God’s Word in 1 Peter 4:17 tells us that it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God – which we believe to consist of all of God’s chosen and redeemed people (Revelation 14:3-5) including faithful disciples of Jesus Christ (v4 they follow the Lamb wherever He goes).
The apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:10 that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive what is due us for things done in the body (i.e. while on earth), whether good or bad. In Romans 2:16 he says that God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, and Romans 14:10-12 says we will all stand before God’s judgment seat and each of us will give an account of himself or herself to God.
King David in Psalm 62 ends with the statement that God will surely reward each person according to what he has done. Prophet Jeremiah in 17:10 pronounces God’s declaration, “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve”. Psalm 94:15,23 affirms that judgment will again be founded on righteousness and the Lord will repay the wicked for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness. According to what we learn from Matthew 7:21-23, there are evil doers among professing Christians. This is a very sad reality.
King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 11:9b speaks to young people saying, “Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment”. He concludes the Book with these words, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter; Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil”.
In addressing pre-believers in Athens who had gone off in wrong directions, the apostle Paul in Acts 17:30-31 proclaims that in the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a Day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead. 2 Timothy 4:1 mentions Christ Jesus’ appearing and His kingdom (Revelation 11:15, 17-18) and that He will judge the living and the dead (Revelation 20:11-15). Hebrews 10:30-31 adds, “For we know Him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.
All the above Scripture passages mentioned provide very sobering thoughts. Let us then heed Hebrews 12:28-29, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so serve/worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’”.
By Mrs Leong-Lian King Teng (YCKC Bulletin 23 June 2019)