Facing God - Part 1

Scripture: Hebrews 9:27, Matthew 25:31-41, 2 Corinthians 5:10
When the world comes to an end, when there is a judgment that we will all face, will we be ready? There are only two verdicts that will end in eternal life or eternal death. Is God "nice" and will not judge anyone?
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When the great plants of our cities

Have turned out their last finished work;

When the merchant has sold his last yard of silk

And dismissed his last tired clerk;

When the banks have rolled in their last dollar

And paid out their last dividends;

And the Judge of the world says, "Closed for the night."

And He calls for a balance,, What Then?

When the choir has sung its last anthem,

And the preacher has prayed his last prayer;

When the organ has peeled its last echo,

And the sound has died out on the air;

When the Bible lies closed on the altar,

And the pews are all empty of men;

And each soul stands facing his record,

And the Great Book is opened,, What Then?

When the actor has played his last drama,

And the mimic has made his last fun;

When the movie has flashed its last picture,

And the billboards displayed their last run;

When the crowds seeking pleasure have vanished,

And gone out into darkness again;

And a world that rejected its Saviour

Is asked for a reason,, What Then?

When the bugle call sinks into silence,

And the long marching columns stand still,

When the millions of earth are gathered

From ocean and valley and hill;

When the day that has no tomorrow,

Has come to its last, last end;

And the voice of God from the heavens

Cries, "It is done.", What Then?

I think that is a good question. I think it is one that we should all face very squarely and answer. How will it be with me in the great judgement day? Now, there is no question about it. The Bible assures us that there is a day of judgment. Hebrews 9:27 "So it is appointed unto men once to die, but after that the judgement," Now listen, every single man, woman and child in this radio audience is involved in this judgment,, Every single person. Not a single one can escape. We all face certain trial by the court in heaven. I think we ought to be very serious about it because no one will escape.

In that court there are only going to be two verdicts. You will be pronounced innocent and receive eternal life, or you will be pronounced guilty, and the punishment will be eternal destruction. Now, I wonder if we realize that a court trial even on the earth here can be very very serious. Sometimes I think we loose sight of the seriousness of a judgment scene. A trial on the earth can be very very serious, but mark you this well, a trial before the King of Kings will be infinitely more serious, because eternal values are at stake.

Now I know you will meet people who will tell you, "Oh, don't worry about a trial, God isn't going to be harsh with anybody. God isn't going to pass judgment on anybody. He just won't do it." Well, let's read it here in Matthew 25. I would like to read this and then I would like to ask you if it sounds like some people are going to be punished. "When the Son of Man shall come in all His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all nations and He shall separate them one from the other as a shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say to them on the right hand; come ye blessed of My Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world! Then shall He say also to them on the left hand, depart from Me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Verses 31-34 and 41.

Now does that sound to you like God is going to punish some people? There just is no way of escaping it, the Bible is too filled with it. Just as sure and certain as the fact that we are living today, there is a day of judgment. Every individual is going to be punished exactly as he deserves.

You say, "All right, there is a day of judgment. Who is going to be involved?" I would like to read you that from the Word of God. It is so very clear. II Corinthians 5:10, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." and Romans 14:10-12 "So then every one of us shall give account of himself unto God." Now friends, there is no escaping it. We will all stand before the judgment seat of God. Every single one of us. You say, "But now wait a minute. I am an atheist. I deny the existence of the God you worship." But, Mr. Atheist, you, too, will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. You say, "But I don't want to go. I would rather do something else." The Bible says you will stand before the judgment seat of Christ anyway, every single person. There is no escaping it. Now that is why I say we ought to be very serious about this thing. It isn't a matter of Mr. Jones going to trial or Mrs. Johnson and maybe some boy over there and some girl over here. You are going. I am going. Every person in the sound of my voice is going to stand trial. We ought to be very serious and very solemn about that. Now if they served notice on me today that I would have to appear in court, I'll tell you I would be alarmed. I would want to know what I had done wrong. I would want to know what law had been broken. I would want to know who I could get to defend me and take my case. I would want to know who the judge was, where the court was, when the trial was going to be held, wouldn't you? Oh, I am sure you would. But now, remember I am going to stand trial! You are going to stand trial. There is no choice. It is not that I might go, you might go, or it could be that we would go. No, the Bible says we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. So every one of us will appear. There is absolutely no question about it. The summons is in II Corinthians 5:10.

Now let's inquire a little further. If we have to go to trial, where is the trial going to be held? I would like to read from Daniel 7:7-9, "I beheld till thrones were cast down, (or placed) and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was like the fiery flame and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. Thousands, thousands ministered unto Him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him, and the judgment was set, and the books were opened." Here is a picture in Daniel the 7th chapter that Daniel saw of the judgment beginning in heaven. Read it for yourself. Daniel 7: 7-10.

Who is going to be the judge in this great judgment scene? Let me read it for you in Psalm 50:6, "And the heavens shall declare His righteousness for God is Judge Himself." I don't know how words could be put in the Word of God that could make anything plainer. God is Judge Himself.

So many times when a trial here on earth ends, we wonder if justice has been done. And all of us are acquainted with the fact that sometimes men who are innocent are sent to prison. Sometimes men who are doubly guilty are set free. But it won't be that way in the court of heaven, because God is judge. He reads the mind, the thoughts, the purposes of the heart. Every single person will receive just exactly what he or she deserves.

I have thought of that trial so many times. I am going to be there. I think I ought to be concerned about it. The thing that really makes me tremble the most and makes me the most concerned is the thought of my having to stand there in the presence of God and try to plead my case, to say a few words on behalf of myself. I think that would be the thing that would make me tremble the most. But, friends, it is right here that the love and the mercy of God are seen because he has provided for us the most wonderful Lawyer in all the universe, Jesus the Christ. He hires that Lawyer to intercede for me. He pays the bill. Let me read it for you. "For Christ is not entered into holy places made with hands, but into heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us, wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." Hebrews 9:24 and 7:25. Isn't that marvelous! I won't need to stand there with my weak feeble, stammering lips and my poor intellect and try to present my case. No, He will do it for me. That is what the Bible says. Surely the love of God is shown here as in very few places in the Bible. No wonder the song writer said,

"The love of God is greater far

Than tongue or pen could ever tell.

It goes beyond the highest star

And reaches ‘neath the lowest hell."

He has given us every opportunity in that trial because Jesus the divine Son of God (who lived here as a human being himself among men) will be our lawyer. If anybody understands humanity that person is Jesus.

In a certain high school there was a teacher who could give some very difficult examinations. The students used to complain constantly and one day he became just a little bit exasperated because they were always complaining so he went to the board and wrote down about 50 questions. The class wondered what he was doing. When he had finished, he turned around and said, "Now study those questions. Twenty of these 50 questions, just as they are written here, will be on your examination." They couldn't believe it but he meant it. And I'm sure that was the easiest examination they ever had. But you know, that is the way God treats us, exactly. He says, "You all have a summons to court. You are all going to have to face me for a final examination, but I'll tell you what I am going to examine you on." There are only ten propositions, ten fundamental things, He is going to examine us on and those ten things are the Ten Commandments of God!

Perhaps you are saying, "I don't believe I have ever heard that before. Can you prove that from the Bible?" Yes! I would like to read you the scripture. It is James 2:11,12. "For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." Now He said in effect, "Be careful, remember that you are going to be judged by the law of liberty which says ‘thou shalt not kill' and ‘thou shalt not commit adultery'." What law says that? You search through the Bible and you will find one law and one law only that says that. This law is found in Exodus 20:3-17, the Ten Commandment Law. So, friends, on the authority of this Book the standard in God's judgment, the measuring stick in God's judgment, will be the Ten Commandment Law of God. You can mark this down too, (may it be printed indelibly upon your heart) in the judgment you will face the law. There is no escaping it. That is why Satan wants to get rid of the law today.

Now it is true the law can't save us. Christ does the saving. But the law points out what we lack in being like Christ. It is the measuring stick because when a person is like that law he is like Christ, and in the judgment that law will be the measuring stick. James 2:11,12 makes that very clear. So the Bible has settled that question. The standard or the measuring stick in God's great judgment is His law, the Ten Commandment Law that He gave.

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