An Unavoidable Appointment – II Corinthians 5:19-11

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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When I was in high school, I was stopped by the police and issued a ticket for…inappropriate driving. The ticket came with a scheduled appointment to appear before the local judge. What made matters worse was I had visited this judge’s house two years earlier, on Halloween, to do mischief. Unfortunately, he caught me in the act and he was very unhappy. This judge had known me since I was little so I was wishing I had behaved better in both instances.

Everyone who knows the Lord Jesus as Savior has an unavoidable appointment in the future. The Apostle Paul tells us: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ…” (II Corinthians 5:10). Notice it’s not optional. We “must appear.” A Bible teacher I know likes to say, “Words mean things.” God does not call this a celebration or an awards banquet. He calls this the judgment seat of Christ. Our initial time before the Lord will be one of judging everything we have chosen in life after salvation, “whether it be good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10). This will not be a time of punishment. Instead it will be a time to reveal how we chose to live after salvation. Whether we choose sinful paths or Christ-honoring ones, this will be revealed. It will be a time of accountability. We live in a society where few seem to assume responsibility for poor decisions. But God tells us: “So every one of us shall give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). Whatever this means, this is not God giving us an accounting but us giving God an account of our life. This can be a time of shame or commendation. II Timothy 2:15 talks about the need to rightly divide the Word of God that one need not “be ashamed.” Or perhaps for some, it will be like the parable when the master says, “…well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). It will be a time of eternal reward or realization of possible reward lost. All our life after salvation will be tried by fire. Only things worthy of reward will remain (I Corinthians 3:13-15). Don’t fixate on only one aspect of this future time. All are in view.

This future sobering appointment should motivate all believers to good choices after salvation. Paul said, “Knowing…the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” (II Corinthians 5:11). Let’s make good choices today.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."