Chapter 37 Judge Of All

He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained … in that He hath raised Him from the dead (Acts 17:31).

This is yet another ministry of our Lord in heaven. He is raised up not only to be a present Lord and Saviour—Forerunner—Advocate—Mediator—but all rights of judgeships have been given Him. God has given the office and the right to judge all peoples to His Son, that all men might honor the Son as they are to honor the Father. He has been given this authority as the Son of man—as One who knows all men and what is in men, and thus can judge with righteous judgment.

His Judgment of Believers

“We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10). This will take place immediately after His coming to rapture them (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). This judgment is not a legal one for crimes committed. We are not to appear before Him as sinners and vagabonds, but as His own redeemed people. This judgment is a review of service. The judgment upon the sins of His people was borne by Him on Calvary’s cross, and those sins cannot be judged a second time. This is more like an adjudication—a judgment on how well we have run the race, or used our talents, or built up a godly character, and so be given appropriate rewards (Revelation 22:12). It has to do with our manner of living as believers. In that day “everyone of us shall give an account of himself to God”—not to any other (Romans 14:12).

It has also to do with labor, especially, perhaps in relation to the local church (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). There is but one foundation—Jesus Christ. But what have we built on that foundation in the way of Christian life? There are works of gold, silver, and precious stones, all of which can stand the test of fire. But there are inferior and fleshly works indicated by wood, hay, and stubble, all of which are burned and destroyed by fire—works unacceptable to God.

Then, too, it has to do with our loyalty. “It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). Stewardship is what the Lord has entrusted to His people. He has put into our hands His own intrinsic jewels. We are not to be concerned about what other people think. We must seek only to be faithful to Him who has made us His stewards.

His Judgment of the Nations

This will be at the close of this present age of grace and before the beginning of His millennial reign here on earth; and at the close of that thousand-year period will be the judgment of all unbelievers. This judgment of the nations is to fall upon those nations which are represented as a ferocious beast with seven heads and ten horns, and which is the final expression of Gentile world dominion. But the Lamb overcomes them and brings to a final conclusion all rule and authority here on earth by these kingdoms of darkness. The dragon, the beast, and the false prophet are all destined for the lake of fire. So here we see the blessed Lamb of God, once nailed to a cross on this earth by men of the nations, now on a throne of judgment, separating nations with, perhaps, some from each passing into the millennial era. This is called the judgment of the sheep and goats as in Matthew 25:33—“And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left,” and it seems to be a judgment based on the attitude of nations to the Lord’s earthly people, Israel.

The Judgment of Unbelievers

“And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away” (Revelation 20:11-15). This is the Great Assize Court. It comes at the end of human history as we now know it today and at the close of our Lord’s millennial reign. It is another part of our Lord’s ministry in heaven and the consummation of all things. The judgment is a heavenly scene and conducted from the throne of God in heaven. It is the grand finale of human history in relation to the earth. The Lord Jesus is to come to that throne with great splendor and glory. This is the judgment of the impenitent. So great will be the manifestation of His glory that the present earth and heaven shall flee away at the sight of His face because of their pollution. How solemn! What a final vindication of the Lamb of God that was slain, when “every knee [shall] bow … and … every tongue … confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10, 11). The knees of believers bow to Him now in adoration and praise: in that day the knees of unbelievers will bow in enforced submission and fear.

Lo! He comes with clouds descending,
Once for favored sinners slain;
Thousand thousand saints attending
Swell the triumph of His train:
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Christ appears on earth to reign.

Every eye shall now behold Him
Robed in glorious majesty;
Those who set at nought and sold Him,
Pierced and nailed Him to the tree.
Deeply wailing! Deeply wailing!
Deeply wailing! Shall their true Messiah see.

Yea, Amen, let all adore Thee,
High on Thy eternal throne;
Saviour, take Thy power and glory,
Claim the kingdoms for Thine own.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Come, Lord, come!

—Charles Wesley
And John Cennick