And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Judgment is coming. It is certain. Thus, it behooves us to consider the question of Job 31:14: “What then shall I do when God riseth up? And when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?” Most live their lives without giving this momentous question much thought. Let us not make this mistake, for judgment is coming.
Judgment is sure. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Acts 9:27). All things will be made known then - even secret things. “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:12) “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes. 12:14) How would you like for one to reveal to this congregation every thought you have had the last seven days? God knows, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13) All will be open at the judgment, every deed (Colossians 3:17), every word (Matthew 12:37), every thought (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Thus, it so behooves us to live so that our record will be clear on that day.
There will be no excuses at the judgment. People make many excuses now: too busy, not enough time, not enough ability, intend to do it soon, let someone else do it, etc. Jesus never did accept excuses while on earth; thus, He will receive none at the judgment (Matthew 7:21-23).
Judgment will be individual. It will not be what parents believed or did, what wife believed or did, what brethren believed or did. It will just be God and me (Galatians 6:7-8).
Consider the opportunities the sinner will not have at the judgment. He cannot believe unto salvation. I did not say that the sinner will not then believe, for he will, but too late (Philippians 2:10-11). He cannot repent unto remission of sins. He will repent – have a change of heart, but to no avail. He cannot confess unto salvation. Yes, he will confess Jesus to be Lord but to no benefit. He cannot be baptized for remission of sins. He then will be baptized (Matthew 3:11-12). But he will think less of that baptism than he did of baptism in Jesus’ Name. He can plead with Jesus (Matthew 7:22-23) but the answer will be “Depart, I never knew you.”
If we now consider God’s judgment and prepare, we will have opportunities that we do not have now. We will hear Him say “well done” (Matthew 5:21). We will have glorious bodies like Jesus (Philippians 3:21). We will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). We will ever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
We will be as the angels of heaven (Matthew 22:30). We will have blessings unmanageable.
The wise will take advantage of opportunities now that will result with these glorious opportunities then.
Jesse G. Jenkins