“Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.”
1 Corinthians 4:5 NASB
At the judgment seat of Christ, all of God’s ways will be seen to be perfectly just and righteous. That’s why we’re commanded to wait to judge — because there will come a day when even the secret motives of men’s hearts will be revealed, and then and only then can we judge righteously. Jesus says the same thing in Luke 12:2-3:
“But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.”
The picture I have of the judgment seat is one where everyone who has ever lived will see my every thought, word, deed, and motive, and will be able to see that God’s judgment of my life is perfectly righteous. It’s as if a documentary of all my life — inward and outward — will be on a giant movie screen for everyone who’s ever lived to see. And all people, finally having “perfect information” so to speak, will come to the same exact conclusion that God does in His judgment of my life. For some, that may be an absolutely terrifying idea. But for Christians, we can take comfort knowing that God has “blotted out” those sinful spots on the tape (Psalm 51:9), because He chooses not to remember (Isaiah 43:25) any of the sins that we confess in the name of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7,9). Praise God for that!!
But Christian, let me ask you a question: how will you feel if, when it’s “showtime” for your documentary in heaven, your entire movie is just a series of blanked-out scenes and bleeped-out speech? No sound, no video, all blank? Definitely no sin there to speak of, just hours and hours of silence. Non-footage, so to speak. It’s as if your life almost never took place. Will that be cause for rejoicing?
Or does that sound terrible to you? I must say that I will be utterly heartbroken if my documentary is all bleeped-out footage, with nothing worth screening in the final day! I want more than that! I want a life that brings God glory and honor and praise (Philippians 1:10-11), a life He can put on display to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places as evidence of His trustworthiness and wisdom and power (Ephesians 3:10, Job 1:8), a life that is not merely stripped of all evidence of bad, but that fulfills all the good that God had in His heart when He made me (Ephesians 2:10)! (I encourage you to read those verses and see whether that is God’s hope for your life too.)
The Holy Spirit says that “each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I want the subtitle of my movie to be: “saved, yet so as through fire.” To be sure, I’m not interested in reward, except that it will be something I get to throw at my precious Savior’s feet (Revelation 4:10). What I’m interested in is a life that brings God praise and glory in the final day, and the way to do that is to seek for there to be something left on the tape after the fire blots out all of the footage that dishonors the Lord.
Lord, according to Your Holy Spirit’s work in me, I want an un-bleeped tape! I want my life to count for You! I want to be a part of the manifestation that shames the devil and brings glory to Jesus Christ in the final day, that extols His trustworthiness and power.
“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
1 Peter 2:9-12 NASB
Our good deeds may never be evident to worldly-minded people during our life on earth. But our hope is that, in the final day, when all things are known perfectly, and they watch the movies of our lives, they would have cause to glorify God. Not because there’s a blank tape (unlike their filthy tape), but there’s a tape filled with evidence of God’s glory.
**By Jeremy Utley © Copyright – Jeremy Utley. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at NCCF Church