Monday in the Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Revelation 20:11-15

The Final Judgment

The ultimate defeat of Satan signals the moment for ultimate judgment—the Last and Final Judgment.  The passage itself rings of both the dignity and gravity of the occasion.  Heaven and earth fly away to make ready for the new heaven and earth to follow.  All the dead, great and small, stand before God.  No one is excluded; even the sea and Hades give up the dead.  The books are opened; records have been kept.  Jesus said, “On the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word spoken” (Matthew 12:36).  It is universal in the Scriptures that everyone is judged according to his works as we are reminded here in verse twelve.  The book which seems to be definitive is one called, “The Book of Life,” as those whose names are missing are cast into the lake of fire.  Indeed, Death and Hades themselves are thrown there, thus indicating that Death is finally defeated while Hades served only as a temporary holding place for the dead until the Final Judgment should come.

A few questions some might ask: Who is Judge?  Jesus said that the “Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22).  Some count several judgments thinking Jesus was referring in the gospel to the “judgment seat of Christ” as a separate judgment for believers (2 Corinthians 5:10) while Revelation’s depiction of the “great white throne” is for unbelievers under the Father.  However, it is obvious that Revelation knows only this judgment, and John takes Jesus’ “all” to be inclusive.  My own opinion is that the comprehensiveness of Revelation’s language indicates one judgment, and given our Lord’s words, Jesus is on the throne.  Why must there be a difference between the “judgment seat of Christ” where “we must all appear” and the “great white throne” where everyone appears?  And why do some place Jesus on a throne to judge believers and the Father on another to judge unbelievers, unless one subscribe to that unconscious but errant belief that Jesus is nice and the Father mean.  But it was because the Father so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son.

We worship a loving and just God who will by no means clear the guilty but by the blood of His dear Son.  And though believers must render account as well, we render that account on the basis of our faith in Christ Jesus who loved us and gave his life for us.  We shall be acquitted of our sins, and He shall crown the works He has done through us.  In light of such great love bestowed upon us, let us purify ourselves as he is pure (1 John 3:3) and run the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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