Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Where Will Your Name Be?

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.

When the small and the great stand before the great white throne and the books are opened, it will not be a time of trial. There will be no defense counsel, no prosecutor, no jury, and no appeals to any higher court. There is no higher court. The books will be read and the sentence will be pronounced. It is that simple.

“And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done” (Revelation 20:12).

Apparently these books have no errors in them, so the judgment really took place when the event took place, when it was recorded in the book.

There is no spiritual law that says we are innocent until proven guilty. On the contrary, there are statements that say, “There is not a just person upon the earth that does good and sins not,” and, “There is none righteous, no not one.” This is no surprise to man. He knows it is true of himself and he knows it is true of others. He does not like what is obvious, and so he justifies the wicked.

If the burden of proof was to establish that man was innocent, born with a tendency to be good, and if a man had all of the facts of history and all contemporary knowledge to prove the case, he could not even begin to think it a possibility.

The great white throne and the books will be no surprise to man. There is a surprise, however. It is a good surprise. “Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life he was thrown into the lake of fire.” There is a way out. It is good news.

The good news has to do with how one is judged by having his name in the Book of Life rather than being judged by the events recorded in the books.

Here are two expressions of the Good news found in the New Testament:

“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep” (I Corinthians 15:1-6).

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of this Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:6-11).

(Taken from Good News/Bad News)

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