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The Judgment Seat

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10).

What a sobering verse! I have been contemplating it today because I am about to begin a five-week teaching on the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. Of the Spirit’s coming, Jesus said that when He did come that He would convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:8).

The Prophet Isaiah had a life-changing vision of God, that is recorded for us in Isaiah 6:1-7. What the vision revealed to the Prophet was that God was holy and that he was a sinner. So overwhelming was this revelation that Isaiah called the words of a Prophet’s Judgment upon himself, “Woe is me!” In a nano second, Isaiah saw the blazing holiness of God and the abyss of his own sinful heart, and he knew instinctively that he was under the judgment of God. He cried out, “I am lost! I am ruined! I am undone!” Literally, he was coming apart at the seams.

Isaiah was convicted of his sin, of God’s righteousness, and of the fact that he was under God’s judgment. But the passage does not stop there, leaving Isaiah writhing on the floor, praying to be hidden from God’s holy gaze. God provided a way for Isaiah’s sin to be purged. An angel, carrying tongs in his hand that contained a burning coal from the altar in God’s presence, touched the coal to Isaiah’s lips and pronounced him clean (Vs. 6-7).

Going back to II Corinthians 5:10 and remembering that each one of us will also one day stand in the presence of the God as Isaiah once stood, we also have been given a reprieve from the judgment of condemnation. For another has taken our place, another has laid down His sinless life so that we may be forgiven and stand before God’s judgment throne forgiven and redeemed. If we keep on reading chapter 5, we will come to verse 21, which is one of the most incredible verses found in all of the New Testament. “Our heavenly Father, made His only begotten Son, who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.” Christ Jesus has been judged in our place and has paid the penalty for our sin through His sufferings on the Cross of Calvary.

In another place, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged…” (John 3:16-18).

One day we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. There, we will give an account for all of our deeds, both good and bad. And if we are not wrapped in the robe of Christ’s own righteousness, we will have to personally bear the consequences, the punishment for our sin.

Are you prepared for that day? You can be! But you must first confess the fact that you are a sinner, you have broken God’s Holy Law as found in the Ten Commandments. Romans 3:23 says that the wages of sin is death, separation from God. But on His cross, Jesus bore the penalty for your sin and mine, “But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Since Christ took our judgment upon Himself, through faith in Him, we can now stand in God’s presence, justified, redeemed, and forgiven. That my friend, is very Good News! Are you ready for that day?

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