, and final. This is a place you don’t want to end up in, I assure you!

If you think you will be able to wheezle your way out of this judgment and somehow impress God with your goodness in order to change His verdict, you are sorely wrong.

If you think you will be let into Heaven because you can demonstrate to God that your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds (as many world religions teach), you are misled.

Let me ask you a question: Why would you enter a building from the back door, or sneak in from the windows when the instructions placed outside of the building clearly instruct everyone to enter from the main door in the front? Why would you do that? Don’t you think you will be regarded as a thief and be expelled from the premise?

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” 

(John 10:1)

Seriously, what would you tell God as an unbeliever, that you didn’t believe in him because he didn’t show himself to you? How would you respond to Him when He says: “I sent you my son Jesus?” Sure, you could answer God by telling Him that you never had the chance to personally meet Jesus, and that you were not an eyewitness to the Crucifixion and Resurrection. What if He hands you a Bible, shows you His creation, or reminds you of the moral law that’s engraved within you, what’s your excuse then?

How would you justify your demand to enter God’s kingdom? Would you perhaps play the “well I’m a good person”, or “sorry God I didn’t know”, ignorance card? Do you think that would work?

If I came to your house, knocked on your door and told you that you need to let me in just because I’m a good person, I help the poor, and feed the homeless every Sunday, would you seriously allow me to walk in to your house? Would any honest, just judge let any criminal free just because the criminal has been to church, helped the needy, or rescued pets?

The British philosopher Bertrand Russell was once asked what he would do, as an atheist, if he met God face to face. He boldly answered: “I would say ‘Not enough evidence, Lord, not enough evidence’.”

Do you honestly believe that God would take “not enough evidence” as an excuse? Imagine you walking into a courthouse as a defendant, standing in front of a judge, and explaining to him that the reason you broke the law is because there was “not enough evidence for you to believe that the law existed.” What do you think the judge would do? It might be possible that you never read the law before or even heard of it, but that doesn’t mean that the law wasn’t there. Ignorance is not an excuse for disbelieving. The law has always been in place for you to recognize, as well as the courthouse building was there for you to see to remind you of the law. You chose to ignore it and willingly violated it.

When it’s all said and done, we will all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

If God does really exist, which he does, and if there is a real judgment after death, which there is, then at the end, there will be two gates before you to enter from. One leads to eternal life, the other leads to eternal damnation. Which of these gates will you chose to enter through?

Believers, don’t be complacent and lazy, for you will be held accountable for the work you have done for God. Don’t think that just because YOU BELIEVE that means your job is done, and you can sit down to enjoy life. The Bible teaches us that demons believe too, but they are not saved because they don’t trust Jesus and refuse to do His work.  Life on earth is not about living life to the fullest as you see on many self-centered, idiotic ads. Ironically, the fuller we try to get the emptier we feel. Life is about you telling others about God. Jesus commanded us to “carry our cross daily,” not once a year!

Unbelievers, it matters not what you personally believe. It matters what the truth is and in whom you trust.  Believing that there is no God and later finding out that there is, is the worst thing that can happen to you.  Don’t take my word for it, search for the truth on your own, search with all of your heart and mind. Then, you will find the truth and the truth will set you free.

Mark Twain once said that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.”

I must add, “and also the day you face God…”

“Many pastors criticize me for taking the Gospel so seriously; But do they really think that on Judgement Day, Christ will chastise me, saying, “Leonard, you took Me too seriously?”

Leonard Ravenhill    

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mark@whatifurwrong.com

 

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