"If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it."

- Thomas Carlyle

"Worship is not so much what you do as who you are."

Richard Owen Roberts



Biblical authority and humanity
4) how to prepare for judgment


For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

- Matthew 25:42-46 NIV

4.6 Judgment and God's Word.

Just as death is sure, so is our judgment before God: "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment," (Heb. 9:27 NIV). The two primary aspects to the final judgment will be separation of the righteous from the unrighteous, and to what degree we lived according to God's will. The first aspect determines where we will spend eternity; either in God's presence (heaven), or out of God's presence (hell). The second aspect determines how that eternity will be spent.

In other words, in heaven there will be degrees of rewards for how fervently we lived after God's heart and laws, and in hell there will be degrees of punishment according to the degree we ignored or disobeyed God.

Though there is absolutely nothing we can do to avoid either of these aspects of God's judgment, there are certain things that we can do to prepare for that day.


We need to acknowledge the problem at hand: first by realizing there is no escape from God's judgment. There is no way around being judged because God judges everyone, inside and out: "for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts" (1 Ch. 28:9a NIV).

Second, we need to acknowledge who God has appointed as judge at the end of the world. The judge is Jesus Christ: "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" (Acts 17:31 NIV).

Third, we need to acknowledge the standard against which our every thought, word, and deed will be measured. The standard is God's Word: "There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day," (John 12:48 NIV).

-- ACT

After acknowledging the certainty of judgment, the identity of the judge, and the standard by which we will be judged, there are three actions to take in response. The first is examine ourselves to judge the state of our relationship to God.

The natural state into which we're each born is 'only human' in the worst sense of the cliché. From birth our bodies and senses are estranged from God, undevoted to him, and far more concerned with and in love with ourselves; this despite our own sins, hypocrisies, and other vile imperfections. Unless we have received God's forgiveness for our sins through Jesus Christ and have consequently been born again into a new and righteous relationship to God, then we remain under his condemnation. We are destined to have our separation from God made permanent.

For those who have already been born again, the self examination must look even deeper. For instance, God's will is explicit in the Bible, is often implicit in our conscience, and sometimes also manifested in the world around us. In light of all this, how effectively are you living by God's direction and commands? (How much you obey him is actually how much you love him.) What are all the specific ways in which you fail to love/obey God perfectly? Such a moral inventory is foundational to the second action.

The second action is to repent of each and all your sins. The more specific you can be in prayer before God, the better it will testify as to your sincerity and true contrition. To repent of something is not to merely cease from doing it (or not doing it), but to embrace God's view of it.

Whether it's the commission of something you shouldn't be doing or the omission of something you should, you commit to giving it the same value God assigns it. If it's lust or drunkenness, for example, then repent means to hate it like God hates it, and to turn from it. Or if it's a lack of concern for others, or a lack of humility, then repent means to instead love those characteristics (concern and humility) as does God, and to practice them.

In general, repentance is a method of discreetly turning over your life and attitudes to the will of God one piece at a time. Except for love, probably nothing should characterize a follower of Jesus more than being repentant.

The third action to take is to continually turn to the Bible in order to better learn and follow God's will for the rest of your life. God's will for us includes a lifestyle of confessing our sins and applying his forgiveness for them as they occur, turning away from those sins, forgiving others for their sins against us, worshipping God, serving one another, and maturing ourselves in his Word. God's will also involves asking him to reveal to us exactly how we are to apply his principles and directions within our own unique circumstances and personal desires.

While all believers are to exhibit God's perfect characteristics to the best of their maturity, God's plan for each person is as unique as that individual. Many are called to the profession of the ministry, but most are called to minister right where they are; as welding specialists, mattress salesmen, accountants, engineers, window washers, and so forth. Some are called to long and prosperous lives; others are called to poverty, sacrifice, or hardship. In the final judgment, the only thing that will count is how successfully each of us accomplished God's will for his or her own life.


The final judgment, if prepared for, does not have to be a completely terrifying experience. Right now only each of us knows how the darker corners of our lives measure up to God's Word, and for that secrecy we should all be thankful. But in judgment, there will be no secrets:

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Heb. 4:13 NIV)

Therefore it benefits us to keep a short account with God. Don't live as though you are living in secret or out of anyone's sight. Repent! Be honest with God and confess and turn from your sins; don't let their penalty be waiting for you at the judgment. Get them behind you by asking God to apply his forgiveness, and then return to his Word as your foundation for living:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:9-10 NIV)


Having so prepared for judgment, that moment before the Lord will actually have its wonderful aspects. This is because God honors those who respect his Word:

This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.(Isa. 66:2 NIV)

God rewards those who make sacrifices to follow him:

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. (Mat. 19:29 NIV)

God will give his kingdom to those who exercise his will:

Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. (Mat. 25:34 NIV)

and God will rejoice with us in the blessings we returned to him:

Well done, good and faithful servant! (Mat. 25:21a NIV)



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This is on biblical authority in terms of how it can be used to our advantage come judgment day.